1.3 The U. S. Naval Academy Polar Science and Technology Program (USNA-PS&TP)

Monday, 23 January 2017: 11:30 AM
Conference Center: Skagit 3 (Washington State Convention Center )
Joseph P Smith, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

Polar Science is an integrated sub-discipline of Earth Science that is of growing interest to the scientific research community and the U.S. Navy.  Consequently there is a need to enhance education and experience in Polar Science for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and future Naval Officers who may have to operate in Polar Regions in the future.  In response to this demand, the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) Oceanography Department, through support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR 32) Arctic & Global Prediction Program, has established the Polar Science and Technology Program (USNA-PS&TP).  The goals of the USNA-PS&TP are to: 1) Develop faculty-led undergraduate Midshipmen research and engineering Capstone projects targeted towards specific S&T objectives/needs of the U.S. Navy; 2) Enhance course development and materials for Midshipman education in Polar Science; and 3) Provide a faculty and Midshipman S&T work force with experience in conducting research in Polar environments for collaboration and partnership with the Naval Research Enterprise (NRE) and the greater Polar S&T community on field-oriented S&T projects. 

From 2011-Present, the USNA-PS&TP has participated in multiple interdisciplinary Arctic field research efforts with collaborators including: the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology; the National Ice Center; the Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), University of Washington; the Ocean Turbulence Group, Department of Oceanography, Naval Postgraduate School (NPS); the U.S. Army, Engineer Research and Development Center - Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL); and the Marine Geosciences Division and Marine Biogeochemistry Section at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC.  The USNA PS&TP has also led numerous Polar Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and outreach activities.  Data and results from USNA-PS&TP field activities have been used in undergraduate courses at USNA such Applied Earth Science (SO273), Introduction to Polar Oceanography (SO426), and Global Climate Change (SO445).  The USNA-PS&TP activities have also formed the basis of an active summer internship program with scientists and engineers at host institutions collaborating with USNA PS&TP and contributed to numerous undergraduate Independent Research or Capstone Engineering Projects, presentations at international science conferences, and peer-reviewed science publications.  

The efforts, experiences, and successes of USNA PS&TP as documented through images and video, data products, social media, press releases, participant and collaborator feedback, publications, and presentations will be presented to demonstrate the value of USNA-PS&TP as a partner and a resource for the Polar S&T community to better address S&T needs and objectives in Polar environments and to contribute to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) education goals.  Current and future collaborative activities between USNA-PS&TP and NASA Operation IceBridge will also be highlighted.  The USNA-PS&TP model is an effective model for undergraduate institutions like USNA with goals of enhancing STEM education and outreach and contributing to the advancement of Polar S&T.  And, given the unique nature of USNA Midshipmen, it is hoped that USNA-PS&TP will not only enhance the education of the next generation of scientists and engineers specializing in Polar Science, but also improve operational understanding of the next generation of future Naval Officers who may have to operate in the Arctic region in the future.

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