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Homeland Security Science and Technology University Network Summit

The Department of Homeland Security's research arm, the Science & Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), invites you to the fourth annual DHS University Network Summit sponsored by S&T's Office of University Programs, March 10-12 at the Renaissance Hotel, 999 Ninth Street NW, Washington, D.C. Registration is free but space is limited. (

This year's agenda and theme, STRONG! Science & Technology for Intelligent Resilience, will allow scores of homeland security research initiatives to be tackled and discussed in many breakout sessions.

The Summit has invited notable keynote speakers. These include the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, the new Under Secretary for Science & Technology, Dr. Tara O'Toole, NY Governor George Pataki,, and authors Gary Berntsen (Jawbreaker: The Attack on bin Laden and al-Qaeda; Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism and National Leadership: A Practical Guide) and Steve Flynn, President of the Center for National Policy and author of The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation.

In addition, retired Lieutenant General Russell Honoré, best known for serving as commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, will also give a keynote address.

All DHS S&T University Centers of Excellence* will provide speakers and panel members who are specific subject matter experts. Students are heartily encouraged to attend the Summit if they have any interest in its themes, or in the topics listed below. The draft agenda for the Summit is here:

There will be over 30 discussion panels on specific focus areas, including disaster preparedness, infrastructure protection, emergency response, and natural hazards mitigation. These panels highlight the collaborative efforts among the thirteen DHS Centers of Excellence and their over 200 academic partners in support of the DHS S&T mission.

In addition, there will be exhibits showcasing university-developed tools, technologies and training; workshops; live demonstrations; and information about S&T educational opportunities.

Who Should Attend the S&T University Summit?

* First Responders and the DHS operational components: TSA, CBP, ICE, USCIS, USSS, USCG, FEMA

* Research, academic, industry, government and international communities interested in homeland security science and technology research

* Chief scientists, program analysts, portfolio managers and others who are experts in specific areas of homeland security science, technology, engineering and mathematics

* Students interested in learning about homeland security science and technology research and education opportunities

* Federal, state and municipal employees interested in learning about homeland security science and technology developments

* Academic institutions interested in adding a homeland security curriculum

* Anyone interested in topics related to the following research and education areas:

*Explosives Detection, Mitigation and Response

*Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

*Risk and Decision Sciences

*Human Factors

*Chemical Threats and Countermeasures

*Biological Threats and Countermeasures

*Food and Agriculture Security

*Transportation Security

*Border Security

*Immigration Studies

*Maritime and Port Security

*Infrastructure Protection

*Natural Disasters and Related Geophysical Studies

*Emergency Preparedness and Response

*Communications and Interoperability

*Advanced Data Analysis and Visualization

Below is a brief description of each of the DHS S&T Centers of Excellence, all of whom will be on hand at the Summit:

The Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), led by the University of Southern California, develops advanced tools to evaluate the risks, costs and consequences of terrorism, and guides economically viable investments in countermeasures that will make our Nation safer and more secure.

The National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense (FAZD), led by Texas A&M University, protects against the introduction of high-consequence foreign animal and zoonotic diseases into the United States, with an emphasis on prevention, surveillance, intervention and recovery.

The National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), led by the University of Minnesota, defends the safety and security of the food system from pre-farm inputs through consumption by establishing best practices, developing new tools and attracting new researchers to prevent, manage and respond to food contamination events.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), led by the University of Maryland, informs decisions on how to disrupt terrorists and terrorist groups, while strengthening the resilience of U.S. citizens to terrorist attacks.

The Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment (CAMRA), led by Michigan State University, Drexel University, and established jointly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, fills critical gaps in risk assessments for decontaminating microbiological threats — such as plague and anthrax — answering the question, "How Clean is Safe?"

The National Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response (PACER), led by Johns Hopkins University, optimizes our nation's preparedness in the event of a high-consequence natural or man-made disaster, as well as develops guidelines to best alleviate the effects of such an event.

The Center of Excellence for Awareness & Location of Explosives-Related Threats (ALERT), led by Northeastern University in Boston, M.A. and the University of Rhode Island in Kingston will develop new means and methods to protect the nation from explosives-related threats, focusing on detecting leave-behind Improvised Explosive Devices, enhancing aviation cargo security, providing next-generation baggage screening, detecting liquid explosives, and enhancing suspicious passenger identification.

The National Center for Border Security and Immigration (NCBSI), led by the University of Arizona in Tucson (research co-lead) and the University of Texas at El Paso (education co-lead), are developing technologies, tools and advanced methods to balance immigration and commerce with effective border security, as well as assess threats and vulnerabilities, improve surveillance and screening, analyze immigration trends, and enhance policy and law enforcement efforts.

The Center for Maritime, Island and Port Security (MIPS), led by the University of Hawaii in Honolulu for maritime and island security and Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. for port security, will strengthen maritime domain awareness and safeguard populations and properties unique to U.S. islands, ports, and remote and extreme environments.

The Center for Natural Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure, and Emergency Management (NDCIEM), led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Jackson State University in Jackson, M.S. will enhance the Nation's ability to safeguard populations, properties, and economies as it relates to the consequences of catastrophic natural disasters.

The National Transportation Security Center of Excellence (NTSCOE), was established in accordance with HR1, Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, in August 2007. NTSCOE is made up of seven institutions: Connecticut Transportation Institute at the University of Connecticut, Tougaloo College, Texas Southern University, National Transit Institute at Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, Homeland Security Management Institute at Long Island University, Mack Blackwell National Rural Transportation Study Center at the University of Arkansas and the Mineta Transportation Institute at San José State University. The NTSCOE will develop new technologies, tools and advanced methods to defend, protect and increase the resilience of the nation's multi-modal transportation infrastructure and education and training base lines for transportation security geared towards transit employees and professionals.

The Center of Excellence in Command, Control and Interoperability (C2I) led by Purdue University (visualization sciences co-lead) and Rutgers University (data sciences co-lead) will create the scientific basis and enduring technologies needed to analyze massive amounts of information from multiple sources to more reliably detect threats to the security of the nation and its infrastructures, and to the health and welfare of its populace. These new technologies will also improve the dissemination of both information and related technologies.

Southeast Region Research Institute (SERRI) is a groundbreaking program managed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to assist local, state and tribal leaders in developing the tools and methods required to anticipate and forestall terrorist events and to enhance disaster response.

Angela Kelly | Newswise Science News
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