A “Good-Win” For the Future of Research in Idaho

Thursday, January 14 2010

Written by Ken Kingery

MOSCOW, Idaho – After an intensive search, Idaho’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program has announced a new director; Peter Goodwin, founder and director of the University of Idaho’s Center for Ecohydraulics Research (CER) located in Boise, Idaho.

EPSCoR is a federal-state partnership intended to build research infrastructure and encourage collaboration in states historically having received a low amount of federal research funding. By combining the resources of Idaho’s major research and partner institutions, EPSCoR allows scientists to share resources and make their combined grant proposals more competitive.

Since 1989, the program has played an increasing role in bringing more than one-quarter of a billion dollars into the state for research and education. Additionally, these funds provide research training for hundreds of Idaho undergraduate and graduate students.

“Dr. Goodwin has demonstrated a record of commitment to collaborative science at the national and global levels and seeks to help establish nationally recognized programs in Idaho,” said Doyle Jacklin, chair of the Idaho EPSCoR committee. “His experience and collaborative approach has prepared him well to direct the program toward building unity and excellence in science and engineering across the state.”

Goodwin brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise to the position. He has co-led previous EPSCoR projects, given national presentations on the challenges of building research programs in smaller states and long has been a proponent of EPSCoR achievements. He has experience leading complex organizations such as CER – one of the first facilities dedicated to studying the links between physical processes and aquatic ecosystems – and is vice president of the International Association for Hydro-Environmental Engineering Research.

Idaho’s share of research funding from the National Science Foundation more than tripled during the past decade and peaked in 2009 at more than $21 million. Coincidentally, the current $15 million NSF EPSCoR grant that runs through 2013 focuses on hydroclimatology and collaboration – Goodwin’s areas of expertise.

As director of CER, Goodwin’s ability to network and bring in students from around the world has led to collaborations in Australia, England, Chile, Denmark, Germany and Austria, to name a few. His commitment to preparing a diverse workforce will help Idaho access a full range of intellectual resources, and provide broader perspectives on global issues and competitive programs in a global environment.

Goodwin believes EPSCoR will play a critical role in the state’s economic recovery. Not only do investments in research infrastructure and new talent result in an increase of research grants, the intellectual property that is developed often leads to new businesses and startup companies. And more than half of the funding in large, collaborative grants supports and creates jobs for professors, students and staff who live and work in communities throughout the state.

“I am honored to be the new director of EPSCoR since it is the primary mechanism for growing the research enterprise within the state of Idaho,” said Goodwin. “The EPSCoR program has done an excellent job recruiting top young faculty at all three universities. Coupled with established researchers, this creates the critical mass of talent that can compete on the national level.”

Learn more about the Center for Ecohydraulics Research at http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/ecohydraulics/.

Learn more about Idaho EPSCoR at http://www.webs.uidaho.edu/epscor/.

Learn more about the recent $15 million NSF grant on hydroclimatology at http://www.webs.uidaho.edu/epscor/EPS%20VI/overview%20VI.htm and http://www.today.uidaho.edu/details.aspx?id=4507.
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation classification for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.