Climate Change Institute

The Climate Change Institute (CCI) is an interdisciplinary research unit that conducts studies and supports graduate education focused on the variability of Earth’s climate and environmental systems, and on the interaction between humans and the natural world. The institute is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people in Maine and beyond, and promoting responsible stewardship of human, natural and financial resources. CCI researchers aim to investigate the past and understand the present to improve future environmental change predictions and preparations.

CCI research areas include:

  • Multiple forcing of climate and threshold effects
  • Abrupt climate change and impacts on past civilizations and ecosystems
  • Massive decay of marine-based ice sheets
  • Ecosystem sequencing and climate change
  • Natural and human drivers of change in the chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Emergence of New World cultures and relation to climate change

CCI research contributions include:

  • Monitoring Maine’s lakes, forests, soils and coast to prepare Maine for the future
  • Making climate data accessible to the scientific community and the public through innovative software and cyberinfrastructure
  • Introducing the public to the health implications of their local air quality in the multidisciplinary approach to the study of — and translation of — climate change information
  • Monitoring ice sheet and glacier volumes to assess sea level rise
  • Regional to global scale climate model predictions to evaluate threats including Lyme tick migration and heat wave frequency for Maine

CCI points of pride include:

  • CCI administers nearly 100 grant accounts annually, totaling more than $10 million each year
  • Grants to CCI have led to the acquisition of more than $10 million in state-of-the-art-equipment
  • CCI has 130 members (61 faculty, with 11 jointly funded between CCI and academic units), four research faculty with partial to no support from the university, 52 graduate students (the vast majority are supported by CCI-administered federal grants), six post-docs supported by CCI grants and seven staff
  • Return on university investment (ROI counted as total E&G and MEIF allocated to CCI) has been approximately $8 to $10 per year for at least the last five years, with an average of $800,000 per year raised by each of the 11 CCI grant researchers supported by E&G/MEIF

Unique facilities, tools and libraries include:

  • Ice Core Storage Facility and Environmental Library
  • W.M. Keck Laser Ice Facility

Visit the CCI website for more information.

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