Minority Serving – Cyberinfrastructure Consortium Awarded Nearly $2.5 Million NSF Supplement to Develop ‘MS-CC Collaboratory in Climate Science’

MS-CC, NSF, Internet2 logo

The Minority Serving – Cyberinfrastructure Consortium (MS-CC) and Internet2 are pleased to announce that our current programmatic activities in support of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under awards 2137123 and 2234326, are getting a third boost with nearly $2.5 million in supplemental funding to support the development of the MS-CC Collaboratory in Climate Science. 

The MS-CC leadership recognizes the disproportionate effects of climate change on the communities we comprise and support, and that the conservation of natural resources is a pressing priority for environmental stewardship and climate justice efforts. 

We also recognize that climate science research and learning environments are enabled by cyberinfrastructure: the ability to collect, manage, and analyze data; the ease of collaborating across institutions; the ability to access local, regional, and national resources; and equipping faculty, students, and staff with the skills and knowledge needed to manage tools and access resources.

Many of our HBCUs are tackling climate science scholarship and research with the support of organizations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the NSF. For example, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is home to the multi-institutional NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center II (NOAA-LMRCSC), and Florida A&M University is home to the multi-institutional NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems II (NOAA-CCME-II).

Together, these two multi-institutional NOAA cooperative science centers support teaching and research collaborations among five HBCUs and three Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), including:

And for many of our TCUs, climate change resilience and environmental stewardship are at the forefront of their teaching and education efforts. For example, Salish Kootenai College leads a Climate Learning HUB for learning and sharing information related to climate change concerns and solutions, with an emphasis on the knowledge of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and needs of the local community. 

The MS-CC has an opportunity to amplify indigenous and community-based climate science knowledge from TCUs and HBCUs with cyberinfrastructure support. That is why the MS-CC is working toward developing collaborative efforts that scale climate-focused cyberinfrastructure capabilities at HBCUs and TCUs with an intentional focus on addressing local community and regional climate issues and concerns.

MS-CC Collaboratory in Climate Science

A key objective of the MS-CC Collaboratory in Climate Science is to build shareable climate science cyberinfrastructure capabilities at HBCU and TCU campuses. One of the approaches the MS-CC is exploring involves supporting cyberinfrastructure investments at a few anchor HBCUs and TCUs that can be leveraged and extended to as many HBCU and TCU campuses as possible.

And in staying true to our core belief that workforce development is at the heart of enabling cyberinfrastructure capabilities on our campuses, a second objective for the MS-CC collaboratory is to strengthen the faculty, staff, and student pipeline at HBCUs and TCUs with expertise in cyberinfrastructure-enabled climate science.

We want to ensure that as we build advanced cyberinfrastructure capabilities in support of climate science research and learning, our faculty, staff, and students are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to enable the tools, services, and software. 

To achieve these two key drivers, we are committed to developing long-term education and research community efforts with national cyberinfrastructure experts and partners through the MS-CC Collaboratory in Climate Science. Our goal is to bring together subject matter experts in climate science and cyberinfrastructure to inform collaboration across the MS-CC community. 

Next Steps

A team consisting of the Principal Investigators from the NOAA-LMRCSC and NOAA-CCME-II joined members of the MS-CC leadership board to initiate the preliminary planning for the MS-CC Collaboratory in Climate Science program. The MS-CC is also working in close collaboration with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) to ensure the participation of TCUs in the MS-CC Collaboratory in Climate Science. 

Our goal for next year is to bring together, through various opportunities, experts from HBCU and TCU campuses, and key partners in climate science scholarship, cyberinfrastructure, and community-building. This includes workshops, communities of practice, cyberinfrastructure facilitation opportunities, and student engagement opportunities. 

We are looking forward to announcing these new sets of activities under the MS-CC Collaboratory in Climate Science program in the coming months. If you aren’t already on our MS-CC mailing list and would like to stay informed about the MS-CC collaboratory and other activities, please take a moment to complete the MS-CC participation form.