U.S. to study global warming at UMCP

March 13, 2001|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - The University of Maryland, College Park announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy yesterday designed to make the school one of the centers of research into global warming.

The Global Change Research Institute will bring 25 scientists from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to work with an array of departments at UMCP studying the scientific, social and economic effects of climate change.

"This is a win-win situation," said William W. Destler, vice president for research at UMCP, explaining that an affiliation with a university often helps laboratories attract top personnel. "And we get 25 of the top people in this field as adjunct faculty members, who will be teaching courses and working with our students."

UMCP President C. D. "Dan" Mote Jr. agreed. "We are basically expanding our faculty by 25 of the biggest experts in the world," he said. "This is one of the partnerships that really makes sense. It can make us one of the leaders in this field."

Though the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is in Richland, Wash., it does much of its work in the Washington, D.C., area.

"We realized not long after we started looking at climate change 10 years ago that if we were going to consider policy questions, those would best be done in this area," said Gerald M. Stokes, director of the new institute.

Set to begin operating in the next few months, the institute will be headquartered on U.S. 1 just north of the College Park campus. Plans call for collaboration with a variety of UMCP departments, from physics and chemistry to political science and agriculture.

Stokes emphasized that the institute did not plan to shut itself off from the rest of the campus and looked forward to involving students in its work.

"Students energize folks by bringing fresh perspectives," he said.

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