The University of Alabama-Huntsville broke ground July 15 on a new $7 million Severe Weather Institute-Radar and Lightning Laboratories to grow its education and research capabilities into severe weather and atmospheric science.
The structure is being built through a state grant made possible by the efforts of Gov. Robert Bentley.
“This is the fulfillment of another recommendation of the Tornado Recovery Action Council,” Bentley said. “Alabama is no stranger to severe weather and it is important that we take proactive steps to protect and prepare for natural disasters. The establishment of this severe weather research institute at the University of Alabama in Huntsville will allow us to better prepare for severe weather through improved forecasting and detection. While it is not within our power to prevent severe weather, we still must search for methods to mitigate the impact.”
UAH president Robert Altenkirch noted that UAH’s Earth System Science Center is one of the university’s largest centers of research and is ranked among the top 10 in the nation in research activity, according to the National Science Foundation. The Atmospheric Science Department is also cited as being among the top 10 in the nation by the Chronicle of Higher Education based on scholarly productivity.
“Atmospheric science is one of those areas where UAH demonstrates national leadership in education and research,” Altenkirch said. “This is an area of our campus that has also been identified in our new strategic plan where we envision continued growth. This investment by Alabama will allow our campus to continue to expand this important program and provide quality research to help protect our citizens as well as produce graduates for the local work force. We thank Gov. Bentley for his support of research and education.”