Sen. Shelby's efforts directed more than $1 billion to The University of Alabama System.
The Richard C. Shelby Center for Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab
The Richard C. Shelby Center for Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is an important hub for scientific and educational activities related to the Gulf of Mexico and the coastal regions of Alabama. It provides a space for researchers, educators, students and the public to learn about the important work being done to study and preserve the marine environment.
Completed in 2009, the Shelby Center contains marine fisheries labs, an atrium and an auditorium, and is a gold-certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building. The Shelby Center research programs are funded by the University of South Alabama, the Alabama Department of Conservation of Natural Resources, the Nature Conservancy, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and the National Science Foundation.
“The Sea Lab is about the study of sea life. That’s a subject that’s important to all of us,” Shelby said. “What’s in the water? What’s living and dying? What’s challenged? We eat so much seafood worldwide. Sea life affects not just the state, but the world.”
Shelby Hall at the University of South Alabama
Shelby Hall at the University of South Alabama is a state-of-the-art academic and research facility is located at the University of South Alabama, home to the College of Engineering and the School of Computing and Information Sciences. Shelby was instrumental in securing $40 million in federal grants to fund the $50 million project.
“To be a modern nation, you have to heavily invest in science and engineering, from the first grade on up,” he said.
“Get kids involved early. But especially at the university level. Students need the best tools available to do the best work that can be done.”
The Shelby Hall Research Center at The University of Alabama
The Shelby Hall Research Center combines mathematics, chemistry and biology research in one building. The research center is equipped with a clean room for nanotechnology research, an electron microscopy center and a high-performance computing center.
The center is designed to be environmentally friendly, featuring a green roof and a rainwater harvesting system.
The Shelby Hall Research Center also houses The University of Alabama’s Cyber Institute, which focuses on research and education in cybersecurity.
“It is very clear that China and Russia are actively engaging in activities to undermine the United States. Maintaining a robust intelligence apparatus is necessary to thwart these efforts and protect U.S. interests,” Shelby said.
The Shelby Endowment for Distinguished Faculty at The University of Alabama
The University of Alabama Board of Trustees approved a new endowment from Shelby directing $100 million of Congressional funding to the recruitment and retention of science, technology, engineering and math faculty members. This is the single largest contribution in the history of the UA system.
The Shelby Institute for Policy and Leadership at The University of Alabama
The Shelby Institute aims to provide premier education programs for UA students looking to study policy. To support the institute, Shelby donated official Senate papers, records and materials following his retirement to benefit students in their policy education.
The National Water Center at The University of Alabama
The National Water Center is a research institution that focuses on improving water forecasting and decision-making for water-related events such as floods, droughts and water quality issues. It was established in 2012 through a partnership between The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, The University of Alabama and other government agencies, academic institutions and private companies.
The center is home to the National Water Model, a computational model that provides national-scale water forecasts and predictions.
Shelby was crucial in securing the funding for the NWC, which provides an unprecedented opportunity to improve federal coordination and collaboration in the water sector to address 21st-century water resource challenges, such as water security and analysis and prediction of hydrologic extremes.
The Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology
This consortium of researchers and experts aims to advance our nation’s capability for operational hydrological forecasting. Established in April 2022 at the University, CIROH was made possible by a $360 million award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—the largest external award in the University’s history.
Shelby helped bring the National Water Center and U.S. Geological Survey partners to UA’s campus. These organizations improve the nation’s ability to predict water-related hazards and manage existing water resources.
“My concern for the country and the world at large was what we are going to do about water in the future. Whether it’s flooding or a lack of water, humanity is going to have to deal with the growing challenges that future generations are going to face. Water holds the power of life and death, and it also fuels the commerce of the world,” Shelby said.
The Richard C. and Annette N. Shelby Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building at the University of Alabama at Birmingham
This UAB research building opened in April 2006. The 12-story building cost $70 million and is 310,000 square feet.
The facility provides researchers with technologies to support a wide range of biomedical research initiatives, including research on cancer, infectious diseases, neuroscience and cardiovascular disease. The building is also designed to promote collaboration among scientists and researchers from different disciplines, with flexible lab spaces and common areas that encourage interaction and the exchange of ideas.
“UAB is at the forefront of science and engineering, and they are pushing for biomedical research,” Shelby said.
“They are getting ready to extend that facility with an additional $151 million. This extension will enable UAB to bring in more scientists and do more work, which we all benefit from health-wise. The state benefits. The nation benefits. It’s not about me or my wife. It’s about the results. It’s about what comes out of all of this work.”
The Shelby Center for Science and Technology at the University of Alabama in Huntsville
The Shelby Center is a collaborative effort between UAH
and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
It serves as a beacon for science education and outreach, hosting community events and offering educational programs for K-12 students and teachers.
“I saw where Huntsville was recently voted one of the most desirable cities in the U.S. for brain power,” Shelby said. “Young people are moving in there from all over the world. You can’t live in yesterday’s world. And we’re not.”
Redstone Arsenal FBI Offices
Although the FBI has had a presence at the Redstone Arsenal Army post for more than 50 years, Shelby helped to expand that presence by directing funding for the FBI’s south campus in Huntsville. The bureau will construct six new buildings on the nearly 1,600 acres that were leased to the FBI by the Army.
According to Nicolas Dimos, assistant director of the FBI’s finance and facilities division, the investment made in the FBI’s presence in Huntsville is the largest in the bureau’s history. Funding for the expansion exceeded $3 billion in January 2023 after $652 million more was allocated by Congress for the FBI construction at Redstone Arsenal in December 2022.
“Growing the FBI’s presence in Huntsville has been a priority of mine for quite some time, and I am proud to have helped bring it to fruition,” Shelby said in an announcement in 2022.
The Richard C. Shelby Center for Missile Intelligence
The Army test fires Patriot missiles at Redstone Arsenal, March 27, 2019.
The Army test fires Patriot missiles at Redstone Arsenal, March 27, 2019.
The Richard C. Shelby Center for Missile Intelligence serves as the headquarters of the Missile and Space Intelligence Center, a component of the Defense Intelligence Agency in Huntsville, Alabama. The center focuses on research and development of technologies related to missile defense, intelligence gathering, and space exploration. It is a collaborative effort between various government agencies and private companies, including the Department
of Defense and NASA.
MSIC’s scientific and technical intelligence analysis is vital to national security, especially in conflicts where U.S. military strategy requires dominance of foreign air defense systems and the ability to counter ballistic missiles that threaten ground forces and civilian populations.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held in March for the MSIC’s Advanced Analysis Complex, a powerful expansion which will increase collaboration between the DIA and other foreign entities and provide state-of-the-art laboratories and analysis space for engineers and analysts.
Shelby played an important role in securing funding for the expansion, enabling the MSIC to begin construction on the project two years ahead of schedule.