Research

The Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) promotes collaborative research between the University of Washington (UW) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). JISAO and NOAA researchers represent a broad range of scientific expertise under seven major research themes:

  • Climate Research and Impacts
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Marine Ecosystems
  • Ocean and Coastal Observations
  • Protection and Restoration of Marine Resources
  • Seafloor Processes
  • Tsunami Observations and Modeling

JISAO 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, JISAO 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 JISAO 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.

Some examples from the extensive body of research conducted at JISAO are featured in the Science Highlights section below, followed by a summary of the Education and Outreach program activities of the past year and an update on financial and business operations. Beyond this section are individual progress reports for each new project funded by the NOAA Cooperative Agreement in the past year, as well as appendices with additional information as requested by the NOAA Performance Reporting guidance.

A comprehensive list of JISAO’s research can be found in our Annual Reports.

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

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