As a cooperative institute positioned within the University of Alaska system, CIFAR is able to bring together faculty and students from various departments and campuses to collaborate with NOAA scientists on research and educational efforts throughout the Alaska region.
CIFAR places specific emphasis on competitively supporting graduate and undergraduate students (in addition to those students supported on CI research projects). Many of these students are addressing issues that may not be limited to one NOAA line office or one University of Alaska academic program or unit. In their August 2011 report on CIFAR, the NOAA Science Advisory Board review team noted "The quality of student research was truly extraordinary, and [through CIFAR] NOAA is attracting and training talent to meet some of NOAA's highest priority needs--including weather readiness, climate resilience and variability, and stock assessment. Impressively much of the research is immediately useful to decision makers and operations."
Because of funding limitations, only one of two long-term competitive student award programs, the Global Change Student Research Grant Competition, is currently supported through CIFAR. The other program, the Stock Assessment Training and Improvement Program is on hiatus until further funding can be identified.
Information on past education activities demonstrates the range of CIFAR's outreach and opportunities over the years.