The Cooperative Institute for Alaska Research (CIFAR) is one of 16 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Cooperative Institutes. CIFAR facilitates the long-term collaboration between NOAA and the University of Alaska begun under the Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research (1994–2008), within which targeted research, technology, education and outreach can be developed and sustained. CIFAR plays a central role in communication and coordination between NOAA, researchers, management agencies, non-governmental organizations, Alaska communities, and the general public in collaborative research, education and outreach efforts.
In July 2008, CIFAR was awarded a 5-year cooperative agreement as NOAA’s Alaska regional CI to conduct ecosystem and environmental research related to Alaska and its associated Arctic regions, including the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, Chukchi/Beaufort Seas, and Arctic Ocean. In July 2013, CIFAR was awarded a renewal 5-year cooperative agreement based on the "outstanding" rating received during its July 2011 program review.
As NOAA’s Alaska Regional Cooperative Institute, CIFAR facilitates research, education and outreach in three broad thematic areas:
Ecosystem Forecasting and Studies - Gain sufficient knowledge of Alaskan ecosystems to forecast their response to both natural and anthropogenic change;
Coastal Hazards - Improve understanding of coastal hazards, storms, and tsunamis that affect Alaska's population, ecosystems and coast to improve weather forecast and warning accuracy; and
Climate Change and Variability - Foster climate research targeted at societal needs and advance Arctic climate research to improve predictive capacity of climate variations affecting coastal regions and ecosystems.
Based on the “outstanding” rating received during its program review in July 2011, NOAA approved a five-year renewal cooperative agreement for CIFAR, which began July 1, 2013.