UMD Launches "Environmental Synthesis" Center in Annapolis - NBC4 Washington
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UMD Launches "Environmental Synthesis" Center in Annapolis

funded by the university's largest ever NSF grant.

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    The research center's proximity to the Chesapeake Bay has invited analogies between the bay's complex, multifaceted environmental issues and the multifaceted approach the center's structure suggests is needed for tackling such issues.

    The University of Maryland this week announced plans to use its largest ever National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to launch an environmental solutions center.

    The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center--known as SeSynC--will bring together ecologists, economists, engineers and public policy experts to research issues such as water availability, sustainable food production and the interaction between human activity and healthy ecosystems.

    SeSynC will be principally funded through a $27.5 million, five-year grant from the NSF, according to a university spokesperson.

    "SeSynC provides an unprecedented opportunity for researchers to combine information, ideas and concepts from disparate science and engineering fields into solutions for the complex environmental problems now confronting society," said NSF acting Assistant Director for Biological Sciences Joann Roskoski in a release.

    The center's leadership promises to extend its collaborative approach beyond the lab, engaging policy makers, environmental managers and the private sector in the translation of scientific discovery into societal change.

    The city of Annapolis will be home to the new research center, which, according to Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, is entirely fitting. "The new center's approach to environmental challenges of developing collaborative science-based responses by drawing from many disciplines and factoring in human and ecosystem needs is exactly the approach that the [city's Chesapeake] bay needs and which we are taking in our efforts to restore it," he said in an announcement.

    Additional financial support for SeSynC is provided by Maryland state, the University of Maryland, College Park, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences and Resources for the Future, a D.C. based nonprofit.