NOAA Regional Public Private Partnership Analysis and Recommended Strategy (2017)

Client Organization: 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Project Location : 
Great Lakes Region (All eight Great Lakes States MN to NY)
Summary of Project Idea: 

In April 2015, the Department of Commerce announced a new collaboration to “Unleash the Power of NOAA's Data” by joining forces with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, IBM, Microsoft Corp., and the Open Cloud Consortium on a big data project. This is but one recent example of NOAA’s intent to strengthen and leverage public private partnerships to provide the nation with the best available science and high quality environmental information.

NOAA’s Line Offices throughout the Great Lakes region are interested in exploring innovative and non-traditional partnership opportunities that are strategically aligned with NOAA’s current priorities and mission critical work. A strategic partnership , including recommendations and a suite of decision-support tools (e.g. rubrics) and recommendations are needed to inform decision-making on future collaborations that support impactful and efficient use of federal investments, to ensure that our federal investments are cost effective and that we are, indeed, meeting end user needs through provisions of our NOAA data, products, and services.

This project will focus on a strategic partnership analysis of NOAA’s current priorities and how those align with private and public interest organizations across the Great Lakes region. NOAA is interested to use SNRE’s interdisciplinary programs as its topical framework for exploring partnership opportunities. NOAA’s Regional Team has worked to evaluate strategic partnerships that contribute towards NOAA’s climate mission in the past. That work may serve as a nice example of what could be done here. Ideally, we are looking for a report that lists the top 10 organizations/entities for NOAA to consider partnering with on Conservation Ecology, Environmental Policy and Planning, Behavior, Education, and Communication, Environmental Informatics, Environmental Justice, Sustainable Systems, and Landscape Architecture. In addition to suggesting these most promising entities to engage, NOAA would be seeking a partnership evaluation rubric methodology and specific recommendations on the most appropriate scale at which to engage (e.g. within NOAA Lines, Programs, and/or Projects).

An interdisciplinary approach to this project work is critical to its success. Effective use of multiple engagement and data collection strategies (i.e., surveys, questionnaires, interviews), communication technologies, and spatial analysis tools will be important to generate a strategic partnership analysis and recommendations that NOAA can consider and use for future collaborations.

Completion of this project will assist NOAA’s Great Lakes Regional Team in exploring partnership opportunities throughout the region as well as assist in garnering public and private interest in mutually identified priority projects. The analysis generated as well as the rubric methodology utilized to develop the report and recommendations will be shared with other NOAA regional teams (i.e., NOAA Northeast Regional Team to test transferability of methods) across the nation for similar regional analysis work. If regional partners are identified that have national organizations, it is possible that such groups would be elevated for further consideration for public private partnerships at larger national scales as well.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Conservation Ecology (Aquatic Sciences, Terrestrial Ecosystems, and Conservation Biology)
Environmental Policy and Planning
Behavior, Education, and Communication
Environmental Informatics
Environmental Justice
Sustainable Systems
Landscape Architecture
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Allen Burton
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Zhanyang Gao, MS Sustainable Systems
  • Jerry Guo, MS Conservation Ecology 
Project Status: 
Past Project