The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate announced this week that UAA has been selected through an open call and rigorous competition to co-lead a new Maritime Research Center of Excellence (COE). UAA’s COE will focus on developing innovative research and solutions to challenges in Arctic maritime domain awareness and will be located in Anchorage in the ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building on UAA’s campus.
UAA will receive an initial $1 million cooperative agreement for operations through June 2015. This highly competitive designation is expected to bring additional funding in the coming years for research on maritime security in Arctic waters.
Dr. Helena Wisniewski, UAA’s vice provost for Research and Graduate Studies, is the principal investigator and will serve as the center’s director. “This is the first time DHS has awarded an institution in Alaska a Center of Excellence—it’s a real milestone for Alaska and UAA,” Dr. Wisniewski says.
At UAA’s new COE, a group of distinguished university and industry leaders will work directly with DHS operational agencies to solve difficult and complex security problems arising in the Arctic. The lessons learned could affect the nation’s safety, economy and environment.
The DHS COE network is a consortium of hundreds of universities that conduct research for new technologies and strategies that will advance DHS’s mission. The new COE at UAA will join a list of 12 existing centers across the country.