CREST research is focused on four broadly based and interconnected Themes - ClimateWeather and AtmosphereWater Resources and Land Processes; and Ocean and Coastal Waters.

Each theme aligns with NOAA's goals in the areas of Climate Adaption and Mitigation, Weather Ready Nation, Resilient Coastal Communities and Economies, and Healthy Oceans. The research under each Theme, which is generally related to more than one NOAA Goal, has evolved naturally from CREST’s research expertise and additions to CREST faculty. CREST research is also designed to support NOAA’s Strategic Plan and the NOAA Education Strategic Plan, as well as plans and visions included in NOAA’s Next Generation Strategic Plan, Five Year Research Plan and Twenty-year Research Vision.

The research will be integrated across these four themes by the creation, analysis, and application of Integrated Data Products, with broad objectives to develop and apply remote sensing technology, to produce and analyze such integrated data products and appropriate models to better understand the coupling processes that connect the atmosphere-land-coastal-ocean-cryosphere-biosphere system. It will also seek to transfer new satellite remote sensing capabilities and product validation techniques into operations (R2O) and expand the range of data products and information that NOAA can offer.

As such, the research outcomes are:

  • A diverse body of students/graduates from undergraduate to postdoctoral levels, trained in NOAA related fields and prepared to pursue STEM careers with NOAA, related local/state/federal agencies, NOAA contractors/industry, or in academic/teaching positions.
  • A dynamic community of researchers at CREST institutions engaged in NOAA relevant science and technology research projects in close collaboration with NOAA scientists at NESDIS and other NOAA line offices and laboratories.
  • Contribution to the body of NOAA relevant original scholarly research in STEM fields, and dissemination of research results to the scientific community through publications, conferences, and other related formats.
  • Development of NOAA relevant state of the art remote sensing techniques and technologies.
  • Production of environmental/climate data products within the CREST research themes of Climate, Air & Weather, Land & Water, and Coastal & Oceanic Waters.
  • Development of techniques, observations, and tools to provide calibration and validation for NOAA product assessment and improvement.
  • Transition of mature algorithms, tools, observation, or techniques based on CREST research into operations.
  • Sustainable growth and enhancement of NOAA CREST Center research and training through partnerships and programs with other government agencies, industry, and non-profit and academic institutions.

Major research activities include:

  1. Contribution to understanding key climate feedback processes, with a focus on monitoring change in the urbanized coastal environment (land and water), and estimating the potential effects of climate change by analyzing the collection of data products that quantify the weather-scale variations of all the components of the global energy and water cycle over two decades.
  2. Integration of the “LIDAR Network” sensors with high-resolution models to study PBL-heat island pollution and aerosol-cloud interactions; Develop and deliver comprehensive products from LIDAR fence/sky radiometers, merged coastal satellite and environmental data and global CDRs.
  3. Development of remote sensing of hydro-climate and hydrological components at high space-time resolution by combining passive and active microwave from satellites with other weather satellite sensors. Integrate satellite observations to monitor the joint variations of coastal zone precipitation (rain and snow), wetlands and water resources.
  4. Refinement of techniques that assimilate satellite and multi-sensor data streams into a series of hydrologic and water resource applications, including inference and monitoring of flood-producing events and regional patterns of water availability, culminating in the Eastern Seaboard Water Information System, built on NOAA-based integrated data products.
  5. Development of capabilities and products utilizing remote sensing data sets from a variety of sensors to support characterization of surface hydrologic and ecological processes, including landatmosphere carbon fluxes, and cold season controls on surface hydrology and vegetation productivity.
  6. Development of enhanced understanding and monitoring capabilities for atmospheric convective processes and carry out modeling studies to support improved forecasting of severe precipitation events (rain and snow) and consequent flooding and effects on water supply and quality. Investigate the role of convection in governing the chemistry of upper atmosphere.
  7. Conducting modeling experiments to develop capabilities for weather forecasting in complex urban areas (micro-WRF) at resolutions better than 1 km incorporating CREST/NOAA remote sensing products. Integrate satellite and in situ observational data products and process modeling to monitoring coastal water qualities and develop advanced in situ measurement technologies to validate satellite observations.
  8. Employing ground and satellite remote sensing observations and modeling to support calibration and validation of current satellite data products and development of future satellite sensors (GOES-R, SMAP and JPSS). That includes data from Long Island Sound Coastal Observatory (LISCO).
  9. Development of advanced algorithms for retrievals of Chl, other pigments and IOPs, and for the detection and tracking of harmful algal blooms (HABs), in shallow and coastal waters, based on red-NIR bands, neural networks (NN) and other statistical and hydrodynamic modeling approaches.
  10. Development of a hydrodynamic model for Long Island Sound, which together with remote sensing and LISCO data, will enable an effective test bed for development of prediction capabilities for coastal water quality and eventually Ocean Health.

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