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Coastal Research
- History & Early Vision
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SURA Coastal & Environmental Research Program


As far back as 2000, the SURA Coastal & Environmental Research Committee began to develop a vision for an open-access, distributed scientific laboratory for environmental model improvement.  This vision led initially to creation of the SURA Coastal Ocean Observing and Predicting Program (SCOOP), which began in 2003 with funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The project involved numerous academic partners from SURA institutions as well as non-SURA entities.  SCOOP terminated in late 2009 and final reports have been completed, with archived results accessed on the SCOOP site.

The initial vision of distributed, open-access, community science entered its latest phase on June 1, 2010.  With a $4 million grant from NOAA, SURA is advancing a testbed to evaluate the readiness of marine forecasts, such as flooding from storm surge or seasonal dead zones.  Focused along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, the effort will improve those forecasts for use by emergency managers and other decision-makers, scientific researchers and the general public.

The SURA Coastal and Environmental Strategic Plan approved in October 2009 states that, "SURA can, and should play a vital role in helping the nation meet the needs for a robust coastal and environmental informatics infrastructure and the effective integration of unifying management of distributed, multi-scale and multi-disciplinary information, ideas and modeling results."

The project, A SUPER-REGIONAL TESTBED TO IMPROVE MODELS OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSES ON THE U.S. ATLANTIC AND GULF OF MEXICO COASTS, will advance SURA's primary mission to enable member institutions to achieve transformational scientific advances via a distributed community approach.  A showcase for federal-academic-industry collaboration, the testbed involves 20 universities, 11 federal centers and programs and 2 private corporations.

A web-based catalog of testbed models has been developed to facilitate model evaluation, and serves to integrate models and the critical observations needed to verify the model outputs. By enforcing standards that enable interoperability of models and data, the SURA Testbed will serve as a useful tool for both research and operational use for years to come.

SURA is providing overall project leadership for the testbed including coordinating collaboration among many partners and acting as liaison between NOAA and testbed scientists.  SURA's management insures that federal funds are expended in a responsible manner, as the project's scientific collaborator and project manager.

For More ...


SURA Coastal & Environmental Program Update, Summer 2010
SURA Coastal Newsletter, September 2009

SURA Coastal Newsletter, August 2009
SURA Coastal Newsletter, May 2009
SURA Coastal Newsletter, March 2009

SURA Coastal Newsletter, January 2009
SURA Coastal Newsletter, December 2008  
SURA Coastal Newsletter, November 2008
SURA Coastal Newsletter, October 2008

SURA Coastal Newsletter, September 2008

SURA Coastal Newsletter, August 2008

SURA Coastal Newsletter, July 2008

SURA Coastal Newsletter, June 2008

SURA Coastal Newsletter, May 2008

SURA Coastal & Environmental Research Program Contacts

Dr. L. Don Wright, Director of Coastal Research
Elizabeth Smith, Coastal Research Programs Manager

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