Coast Guard, Purdue to host conference this week on disasters, rivers, climate change, safety and risk

November 19, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials will meet with other experts during an annual conference Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 20-21) at Purdue University to discuss a wide range of issues related to maritime safety, risk, the arctic, climate change, natural disasters, inland waterways and interagency cooperation as part of the VACCINE center.

The Coast Guard and VACCINE, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence at Purdue, are co-hosting the fourth annual maritime risk event: the National Strategic Maritime Risk Stakeholders Alliance Meeting.

This year's theme is Data-Driven Risk-Based Decision Making in the Maritime Domain. This event brings together academic researchers with "operators" from the federal, state, and local levels and is designed to stimulate interagency conversation on important local, regional, and national topics, said David Ebert, Purdue's Silicon Valley Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of VACCINE, which stands for Visual Analytics for Command, Control and Interoperability Environments.

The conference, in the Buchannan Club at Ross-Ade Stadium, will draw participants from the Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Transportation Security Administration, Purdue, the Indianapolis Police Department, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and homeland security and public safety agencies.

Keynote speakers will be Coast Guard Vice Adm. Robert Parker, Commander Atlantic Area, and Alan D. Cohn, assistant secretary for strategy, planning, analysis and risk in the DHS Office of Policy. Rear Admirals Kevin Cook and Peter Brown, as well as Jim Kish from FEMA, are invited speakers.

The conference will include panel sessions, hands-on technology demonstrations and a student poster competition. Vice Adm. Parker's talk on Wednesday at 8 a.m. is open to the public. The title of his talk is Shared Awareness and the Power to Anticipate: Key Elements of Data-Driven Risk Based Decision Making.

Ebert co-chairs the conference with Joseph DiRenzo III, senior adviser to the commander on science and technology of the Coast Guard Atlantic Area.

VACCINE is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate. People interested in registering may contact the VACCINE center at More information is available at Events/nsmrasa.php

Writer: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, 

Sources: David Ebert, 494-9064,      

Kaethe Beck, VACCINE managing director, 765-494-0536,

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