An Innovative Collaboration

The Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean and Ecosystem Studies (CICOES) was established in 1977 and was known as the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) until 2020. CICOES exists for the purpose of fostering research collaboration between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Washington (UW) as well as our academic partners at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Oregon State University. CICOES research is at the forefront of investigations on climate change, ocean acidification, fisheries assessments, and tsunami forecasting. The CICOES Council and Senior Fellows provide recommendations to the Institute management.

CICOES global and regional topics of concern and interest to the public include:

  • Enhancing research capabilities of UW and NOAA scientists, utilizing the diverse array of scientific and technical expertise and specialized research facilities within both institutions.
  • Facilitating the training of the next generation of NOAA’s scientists by capitalizing on the UW’s extraordinary strength in the geosciences and its degree granting authority.
  • Providing UW students the opportunity to participate in NOAA research, thereby enriching their educational experience.
  • Offering educational and outreach activities to our local and regional communities through K-12 programs, student internships, training and recruitment programs, through media contacts and publications.
  • Developing relationships with government agencies and industries in the state of Washington and throughout the Pacific Northwest with a view toward assisting NOAA in tailoring its climate forecasts and assessments to meet the needs of stakeholders.

CICOES partners with academic and research institutions, government agencies, NGOs and community organizations in order to advance scientific knowledge about the world’s atmosphere and oceans. By working in collaboration CICOES is able to strengthen and extend its areas of research and expertise in order to serve the widest possible regional, national and global community interests.

CICOES Fact Sheet


CICOES research is funded through various tasks:

TASK I, the Institute’s “core” program, includes:

  • Two to three postdoctoral fellows on annual appointments, renewable for a second year.
  • Senior visiting scientists on leave from their home institutions.
  • Honoraria and travel expenses for short-term visitors.
  • Education and outreach activities.

TASK II supports collaborative research efforts between NOAA and University scientists, and funds approximately 100 University of Washington scientists located at NOAA facilities in Seattle, Washington.

TASK III supports University research in areas compatible with the Institute’s major research themes, and the Principal Investigators of these projects are UW faculty in many departments across campus.

TASK IV includes grants funded outside the Cooperative Agreement by other funding agencies and includes Principal Investigators who work at the UW and with NOAA scientists.


As part of the UW College of the Environment, CICOES is one of the primary research arms focusing on atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Washington. Because of its unique mission to promote collaborative research between UW and NOAA, the Institute unites the resources and strengths of both institutions, and facilitates an interdisciplinary approach to examining the pressing environmental issues of our time.

University of Washington

Applied Physics Laboratory

Department of Atmospheric Sciences

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Department of Earth & Space Sciences

Evans School of Public Affairs

Friday Harbor Laboratories

Program on Climate Change

Program on the Environment

School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

School of Environmental & Forest Sciences

School of Marine and Environmental Affairs

School of Oceanography



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Alaska Fisheries Science Center

Marine Mammal Laboratory 

Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory

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