In 2009, The Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS) was formed through a national consortium of academic, non-profit and community organizations, with leadership from the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) and North Carolina State University with principal locations in College Park, Maryland and Asheville, North Carolina. CICS is administered as part of the NOAA/NESDIS/STAR Cooperative Research Program Institutes which is the first experiment by NOAA and academic institutions to engage a geographically dispersed, diverse set of more than 20 partner institutions across the United States to address environmental change, their prediction, and potential impacts. CICS-NC is an Inter-Institutional Research Center with the UNC System, where it is known as the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies. CICS-NC is co-located with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, NC. CICS's cooperative agreement was renewed for an additional five years in 2014.


  • CICS-NC inspires cutting-edge research and collaboration
  • CICS-NC advances NOAA’s mission to understand and communicate the current and future state of the climate
  • CICS-NC engages with business, industry, academia, and the public to enhance decision-making


  • Focus primarily on the collaborative research into the use of in situ and remotely sensed observations in climate research and applications that is led by the National Centers for Environmental Information of NOAA/NESDIS.
  • Innovate new products and creates new methods to understand the state and evolution of the full Earth system with cutting-edge research
  • Prepare the next generation of the workforce needed to address climate science and its applications
    • CICS-NC support graduate education and professional scientific training
    • CICS-NC provides opportunities for students to interact with NOAA scientists
  • Engage with corporate leaders to develop climate-literate citizens and a climate-adaptive society
  • Facilitate regional economic development through its Engagement activities


CICS-NC activities support NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and enterprise climate services. Main collaborative activities are currently organized into 7 streams:

These streams are supported by the different divisions in NCEI, NOAA Line Offices such as the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS), Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), and the National Weather Service (NWS), the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), and North Carolina State University. CICS-NC is structured thematically by these streams. Please select the organization chart for an overview.