As far back as 2000, the SURA Coastal & Environmental Research Committee began to develop a vision for an open-access, distributed scientific laboratory for environmental model improvement. This vision led initially to creation of the SURA Coastal Ocean Observing and Predicting Program (SCOOP), which began in 2003 with funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The project involved numerous academic partners from SURA institutions as well as non-SURA entities. SCOOP was terminated in late 2009.

The SURA Coastal and Environmental Strategic Plan approved in October 2009 states that, “SURA can, and should play a vital role in helping the nation meet the needs for a robust coastal and environmental informatics infrastructure and the effective integration of unifying management of distributed, multi-scale and multi-disciplinary information, ideas and modeling results.”

The project, A SUPER-REGIONAL TESTBED TO IMPROVE MODELS OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSES ON THE U.S. ATLANTIC AND GULF OF MEXICO COASTS, will advance SURA’s primary mission to enable member institutions to achieve transformational scientific advances via a distributed community approach. A showcase for federal-academic-industry collaboration, the testbed involves 20 universities, 11 federal centers and programs and 2 private corporations.

A web-based catalog of testbed models has been developed to facilitate model evaluation, and serves to integrate models and the critical observations needed to verify the model outputs. By enforcing standards that enable interoperability of models and data, the SURA Testbed will serve as a useful tool for both research and operational use for years to come.

SURA is providing overall project leadership for the testbed including coordinating collaboration among many partners and acting as liaison between NOAA and testbed scientists. SURA’s management insures that federal funds are expended in a responsible manner, as the project’s scientific collaborator and project manager.

Position Paper: SURA to Commission on Ocean Policy, January 2002


What Is a Testbed?
Benefits of SURA Super-regional Modeling Testbed
Participating Organizations of the Testbed

SURA Coastal & Environmental Research Program Contacts

Dr. L. Don Wright, Director of Coastal Research
Sara J. Madden, Coastal Research Programs Manager

Full History

To download and read the full history of SURA’s Coastal & Environmental Research Program, please click here.