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UMBC globally ranked as one of the best universities in the geosciences

The National Taiwan University Ranking has included UMBC in its 2015 Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. The NTU Ranking is calculated based on the evaluation of scientific papers written by the faculty of these universities. UMBC tied with Johns Hopkins University for 104th place surpassing universities such as Duke, Brown and Boston University.

Professor Lorraine Remer, who is involved with the physics and geography and environmental systems programs at UMBC, attributed this ranking to the work of the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology. The JCET is a partnership between UMBC and the earth sciences division of the Goddard Space Flight Center. This collaboration allows UMBC to become directly affiliated with the work of geoscientists.

Through this partnership, UMBC students have the opportunity to get first-hand experience within the geoscience field by going to the earth sciences division of the Goddard Space Flight Center located close to the university. The JCET faculty also brings the information directly to campus by teaching classes, becoming mentors for graduate students and continuing their research within the university.

The faculty of the JCET has played a role in the creation of many initiatives and programs of UMBC, such as the first-year experience programs and courses. Members of the JCET have also been involved in various campus committees, have contributed to numerous geoscience programs and departments and are urged to teach classes at UMBC.

Belay Demoz, director of the JCET, discussed the work of the JCET in relation to UMBC, stating, “through this unique partnership with NASA-Goddard, UMBC will continue to emphasize both research and education as part of the core values of the institution.”

A majority of the workers of the JCET are also considered faculty of UMBC. However, their first priority is research. For this reason, they can devote a large quantity of their time to the research and writing of their scientific papers, which are considered work of UMBC. Therefore, the scientific papers and the work involving the geosciences of UMBC have greatly improved, and can be used to assist the university when their programs are subjected to rankings, such as the NTU Ranking.

Remer stated, “I firmly believe that the reason why UMBC received recognition as a world class university in geosciences is due in great part to the contributions of the JCET faculty.”