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DOE and the University of Maryland form Joint Global Change Research Institute

March 12, 2001 Share This!

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of Maryland, two institutions with expertise in the scientific and policy issues of global climate change, are joining forces to advance the understanding of these vital and complex issues. Together, Maryland and PNNL are creating a Joint Global Change Research Institute in College Park that will investigate the scientific, social and economic implications of climate change, both nationally and globally.

"By combining the capabilities of our two institutions, we expect to have a powerful impact on the study of global climate change," said Lura Powell, director of PNNL, a premier DOE research and development laboratory that is based in Washington State and operated by Battelle.

"We are looking forward to partnering with the university's first class faculty and graduate students in economics, public policy, earth and environmental sciences, engineering and the social sciences. Maryland has strong research interests close to our own, and an understanding of exactly the collaboration we had in mind," Powell said.

The new institute will bring together some 25 PNNL climate change researchers now based in Washington, DC, including well-known scientists Bill Chandler and James (Jae) Edmonds, with many top Maryland faculty and research scientists. Maryland's participants, such as global change research pioneer Konstantin Vinnikov, bring leadership in a host of climate-change-related research areas ranging from atmospheric chemistry to remote sensing to resource economics.

"The two institutions are already bonding faculty, students and lab researchers through research projects and student research advisory committees and we expect our collaboration to grow quickly," said William Destler, vice president for research and dean of the University of Maryland's graduate school. "We're looking forward to adjunct faculty appointments, initiating new research and enriching the institute's staff with scholars from around the country and the world as visiting faculty," Destler said.

"This promises to be a major science collaboration to explore climate change and its impact on energy, the environment and society," said Gerald M. Stokes, who will be director of the new institute. Stokes is the former associate laboratory director for PNNL's fundamental science effort.

"We are entering a whole new era in the way society deals with the climate, energy and the environment," Stokes said. "This unique partnership between PNNL and Maryland recognizes and brings together the combined forces of research and scholarship that are required to find solutions for this new era."

PNNL staff coming to the new institute from the lab's Washington, D.C. office are renowned for their expertise in energy conservation and their understanding of the interactions between climate, energy production and use, economic activity and the environment.

Maryland researchers associated with the institute, will come from schools and colleges across the campus including the College of Computer Mathematical and Physical Sciences, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the A. James Clark School of Engineering, the College of Life Sciences, and the School of Public Affairs. The new institute also will build on expertise of existing centers and institutes at the university, such as the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, a campus-based collaboration between the university and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The new Joint Global Change Research Institute will be located in a university-managed research building adjacent to campus.

Tags: Energy, Environment, Fundamental Science, Energy Conservation, Energy Production, Climate Change, Chemistry

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy. For more information, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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