Morgan State University and the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) have been awarded $72 million by NASA to fund the new Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research II center (GESTAR) II.
UMBC and Morgan will lead the GESTAR II consortium in partnership, with the combined $72 million (of which $38 million will go to UMBC and $28 million to Morgan State) will fund the consortium over the next three years. The program will support 120 affiliated researchers focusing on Earth and atmospheric science research.
According to a Morgan State press release:
Colorado State University, Arizona State University and Pennsylvania State University will also contribute as partners in the program, along with Northrop Grumman Corporation, Earth Resources Technology, Inc., and the nonprofit Southeastern Universities Research Association. Participants will carry out observational, experimental and theoretical research in support of strategic mission objectives of NASA Earth Science. The large scale of this work will also enable students at all levels to contribute to the research.
Like UMBC’s Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) and the original GESTAR, in which Morgan was a major partner, GESTAR II will create opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to conduct research with and be mentored by NASA scientists and engineers. In addition, GESTAR II will partner with Goddard’s Earth Sciences Division to advance Earth science and Goddard’s leadership, by providing a competitive environment to hire and retain high-quality scientists who are on track to be leaders at NASA, in academia and in industry.
In addition to the consortium, Morgan State is developing a new minor in Earth and space science, providing an opportunity for some of the GESTAR II research staff to teach in the new program.