CIMAS Governance

CIMAS builds directly upon more than three decades of successful experience working with NOAA, the requirements of the recently articulated NOAA Cooperative Institute policy and the structural changes necessitated by the expansion of CIMAS into a regional partnership between NOAA and a set of participating universities. The role of CIMAS as a bridge between the University and NOAA is reflected in its organization and governance. Lead by a Director, CIMAS is guided by the Executive Advisory Board and with the advice of the Council of Fellows and . Fellows are scientists of established national and international standing who either hold regular teaching or research faculty appointments in the University or who are scientific staff members of NOAA.

CIMAS is periodically subjected to informal and formal reviews of its operations and its scientific program. For formal reviews, the Assistant Administrator of OAR invites distinguished scientists to serve as members of an external review panel. The ad hoc members are selected for their ability to evaluate the program of CIMAS, to judge performance, and to make suggestions for changes. Additional reviewers will be drawn from a pool of stakeholders, science managers, and others who have in interest or an involvement in CIMAS activities.

The Director

The CIMAS Director shall be a Fellow of CIMAS who is not an employee or officer of the Federal Government. His appointment by the President of the University on recommendation by the Provost requires concurrence by the Executive Advisory Board.. In making the appointment, consideration will be given to the views of the Council of Fellows. The term for the Director shall normally be five years and is renewable. His appointment as Director may be terminated early at the pleasure of the Board.

The responsibilities of the Director shall include:

  1. Scientific leadership. The Director is expected to involve local and visiting scientists in CIMAS activities, and to contribute actively to the development of research programs.
  2. Review and assessment of all research proposals sent to outside agencies; report of research results to sponsoring agencies.
  3. Serves as ex officio member of the Executive Advisory Board and Chair of the Council of Fellows.
  4. Routine administration (with assistance through the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami).
  5. Accountability for all funds supplied to CIMAS.
Current Director:

Dr. Benjamin Kirtman (


The Executive Advisory Board (13+1)

Membership of the Board [Council] shall consist of:

  1. A representative of the host, UM, designated by the Provost of the University (presumably the Dean of the Rosenstiel School).
  2. The Director of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
  3. The Director of the Southeast Fisheries Science Center
  4. The Director of the National Hurricane Center
  5. One Representative from each of the Academic Partners
  6. The Director of the NOAA CI Office
  7. The Director of CIMAS, ex officio.

The responsibilities of the Executive Board shall include:

The Executive Advisory Board would meet at least twice annually as a videoconference for out of town participants.

Current members of CIMAS Executive Advisory Board:

Name E-mail Affiliation
Ms. Camille Coley

Florida Atlantic University

Dr. Andrés G. Gil Florida International University
Dr. Gary Ostrander Florida State University
Dr. Frank Kinney Florida Institute of Technology
Dr. Richard Dodge NOVA Southeastern University
Dr. Winfred M. Phillips University of Florida
Dr. Nilda E. Aponte University of Puerto Rico
Dr. Jacqueline E. Dixon University of South Florida
Dr. Naseer Idrisi University of the Virgin Islands
Dr. Philip Hoffman NOAA CI Office
Dr. Robert Atlas NOAA/AOML, Director
Dr. Bonnie Ponwith NOAA/Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Dr. Richard Knabb NOAA/National Hurricane Center
Dr. Roni Avissar UM/RSMAS Dean
Dr. Peter Ortner UM/CIMAS – ex oficio
Dr. David Die UM/CIMAS - ex oficio
The Council of Fellows (25-30)

Membership of the Council consists of:

  1. Scientists of established national or international standing who are either Faculty of the Host University, Partner Universities or senior scientists at AOML, SEFSC or NHC.
  2. The Director of CIMAS as Chair

The responsibilities of the Council include:

  1. Identifying and recommending new Fellows and Visiting Scientists.
  2. Working with the CIMAS Director to modify and develop CIMAS Research Plans
  3. Serving as a liaison between CIMAS and their own universities to assure appropriate faculty engagement and dissemination of information

The Council of Fellows would meet at least four times per year (employing appropriate web-based conference technology for those not available to attend in person).

Click here to view the list of current fellows.