Wildcats in Washington

Wildcats in Washington

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Paul Kirshen

Research professor of civil engineering Paul Kirshen. Photo credit: Chris Kleponis.

Our nation’s lawmakers have tapped the expertise of UNH faculty twice this month, bringing the latest UNH research to bear on Washington decision-making.  

Larry Mayer, director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, testified before the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation at a Feb. 4 hearing on “Finding Your Way: The Future of Federal Navigation Programs.” 

“Particularly relevant to our discussion today are the efforts of our lab, in collaboration with NOAA and others, to ensure that we have the best tools possible to map hazards on the seafloor … and that as the density and complexity of the data we collect increases, we can present this information to the mariner in a way that is easy to interpret and will assure the safest operation of vessels in all circumstances,” Mayer told the subcommittee (read his remarks here: http://transportation.house.gov/uploadedfiles/2014-02-04-mayer.pdf). 

Larry Mayer

Larry Mayer, director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and the Shool of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering.

 

Mayer demonstrated CCOM’s Chart of the Future project, which integrates a wealth of available data – from “smart” buoys, multibeam mapping systems, water level measurements, and other sources – to give mariners a complete, intuitive picture of the seafloor, the shoreline, and other relevant features. “I want to emphasize that what you are seeing is not a cartoon or artist’s rendition,” he cautioned as he showed an animated Chart of the Future.  

Watch Mayer’s testimony and see the Chart of the Future at 1:37 on this video: http://transportation.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=366184. 

This morning (Feb. 12, 2014), research professor of civil engineering Paul Kirshen testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs at a hearing called “Extreme Weather Events: The Costs of Not Being Prepared.” Kirshen has been conducting research and consulting on how to manage the impacts of the changing climate on New England infrastructure for 15 years. His testimony compared the long-term costs of not being prepared for present and future extreme climate events to the benefits of being prepared. 

In January, President Mark W. Huddleston was one of 100 college and university presidents and 40 leaders from nonprofits, foundations, state governments, and the private sector attending a White House summit on expanding college opportunity. 

Other UNH officials have traveled to Washington in recently years, including but not limited to, Jon Pennock, director of the UNH Marine Program and NH Sea Grant, who visited the White House in July 2011 to share his views on scientific integrity at a roundtable discussion, and, in 2010, professors Sharyn Potter, Robert Eckstein, and Victoria Banyard discussed their work on violence against women and programs to address it on college campuses with White House officials.