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Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr., USAF, ’77, Center for Climate Studies

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Welcome to the Lt. Col. James B. Near, Jr., USAF, ’77 Center for Climate Studies. The Center was founded in 2020 through the generous gift of Lt. Col. Near, alumnus, veteran, and Citadel physics professor who passed away in March 2020. The Center’s vision is to continue Near’s legacy by becoming a nationally recognized academic leader in interdisciplinary climate science.

The Center serves the students and faculty of The Citadel and citizens of South Carolina by enhancing understanding of climate and its variability, change, and risks through education, research, outreach, and the development of public-private partnerships. To achieve this, the Center is:

  1. facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty, students, and external constituents;
  2. fostering partnerships between industry, government agencies, and the academy;
  3. providing students, faculty, and external constituents access to data, emerging technologies and research, and other resources related to climate science;
  4. facilitating innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to real-world concerns related to climate science by developing the technical and non-technical knowledge and skills of its constituents;
  5. guiding curriculum development in atmospheric and climate science.

Finally, the Center has identified three priority themes based on gaps in national climate science research, capacity at The Citadel, and conversations with leaders in the Lowcountry and the state which have highlighted their importance: 1) national security, 2) coastal environments and infrastructure, and 3) public health and welfare. The Center is conducting federally-funded research in these areas and is also providing faculty grants to enhance climate science research in the college. In the inaugural 2019 Climate Research Science Grant program, the Center funded four climate science projects totaling $43,500. In addition to funding, there are opportunities for students, faculty, and external constituents to affiliate formally through our Climate Science Fellows program.

I invite you to learn more about the Lt. Col. James B. Near, Jr., USAF, ’77 Center for Climate Studies within these pages or by contacting us.

Scott Curtis, Ph.D.
Dr. John Lining Professor of Physics and Director
Lt. Col. James B. Near, Jr., USAF, ’77 Center for Climate Studies

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