Alan Blumberg Invited by UNESCO to Study the Impact of Coastal Urban Environments

3/8/2011

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission has invited Blumberg to collaborate with the scientists and professionals at IOC/UNESCO as part of his sabbatical this spring.

Hoboken, NJ – Dr. Alan Blumberg, Professor and Director of the Center for Maritime Systems at Stevens Institute of Technology, is preparing to embark on a six week sabbatical to Europe and the Middle East, to study coastal megacities and their interaction with the marine environment. Blumberg will work at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris and with scientists at the University of Bologna in Bologna, Italy. In addition, Dr. Blumberg will meet with faculty at the  Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research of Hebrew University in Eilat, Israel.

During his time abroad, Dr. Blumberg plans to study the impact of coastal urban environments considered vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise, climate risk, sustainability of engineered systems and mitigating the effects of environmental change on urban areas, the economy, and society at large.

More than fifty percent of the world population lives in coastal urban areas. This rising percentage along with recent natural and man-made disasters, including the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake of December, 2004, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005 and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, have focused public attention on the risks associated with living and working in urban coastal ocean regions.  Understanding the impact of coastal urban environments is crucial. That’s why Dr. Blumberg is making it his mission.

“My goal is to encourage and assist in the development of “best management” practices for existing mega-cities like New York and for emerging coastal cities in developing countries for mitigating the very real risks of living in the coastal zone,” said Dr. Blumberg.

A national leader in oceanographic research, maritime hazard mitigation, and maritime systems awareness, Dr. Blumberg is an innovator in predictive modeling and ocean physics. His research has contributed to our understanding of the physical dynamics of estuarine and coastal ocean circulation, and to the creation of ocean observing and forecasting systems which are used for environmental studies, surface vessel operations, and as a basis for maritime security.

Dr. Blumberg hopes the information obtained during this sabbatical will aid him in developing a center for urban environment at Stevens when he returns. 
“The Center would create practical solutions for people and the environment. It would harness the expertise and imagination of leading scientists and engineers, pioneering innovative approaches to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century,” stated Dr. Blumberg, whose trip begins in April.


About Stevens Institute of Technology

Founded in 1870, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University™, lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research.  The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management.

Based in Hoboken, N.J. and with a location in Washington, D.C., Stevens offers baccalaureate, master’s, certificates and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences and management, in addition to baccalaureate degrees in business and liberal arts.  Stevens has been recognized by both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in the areas of systems engineering and port security research. The University has a total enrollment of more than 2,350 undergraduate and 3,600 graduate students with almost 450 faculty. Stevens’ graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as strategic partnerships with industry leaders, governments and other universities around the world.  Additional information may be obtained at www.stevens.edu and www.stevens.edu/news.