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by Kathleen Scmitt

Although UNH lies just 20 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, one of its programs has been working to bring the sea even closer to both the university and state.

In August, the New Hampshire Sea Grant program was recognized for its effectiveness when the university was awarded status as a Sea Grant College, making UNH one of only nine universities in the United States to have earned top-tier status as land-, space- and sea-grant universities.

For the past 35 years, New Hampshire Sea Grant has promoted the wise use, understanding and stewardship of the state and region's coastal resources through research, education and outreach.

The national Sea Grant College program operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a federal and university partnership created by Congress. Today there are 30 Sea Grant programs based at colleges and universities in every coastal and Great Lakes state, as well as in Puerto Rico.

Sea Grant is a conduit that allows useful research to reach the community and the needs of the community to be addressed by research, said Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr. (Ret.), NOAA administrator and Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, at a ceremony in Dimond Library. "It is a marvelous vehicle for doing so, and it has been honed to a fine art here in New Hampshire," he added.

Although UNH has received Sea Grant funding since 1968, for most of that period it was part of the UMaine/UNH Sea Grant College Program. In 2000, the institutions separated into two programs.

The newly independent New Hampshire Sea Grant has been able to focus its efforts on the needs of the Granite State, but the separation also required UNH to reapply for top-tier status as a Sea Grant College. The distinction is based on a demonstrated record of superior performance in marine and coastal resource programs and signifies that the Sea Grant program is serving the needs of its state. The recognition as a Sea Grant College also makes UNH more competitive in seeking additional NOAA funding. ~

Less is more

Over the past 25 years, UNH has reduced by millions of pounds, but it's not the result of a diet. The reduction has been in carbon pollution, a result of UNH's ongoing efforts to improve energy efficiency.

This spring, the university received the 2003 Northeast Climate Champions Award, in part for its efforts to reduce pollution. The award, presented by Clean Air-Cool Planet, a non-profit group that seeks solutions to global warming, also recognized UNH's integrated teaching, research, outreach efforts and policies addressing greenhouse gas reduction.

Another initiative praised by the group is a tool kit for assessing greenhouse gas emissions on university and college campuses. The tool kit, developed by the Office of Sustainability Programs last year, is now in use at more than 20 colleges in the Northeast, including Harvard, MIT, Middlebury, Bowdoin and the University of Vermont. ~

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