[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 15-Feb-2011
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Contact: Christine del Rosario
cdelrosa@stevens.edu
201-216-5561
Stevens Institute of Technology

Stevens professor Alan Blumberg to give invited talk to UNESCO/IOC

Dr. Alan Blumberg, Director of the Center for Maritime Systems (CMS) at Stevens Institute of Technology, has been invited to deliver a talk on urban maritime awareness to UNESCO stakeholders in Paris on April 12. His talk, "An Urban Ocean Observatory: Marine Observing and Forecasting in New York/New Jersey Waters," will address his experiences developing and managing maritime observation systems in the busy New York Harbor.

As part of his sabbatical, Dr. Blumberg is joining UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) on collaborative research addressing urban coastal ecosystems. Sharing his CMS expertise with international oceanographers and maritime domain administrators is a critical component of his involvement with IOC. In addition to his Paris address, Dr. Blumberg will also speak to audiences in Italy and Israel this spring.

A national leader in oceanographic research, maritime hazard mitigation, and maritime systems awareness, Dr. Blumberg is an innovator in predictive modeling and ocean physics. His research has contributed to our understanding of the physical dynamics of estuarine and coastal ocean circulation, and to the creation of ocean observing and forecasting systems which are used for environmental studies, surface vessel operations, and as a basis for maritime security.

In his current research, Dr. Blumberg is developing methods by which researchers can better understand the interaction of human populations with coastal and marine environments. In the face of global climate change, urban coastal areas face the most severe risks to both human and marine life. Dr. Blumberg's research will tackle problems related to climate risk, sustainability of engineered systems, mitigating the effects of climate change, and the impact of a changing coastline on urban areas, the economy, and society at large.

His existing work on mitigating marine hazards includes the New York Harbor Observing and Prediction System, which supplies the public with ocean, weather, environmental, and vessel traffic conditions throughout the New York Harbor region through a free Web site. Dr. Blumberg led Stevens effort to develop an in-water device that uses current and historic data to predict storm surges. He is a regular contributor to television productions on marine science, and his technology for reducing hurricane intensity was the subject of a special on the National Geographic Channel.

As Director of the Center for Maritime Systems, Dr. Blumberg directs wide-ranging research initiatives and facilities that preserve and secure our nation's maritime resources and assets through collaborative knowledge development, innovation and invention, and education and training. CMS has become the world's leader in delivering new knowledge, advanced technology, and education in support of the maritime community by uniquely integrating naval architecture, coastal and ocean engineering, oceanography, marine hydrodynamics, and maritime security. Through this multi-disciplinary enterprise, CMS is able to address not only specialized research topics, but also the complex issues confronting natural and man-made maritime systems.

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UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, established the IOC in 1960 to promote international cooperation and coordinate programs in marine research, services, observation systems, hazard mitigation, and capacity development in order to learn more and better manage the nature and resources of the ocean and coastal areas. Through the application of this knowledge the IOC aims to improve management practices and the decision-making process of its Member States, foster sustainable development, and protect the marine environment. In addition, The Commission strives to further develop ocean governance, which necessitates strengthening the institutional capacity of Member States in marine scientific research and ocean management. UNESCO and the IOC place high priority on risk reduction and planning for the developing world and are eager to support Dr. Blumberg's research on urban marine hazards, as climate change is expected to have its greatest impact on developing countries.

About the Center for Maritime Systems

The Center for Maritime Systems at Stevens Institute of Technology works to preserve and secure U.S. maritime resources and assets through collaborative knowledge development, innovation and invention, and education and training. Composed of four integrated laboratory activities and three support groups, this Center has become the world's leader in delivering new knowledge, advanced technology, and education in support of the maritime community. It uniquely integrates the fields of naval architecture, coastal and ocean engineering, physical oceanography, marine hydrodynamics and maritime security to create a trans-disciplinary enterprise that can address both the highly-specialized issues confronting each discipline, as well as the more complex, integrated issues facing natural and man-made maritime systems. The inclusion of undergraduate and graduate students in this collaborative research endeavor continues the Stevens tradition of Technogenesis® - where students, faculty, and industry jointly nurture new technologies to the benefit of society.



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