Last week, Steven Middleton ’16 and Jonathan Martial ’17, the McDevitt Undergraduate Research Fellows in Information Systems, were invited to the Fall meeting of the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board/Marine Board in Washington, DC. The Board ran a focus session on Arctic Emergency Response that was led by ADM Robert Papp, USCG (retired), the US Special Arctic Representative and Chair of the Arctic Council, and RADM Charles Michel, USCG, the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard.
RADM Mark Guadagnini, Head of Shell’s Emergency Response Operations; Mark Myers, the Commissioner of Natural Resources for the State of Alaska; and Todd Busch, Senior VP of Crowley, Inc., whose ships run through the Arctic, were also on the dais.
The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental policy group supported by the State Department and linked to the UN that develops through consensus among its 8 nation members and 23 observer nations (including India, China, Singapore many European nations and indigenous groups) Arctic policies, plans and regulations. Also in attendance at the meeting last Thursday were the Russian representatives to the Arctic Council.
Steven and Jon captured notes and provided support to the Marine Board during the focus session. Their research topics center on challenges in Arctic search and rescue, so the focus session and the opportunity to interview, have lunch with, and converse with senior US officials with international responsibilities for Arctic programs was a unique opportunity for undergraduate research fellows.