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Today@NPS

Today@NPS showcases some of the speakers, conferences, experiments, lectures, and other events that take place at the Naval Postgraduate School on a daily basis.  If you would like more information about any of the highlighted activities please contact the public affairs office at pao@nps.edu. To view more stories visit the Today at NPS archive. NPS' photo galleries and graduation pictures can be found on the Photo Gallery - Collections page.
U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Grant Ammon 

Alumni Flag Officers Review Oceanography, Meteorology Programs
MC1 Grant Ammon

Rear Adm. Jonathan White, center, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy, and Director of Space and Maritime Domain Awareness (OPNAV N2/N6E) gives feedback to student thesis and dissertation presentations, Sept. 25. White and Rear Adm. Brian Brown, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, visited the NPS campus, Sept. 23-26, for a curriculum review of the university’s meteorology and oceanography programs.

During the visit, Brown and White, both NPS alumni themselves, reviewed student coursework and academic curricula, as well as meetings with leadership and key faculty from the university’s oceanography and meteorology departments. The two flag graduates also met with senior university leadership, as well as participation in student thesis and dissertation presentations. According to Brown, the curriculum review serves to strengthen the education provided to NPS students, as well as improve readiness of the Navy.

White graduated from NPS with a master’s degree in Meteorology and Oceanography and Brown earned a M.S. with distinction from NPS in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography.

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

SIGS, CHDS Founder Paul Stockton Returns to NPS for Briefings, SGL
Amanda D. Stein

A familiar face returned to campus, Sept. 25, as NPS welcomed Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and America’s Security Affairs Dr. Paul Stockton for a campus visit, discussions with faculty and students, and a Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture (SGL).

“I’ve had a chance to talk with many students and faculty over the last couple of days,” Stockton explained. “It’s so impressive how NPS is staying at the cutting edge of emerging security challenges for the United States, both in terms of having the curricula that the nation needs for its future leaders, and the kind of research that you absolutely have to conduct in order to know what to teach these students."

Stockton joined the university in 1990, where he served as an assistant professor in the national security affairs department, director of the Center of Civil-Military Relations, and later, founder and acting dean of the School of International Graduate Studies (SIGS). In 2002, he established the Center of Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS), and served as the center’s director until 2006. He was nominated and confirmed for his current position in 2009.

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

Retired Army Ranger Details Eye-Witness Account of "Black Hawk Down"
Javier Chagoya

Retired U.S. Army Col. Danny McKnight holds his audience spell-bound with an eye-witness account of the events which led up to the deployment of his 3rd Ranger Battalion into the ravaged city of Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993. The subsequent take down of two Special Operations Aviation Regiment helicopters, and the disastrous efforts to retrieve the personnel on them, would become immortalized in the popular book and film, "Black Hawk Down."

McKnight, whose presentation on campus was organized by the NPS Foundation, Sept. 20, began with discussing the realities of decision-making and leadership.

He noted to the audience that the story popularized in the film, with his character played by actor Tom Sizemore, was about "75 percent accurate." But he added that his point to the intimate audience was not about the film, but rather to offer the invaluable lesson of how initially good decisions can be made to lead astray.

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Leonardo Carrillo 

Shuttle Endeavour Passes NPS During California Flyover
Amanda D. Stein

It was a bittersweet moment for members of the NPS community and space fans alike as the Space Shuttle Endeavour, fixed atop a 747 jumbo jet, made its way across the Monterey Peninsula on Friday, Sept. 21, on route to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. There, the retired shuttle will be put on public display as one of five working crafts built for NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program.

The shuttle program ended in 2011, but not before Endeavour flew 25 missions and a total of 122,883,151 miles. The shuttle Endeavour flew her final mission, STS-134, in June of 2011, commanded by NPS alumnus Mark Kelly. That mission was the second-to-last for the shuttle program, which ended later that year with the success of STS-135 aboard the shuttle Atlantis commanded by NPS alumnus Chris Ferguson. The two commanders were among the 40 NASA astronauts to have attended NPS since 1959.

For more images of the shuttle flyover, check out the official NPS Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/NPSmonterey. For those interested in a closer look at Endeavour, the shuttle display at the California Science Center is scheduled to open Oct. 30.

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Rob Rubio 

Keynote Speaker's Son Part of Latest NPS Graduating Class
MC1 Rob Rubio

When NPS President Dan Oliver welcomed the summer graduation keynote speaker to stage during commencement ceremonies, Sept. 21, he offered more than just an introduction. Oliver saluted Vice Adm. Mark I. Fox, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5), with a heartfelt congratulations, for Fox was not only the ceremony's premier speaker, he was also a proud parent with his own son, Lt. Collin R. Fox, pictured with his father at the graduation reception in the Barbara McNitt Ballroom, graduating with a master's degree in system analysis.

"I'm delighted to speak at the Naval Postgraduate School graduation ceremony … I had originally planned to attend the event only as a proud dad, but the opportunity to address the graduates – including one of my sons – of such a prestigious academic institution is a real honor," Fox noted. "I completed the Aviation Safety Officer's course at NPS in 1986, and appreciate the enduring partnership between the Navy and the local community. It's always a treat to spend time on the Central California coast!"

A total of 410 students graduated earning 419 degrees this past quarter, including eight Ph.D.s, one mechanical engineer and 47 international students.

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

Cyber Warriors Crucial to Fill Battlefield Ranks
Javier Chagoya

Deputy Director for Information Dominance Advocacy, retired Rear Adm. Andy Singer, speaks with NPS faculty during a feedback session of the department’s curricular review on cyber systems and operations and computer science, Sept. 19. Members of the cyber systems and operations (CSO) and computer science curricular review panel provided feedback to cyber academic group and computer science faculty on the current state of CSO course content and materials being taught at NPS. Each member provided constructive comments on how skill sets obtained by students at NPS can meet the sponsor’s level of competency and relevance for future missions in the cyber world.

