San José State Joins $117 Million NASA ARC-CREST Cooperative Agreement

by | Nov 16, 2023 | Academics, Featured, Research and Innovation

SJSU’s Wildfire Research Center (WIRC) will participate in the ARC-CREST agreement’s aims to advance research in Earth science and technology. Photo by Robert C. Bain.

San José State University has recently partnered with the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute (BAERI) and California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in a $117 million, five-year cooperative agreement with NASA. The Ames Research Center cooperative agreement for Research in Earth Science and Technology (ARC-CREST) aims to advance research in Earth science and technology.

This is the first time that SJSU has participated in this program, although this award is a renewal of a previous partnership among NASA, BAERI, CSUMB and other institutions. The San José State partnership in this program occurs through its Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center (WIRC), a nationally and internationally recognized research powerhouse in extreme fire weather and behavior and interdisciplinary research on the social science and community impacts of wildfire in a changing climate.

“San José State and NASA Ames have engaged in joint human systems integration research for almost 35 years. ARC-CREST brings a new opportunity for SJSU faculty and students to work with NASA scientists in another public impact research area,” says Mohamed Abousalem, SJSU vice president for research and innovation. “This is an opportunity for our faculty researchers to contribute to society’s enhanced understanding and mitigation of extreme fires, and for our students to gain an experiential learning experience alongside leading climate science researchers.”

This cooperative agreement is meant to provide a mechanism to allow NASA to have easy access to the research expertise of SJSU, CSUMB and BAERI. SJSU’s addition to ARC-CREST is a recognition of its research strength in wildfire science.

This award also comes on the heels of WIRC’s designation as a National Science Foundation Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (NSF IUCRC) in 2021, a prestigious honor that made SJSU’s WIRC the only IUCRC funded by the NSF in wildfire research. WIRC’s leaders see it as yet another sign of the growing national importance of WIRC’s wildfire expertise.

“We’re looking forward to growing our wildfire and Earth science research in collaboration with NASA and our other partners,” says Julia Gaudinski, WIRC’s director of research. She sees the agreement as “strengthening and deepening our relationship with NASA” and adds, “We’re also very pleased to be working with our CSUMB partners.”

Learn more about WIRC’s research and ongoing projects.