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Inflation reduction act includes an investment in environmental research

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Posted at 10:44 AM, Aug 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 11:39:29-04

President Biden recently signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 into law. It includes a big investment in environmental research.

NOAA Administrator Dr. Rick Spinrad said in a statement over the next five years that $3.3 billion will support Americans, including those in vulnerable populations, to prepare and adapt for any weather event.

Sarah Kapnick, Ph.D., a Chief Scientist at NOAA, said one of the ways this bill will impact Texas is $100 million will be spent on a new hurricane hunter

“And hurricane hunter is really important for us to go in, and fly in with an airplane into a storm and be able to collect information which better allows us to predict its intensity and its tracks," said Kapnick.

She said $2.6 billion will be spent for coastal resilience.

“It’s important because it is building up the capacity to be able to plan for changes in extreme events. And also be able to bounce back after those events happen," said Kapnick.

“So we are going to have more extreme events, and so you are going to want to know when they are coming and how big they are going to be, and we do that," said Philippe Tissot, Ph.D. Chair for Coastal Artificial Intelligence at TAMUCC.

One of the organizations that could benefit from the bill is the Conrad Blucher Institute at TAMU-CC. Tissot is the Chair for coastal artificial intelligence at the institute.

He said researchers fly drones before and after a hurricane to measure how sand dunes were impacted.

“And that is obviously very important for our resiliency. You know our beaches, we love our beaches, but it’s also an economical impact. So you need to measure and manage our beaches well," said Tissot.

The funding from this act will also go towards funding research and money towards competitive grants for college students who want to study in this field.

“All tuition have gone up dramatically. And so of course, students will be able to afford, you know a pursuit of interest and get a master’s or Ph.D.," said Tissot.

“It provides funding for the fundamental research in advancing our observation systems our research to improve models, forecasts, outlook," said Kapnick.