By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — NASA on Thursday announced a $72 million award for an earth science research partnership led by UMBC, with Morgan State University as a primary partner.

The Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research (GESTAR) II Center is a consortium, or partnership, supporting over 100 participants conducting research to support NASA earth science mission objectives, UMBC said.

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Partners in the consortium include Colorado State University, Arizona State University and Pennsylvania State University as well as companies like Northrop Grumman.

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“This award is a massive win for UMBC, for the University System, and—with Morgan State as a key partner—for Maryland as a whole,” said Jay Perman, chancellor of the University System of Maryland. “The sheer size of the award, supporting the work of over a hundred researchers and students, demonstrates NASA’s faith in UMBC as consortium leader.”

GESTAR II will create opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to conduct research with and be mentored by NASA scientists and engineers, the university said.

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“I am deeply grateful to everyone, especially our colleagues at Morgan State, who helped make this new partnership a reality,” UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski said. “I am looking forward to seeing what breakthroughs in earth science will come from the collaborative work of the scientists, engineers, and students who participate in GESTAR II.”

CBS Baltimore Staff