THE UNivERsiTY OF Maryland in College Park was founded in 1856 as the Maryland Agricultural College and renamed in 1920 as the University of Maryland. The College Park main campus operates within a group of state-supported institutions of higher education in Maryland. The system's research and service components include the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute in College Park and the Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies, with laboratories at Horn Point, Solomons, and Frostburg.
The meteorology/oceanography program is a graduate department program with an expanded scope of activity to include the dynamic system of atmosphere in relation to oceans, land, and life. Though the department does not offer an undergraduate major, they do offer an undergraduate minor in meteorology and oceanography. Advantages to the university programs include proximity to nearby federal agencies such as NASA and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, as well as the department's partnerships with NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), allowing for close collaboration. Graduate students in the department may have the opportunity to conduct research through these partnerships. An example of these partnerships is the Joint Global Change Research Institute—a university-based collaboration between the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory or the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, a joint center between the university's departments of meteorology, geology, and geography and the Earth Sciences Directorate at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
The meteorology department conducts research in a broad range of areas, including atmospheric chemistry, climate studies, glaciology, numerical weather prediction, and remote sensing, with a range of activities including fieldwork, remote sensing, and numerical modeling from pole to pole and from the troposphere to the mesosphere. Current funded climate research in particular focuses on global change (including Earth system modeling and analysis and modeling of climate hesitative to greenhouse gas concentrations), atmospheric and oceanic reanalyses, hydroclimate studies, ocean-atmosphere interaction, monsoons, extratropical interannual variability, clouds and radiation, and NWP methods in climate modeling.
Founded as a joint collaboration between the Departments of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science and Geology and Geography at the University of Maryland and the Earth Sciences Directorate at the NASA/God-dard Space Flight Center, ESSIC (the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center) is based at the university. ESSIC's focus is to study and understand the dynamics of human activities on atmosphere, ocean, land, and biosphere components of the Earth. ESSIC also administers the Cooperative Institute for Climate Studies, sponsored by the NOAA National Satellite, Data, and Information Services and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction.
ESSIC's research centers on climate variability and change, atmospheric composition and processes, the global carbon cycle (including terrestrial and marine ecosystems/land use/cover change), and the global water cycle. ESSIC combines primary research of within-system observations with remote sensing and predictive models to forecast global changes and potential regional impact.
The University of Maryland Enterprise Campus, or M Square, is a 124-acre research park adjacent to the University of Maryland/College Park Metro Station. NOAA's National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction is one of the anchor tenants of M Square to take advantage of proximity to the University of Maryland—a leading center for climate research and numeric weather forecasting, which is developing major new partnerships with federal agencies in the areas of earth science, remote imaging, climate change, and energy research.
In addition to academics, the Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER) is based at the university. CIER is dedicated to creating a comprehensive understanding of the complex environmental challenges facing society and to developing valuable tools to inform policy and investment decision making. To support resilient flourishing natural and human systems, a truly integrative approach is needed. These multidisciplinary processes combine insights from the physical, engineering, natural, social, and health sciences and stimulate active dialogue across the science-society divide. CIER researchers and graduate students collaborate at global, national, regional, and local scales to explore issues with and across two major sustainability challenges: society's use of material and energy and urban environmental change.
The University of Maryland is setting an example for public and private sectors, as the president of the university joined other college presidents and chancellors around the country in taking a community leadership role and modeling ways to minimize global warming emissions and integrate sustainability into the curriculum and university environment, via membership in the Leadership Circle of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.
sEE ALsO: Education; Maryland; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
bibliography. Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, The University of Maryland, http://www.atmos. umd.edu; Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, "About ESSIC," http://www.essic.umd.edu.
Lyn Michaud Independent Scholar
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