UMBC Watch

"We are proud of UMBC's role in linking universities and companies in Maryland and Virginia in these crucial studies about the future of our planet."

--President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

$70-million NASA Contract Largest
in UMBC History

UMBC will lead a consortium of universities and private-sector companies in a $70-million, five-year cooperative agreement with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, to develop the Goddard Earth Science and Technology (GEST) Center to study the Earth's surface, atmosphere, and oceans. The agreement represents the largest research contract in UMBC's history.

"It's a new working relationship between academia, government, and industry in performing Earth science research at the world-class level," says Robert Curran, the Center's director.

The consortium includes Howard University in Washington, D.C.; Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia; Northrop-Grumman's Baltimore-based Electronic Sensors & Systems Center; and Caelum Research Corporation of Silver Spring, Md.

A new invited fellows program at UMBC will help attract Nobel Laureate-caliber scientists to Goddard for research collaboration, and the GEST Center will also promote Earth science education in grades K-12 and provide media outreach to foster public interest in NASA Earth science research.

The GEST Center further establishes UMBC's strengths in environmental research and technology. UMBC already partners with NASA Goddard through its Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, which is located on the UMBC campus. Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency gave initial approval for a $2-million Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education at UMBC.

UMBC has experienced dramatic growth in grants and contracts in the past decade, from just $8.3-million in FY 1990 to $51.2 million in FY 1999. NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health are the three largest sources of UMBC's federal funding.

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