FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 26, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY – University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren today announced a lead gift to the university to create the Alliance for Integrative Approaches to Extreme Environmental Events, a community-led collaboration that will improve understanding, prediction of, and response to extreme environmental events such as severe storms and tornadoes.
As a nationally comprehensive organizing framework, the Alliance will bring a variety of sectors, organizations and individuals together to work collectively, in an integrative fashion, in ways that to date have been difficult or impossible. Participants will include U.S. federal agencies, colleges and research universities, emergency management and other operational organizations, nonprofits, philanthropists and entrepreneurs, as well as the private sector. Especially important is the integration of multiple research disciplines, including social and behavioral scientists, engineers, mathematicians, technologists and meteorologists.
One of the Alliance’s key goals is to facilitate the rapid transfer of research outcomes into operational practice, and the National Weather Center’s hazardous weather test bed is one venue for such evaluation. The National Weather Center has been a key organization in helping create the Alliance. Located on the University Research Campus in Norman, it is a global leader in research and technology development in matters related to severe weather and houses a unique confederation of the University of Oklahoma, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and state organizations that work together in partnership to improve understanding of events occurring in Earth’s atmosphere over a wide range of time and space scales.
The start-up of the Alliance is being made possible, in part, through a $3 million gift from ImpactWX, a social impact fund of Toronto, Canada. ImpactWX has a mission to enable organizations which, through scientific understanding and public awareness, work to improve people’s response to safety during severe weather events. The ImpactWX gift will empower the Alliance to seek substantial, sustainable funding from other sources in a true multi-sector relationship.
“The university is deeply grateful for this gift from ImpactWX, which will help our nation be more effective in dealing with major weather events to ensure the safety of the public,” said Boren.