NOAA Cooperative Institutes are academic and non-profit research institutions that demonstrate the highest level of performance and conduct research that supports NOAA’s mission and strategic plan. Cooperative Institutes are located at institutions whose geographic expanse extends from Hawaii to Maine and from Alaska to Florida. Currently, NOAA supports 16 Cooperative Institutes consisting of 42 universities and research institutions across 23 states and the District of Columbia.

The Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) formerly the Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research (CILER) is a research institute that is jointly sponsored by NOAA and our host the University of Michigan. This cooperative institute was established in 1989, with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the University of Michigan and the Undersecretary of Oceans and Atmosphere in the United States Department of Commerce. CIGLR began in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan, but was moved to the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) formerly the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) in 2002.

The 2017 name change to CIGLR reflects the increasing breadth of research that we facilitate in the Great Lakes, which has evolved from our original focus on natural science (limnology and ecosystem ecology) to interdisciplinary work that includes social science, engineering, and design. While CIGLR will build on the foundations laid by CILER, the new institute will differ from its predecessor in several ways: greater investment by the host, more impactful partnerships, more interdisciplinary research, greater focus on co-design and quicker transitions from research to application.

CIGLR’s primary NOAA research partner is the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) within the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR). Our researchers are housed at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL) and work in direct collaboration with GLERL scientists. CIGLR’s administration is located at both the University of Michigan central campus and GLERL. Scientists from CIGLR and GLERL partner to study the most pressing issues in the Great Lakes, including climate change, harmful algal blooms, and protection of ecosystem services.

To date, NOAA has awarded 7 consecutive Cooperative Agreements to the University of Michigan for administration of CIGLR. The current CIGLR Cooperative Agreement with NOAA was awarded in 2017 to the University of Michigan and 8 University Partners.

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