The Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies (CICOES) promotes collaborative research 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 and NOAA researchers represent a broad range of scientific expertise under nine major research themes:

  • Climate and Ocean Variability, Change and Impacts
  • Earth Systems and Processes
  • Environmental Chemistry and Ocean Carbon
  • Marine Ecosystems: Observation, Analysis, and Forecasts
  • Ocean and Coastal Observations
  • Environmental Data Science
  • Aquaculture Science
  • Human Dimensions in Marine Systems
  • Polar Studies

CICOES scientists focus research on such critical issues as climate change, ocean acidification, tsunami forecasting, and fisheries assessment by:

  • collecting, and analyzing data to better understand physical, biological, and chemical processes of ocean and coastal areas
  • understanding climate variability and change
  • improving our understanding of ocean and atmospheric processes associated with climate change and determining adaptation strategies
  • studying how the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide and the resulting increase in acidity of ocean water
  • studying hydrothermal vents and volcanoes on the seafloor
  • studying effects of interactions between human communities and natural ecosystems
  • developing tools and technology to restore and protect marine habitats
  • improving prediction and forecasting of tsunami impacts

As a unit within the UW College of the Environment, CICOES works with a number of departments throughout the campus, including Atmospheric Sciences, Oceanography, Fisheries, Earth and Space Sciences, the Applied Physics Laboratory, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Friday Harbor Laboratories, and the Undergraduate Research Program, among others. A large number of CICOES employees work at the NOAA Western Regional Center in Seattle, including the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) and Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC). The Institute’s Education and Outreach (E&O) program makes important contributions in promoting environmental literacy at all levels of society, mentoring the next generation of scientists and reaching out to underrepresented communities with the goal of creating a diverse work force.

A comprehensive list of CICOES research can be found in our Annual Reports and magazines.

Visit News to see what research is being covered by the local and national media.

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