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The more than 275 faculty, staff, and students of the Institute are affiliated with one of our three research centers. The centers provide opportunities for interaction and collaboration in small groups of researchers having similar interests, as well as specialized administrative and technical support. The Institute's unique design also leads to interdisciplinary cooperation on numerous projects within individual centers.


The Earth Systems Research Center is dedicated to understanding the Earth as an integrative system, through studies that cross traditional academic boundaries and reach all corners of the globe. Our scientists study Earth's ecosystems, atmosphere, water and ice using field measurements, remote sensing and mathematical models. Emphasis is placed on basic science, the role of humans in environmental change, and a systems-based sustainability approach to studying coupled human-natural systems. Our faculty and graduate students work jointly with the department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the department of Earth Sciences, and the Natural Resources and Earth System Science (NRESS) Ph.D. program.


Research in the Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory focuses on physical, geochemical, and biological processes in the Gulf of Maine, Gulf Stream, and North Atlantic. Faculty and students are affiliated with the Departments of Earth Sciences or Zoology, and with degree programs in Oceanography, Marine Ecology, and the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Natural Resources and Earth System Science (NRESS).


The School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering is an interdisciplinary school addressing today’s ocean and coastal challenges through graduate education, research, and community engagement. With strengths in Oceanography, Marine Biology, and Ocean Engineering, the school's faculty and programs have national/international reach and are fully engaged in regional issues within the Gulf of Maine.  These efforts are supported through specialized facilities including the Jere A. Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory, the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, the Judd Gregg Marine Science Pier and Laboratory, the Shoals Marine Laboratory, and a diverse fleet of research vessels.


The Space Science Center fosters research and graduate education in all of the space sciences, with studies ranging from the ionosphere, to the Earth's magnetosphere, to the local solar system, and out to the farthest reaches of the universe. Faculty and students are affiliated with the Department of Physics and with its graduate degree program in Space Physics/Astrophysics.