A facility intended to be a "brain center" for U.S. weather and climate prediction activity opened Monday at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Officials including Sen. Barbara Mikulski, led a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 268,000-square-foot center at 2 p.m. The building houses more than 800 employees of NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction.
The employees moved from an antiquated facility in Camp Springs, in southern Prince George's County, to the new $100 million NOAA facility on the campus of M-Square, a university research park. The center takes part in weather observations and studies that help predict hurricane behavior, development of El Nino or La Nina and impacts of rain and snow storms.
The center is also offering opportunities for partnership with the university. Undergraduate students will be able to work directly with atmospheric and oceanic science researchers as they learn to become certified meteorologists and oceanographers.