Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at UNH



UNH and NASA Announce Joint Center for Earth Science

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau

June 11, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announce the creation of a new Joint Center for Earth Science at the UNH campus. The center is a partnership between the university's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

U.S. Rep. John E. Sununu (R-NH), who sits on the appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA, was present at a ceremony Monday, June 11, to witness the signing of the memorandum of understanding between UNH President Joan Leitzel and Goddard Space Flight Center Director Alphonso Diaz. Berrien Moore, III, EOS director, also provided remarks.

"With the creation of the Joint Center for Earth Science, the University of New Hampshire will be paired with one of America's premier research facilities - NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center," said Sununu. "This partnership opens a new door to exchanges of valuable research and data in an endeavor that will benefit all who are dedicated to fully understanding earth, its oceans, and space."

The primary purpose of the Joint Center for Earth Science is to increase the effectiveness of research, education, and training in Earth science by facilitating collaborations between Goddard and UNH. While the two parties have previously cooperated in interdisciplinary Earth science and related research, each believes that establishing the Joint Center for Earth Science will enhance their abilities to continue and expand their activities.

"We are delighted to be taking this step with NASA and the Goddard Space Flight Center," said Moore, "It will open new vistas for our students and ourselves. It taps into what is truly best in NASA -- an expansion of vision."

The primary organizations that will implement the agreement are the Earth Sciences Directorate at Goddard and UNH's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space and Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping. The Departments of Earth Sciences, Ocean Engineering, and Natural Resources will also be involved in the educational scope of the center.

The Joint Center for Earth Science will help encourage activities in Earth science education by facilitating an internship program to allow UNH students to study at Goddard, which is based in Greenbelt, Maryland. The first UNH student, Manoel Cardoso, will begin his internship at Goddard this summer. Cardoso's area of interest is the use of satellite imagery to study fire damage in Amazonia.

The center also includes an exchange component for Goddard scientists, who will spend time at UNH joint-teaching a course with UNH staff on remote-sensing and technology.

UNH ranks in the top 30 educational institutions nationwide in NASA funding. It is also consistently in the top three Northeastern schools receiving NASA funding -- about $10 million a year -- along with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Back to UNH News Bureau