CIFAR, the Alaska regional CI, is positioned within the University of Alaska system, bringing together faculty and students from various departments and campuses to collaborate with NOAA scientists on research and educational efforts.
CIFAR has placed specific emphasis upon competitively supporting graduate and undergraduate students (in addition to those students supported on CI research projects). Many of these students are addressing issues that may not be limited to one NOAA line office or one University of Alaska academic program or unit. In their August 2011 report on CIFAR, the NOAA Science Advisory Board review team noted "The quality of student research was truly extraordinary, and [through CIFAR] NOAA is attracting and training talent to meet some of NOAA's highest priority needs--including weather readiness, climate resilience and variability, and stock assessment. Impressively much of the research is immediately useful to decision makers and operations."
Under the first five years of our current CIFAR cooperative agreement, two competitive student award programs have been supported: the Stock Assessment Training and Improvement Program and the Global Change Student Research Grant Competition. These programs will continue continue under the five-year renewal agreement.