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Federal agency renews CIRA research agreement

May 16, 2014

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is extending its research partnership with Colorado State University for another five years.

NOAA recently renewed funding for the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere until 2019. The federal agency made the decision after conducting an extensive scientific review of CIRA’s research program.

 The agreement means CIRA is eligible to receive up to $71 million in grants.

CIRA Director Chris Kummerow called the five-year renewal “welcome news” and said it will enable researchers to improve their forecasts.

“This gives us an opportunity to fully optimize how the weather satellites going up in the next few years are exploited to improve our short and long term weather forecasts,” said Kummerow, a professor in CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science.

About CIRA

Established in 1980, CIRA conducts research in the atmospheric sciences, tying CSU’s research to operational advances in meteorology and other areas of national need.  

It is one of 16 such cooperative institutes funded by NOAA to draw on the expertise from academic and nonprofit research fields. The institutes operate on fixed-term agreements.

The agreement between NOAA and CSU will continue through end of June 2019. At that time, the federal agency will open up the agreement and re-compete it.

CIRA's research

In the meantime, CIRA scientists are focused on research.

“Over the next five years we will witness a dramatic leap forward in satellite capabilities, with several next-generation polar-orbiting and geostationary resources coming online,” said Deputy Director Steve Miller. “With the renewal of our cooperative agreement, CIRA will play an important role in helping NOAA make the most of these measurements.”

CIRA has facilities located on CSU’s Foothills Campus near the Department of Atmospheric Science as well as campuses at the Earth Systems Research Laboratory of NOAA in Boulder, at the Aviation Weather Center in Kansas, and the NOAA/NESDIS facility in Maryland. 

It employs 135 researchers and staff, and performs approximately $14 million in NOAA-related research, annually. 

For more information, contact Matt Rogers at or (970) 491-8124.