The Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) has existed since 1977 for the purpose of fostering research collaboration between the University of Washington (UW) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). JISAO's research is at the forefront of investigations on climate change, ocean acidification, fisheries assessments, and tsunami forecasting. The JISAO Council and Senior Fellows provide recommendations to the Institute management.

JISAO has four core research themes:

  1. climate,
  2. environmental chemistry,
  3. marine ecosystems and
  4. coastal oceanography.

JISAO global and regional topics of concern and interest to the public include:

  • enhancing research capabilities of UW and NOAA scientists, utilizing the diverse array of scientific and technical expertise and specialized research facilities within both institutions;
  • facilitating the training of the next generation of NOAA's scientists by capitalizing on the UW's extraordinary strength in the geosciences and its degree granting authority;
  • providing UW students the opportunity to participate in NOAA research, thereby enriching their educational experience;
  • offering educational and outreach activities to our local and regional communities through K-12 programs, student internships, training and recruitment programs, through media contacts and publications; and,
  • developing relationships with government agencies and industries in the state of Washington and throughout the Pacific Northwest with a view toward assisting NOAA in tailoring its climate forecasts and assessments to meet the needs of stakeholders.