U.S. Tenth Fleet Cyber Command N5 (Information, Plans and Strategy) Capt. Tom Ertel said that it’s a distillation process to figure out what exactly is needed to build a well-rounded cyber warrior/defender. "It’s the cyber, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence space where we need to improve tactical and operational missions," said Ertel. "And there are challenges with cyber's standing rules of engagement and the 'hunting' aspect, which will all be tested against current policy, up and down the chain of command.”

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Leonardo Carrillo 

CRUSER, NWDC Partner for Latest Warfare Innovation Workshop
MC1 Leonardo Carrillo

U.S. Navy Capt. David Tyler, Assistant Chief of Staff for Concepts at the Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC), gives opening remarks at the NPS Consortium for Robotics and Unmanned Systems Education and Research (CRUSER) Warfare Innovation Workshop, Sept. 17. The workshop focuses on undersea warfare innovation and includes participation from NPS faculty and students, as well as members from outside DOD agencies and other academic institutions.

The three-day workshop was launched in direct support of the NWDC’s Line of Operations and is focused on the theme of Advancing the Design of Undersea Warfare. With the workshop scheduled during NPS' Summer Quarter Enrichment Week, organizers encouraged a wide NPS undersea warfare student participation, including newly-selected Strategic Studies Group Director Fellows, as well as nominated participants from aligned DOD agencies, academia and industry. As part of the workshop, attendees are asked to participate in an innovation seminar and then break into teams to develop responses to proposed scenarios involving undersea warfare operational concepts.

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Rob Rubio 

Ceremony Celebrates Latest NWC Monterey Graduates
MC1 Rob Rubio

The 52nd graduating class of the Naval War College (NWC) Monterey partnership with NPS for Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) stands for a group portrait on the steps of Herrmann Hall, Sept. 13.

Dr. Martin L. Cook, NWC Adm. Stockdale Chair of Professional Military Ethics, and NWC Monterey Chairman, Professor Fred Drake, presided over the ceremony where a total of 81 U.S. Navy, Army and Marine Corps officers earned their NWC Command and Staff diplomas with JPME Phase I certification. Through the NPS-NWC partnership, 3,023 officers have earned this certification since the program’s inception in September of 1999.

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Grant Ammon 

ONR Global Leadership Holds Strategic Review at NPS
MC1 Grant Ammon

Capt. Gerald Tighe, left, Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global’s Reserve Functional Area Coordinator for international science and technology, and Dr. Clayton Stewart, center, Technical Director of ONR Global’s London Office, watch as Dr. Anthony Gannon, right, a Research Assistant Professor in NPS’ Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, explains test equipment at NPS’ turbo propulsion laboratory.

Members of ONR Global’s leadership team met on the NPS campus, Sept. 11-13, for a semi-annual strategic review of the organization's programs. Leaders of ONR Global attended the three-day strategic review to assess the organization’s current status, define its long-range engagement strategy, set command goals for 2013, as well as to visit NPS institutes, laboratories and collaborate with university faculty and staff. Attendees at the strategic review came from all corners of the globe including London, Japan, Singapore and the Washington, D.C., area.

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Rob Rubio 

Ceremony Honors Summer Quarter's Top Graduates
MC1 Rob Rubio

The summer quarter's top graduates were honored during a ceremony in the Barbara McNitt Ballroom in Herrmann Hall, Sept. 11. Capt. Matt Vandersluis, NPS Dean of Students and Executive Director of Programs, served as Master of Ceremonies for the event, welcoming attendees to the ceremony.

Pictured above, Lawrence Reeves, left, of the Monterey Bay Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA) presents the Monterey Council Navy League Award for Highest Academic Achievement to information sciences student Cmdr. Marc Fryman, right. A total of 35 students received 44 awards this quarter.

The graduation awards ceremony is held in advance of graduation exercises to recognize those students receiving special awards, and to make the actual award presentation to the individual. During the commencement ceremony, the honorees will have their awards verbally noted when they walk across the stage in King Auditorium to receive their diplomas.

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

NPS Distinguished Professor Awarded Prestigious OR Prize
Amanda D. Stein

NPS Distinguished Professor Donald Gaver has been announced as the 2012 recipient of the Military Applications Society of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Science (INFORMS) J. Steinhardt Prize. The award recognizes individuals for lifetime achievements in the field of operations research (OR). Gaver first studied OR as a master's student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and went on to incorporate it in his studies at Princeton, where he received his Ph.D. in Mathematics.  

“I am pleased and very grateful to have been selected for this award,” said Gaver. “The operations research field is a way of using mathematics and science to deal with operations, whether military or civilian. Its practical uses can include helping to provide scientific guidance into the procurement and employment of weapons systems, or civilian systems like highways and such. I got into this field because it just seemed like an ideal combination of objectives.”

The prize is named for Jacinto Steinhardt, a founding member of the Operations Research Society of America who worked extensively on the philosophy and application of military operations research. 

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Leonardo Carrillo 

NPS Student Organizing Volunteers For Coastal Cleanup Day
MC1 Leonardo Carrillo

The California Coastal Commission through its Public Education Program is launching a California Coastal Cleanup Day on Sept. 15 and some NPS students are taking notice and taking action.

Leading the charge at NPS is Naval Academy and NPS Student Marine Corps Maj. David Coté who is asking for volunteers to help fill the ranks to help with this project.

“This is an important event,” said Coté. “If you are looking for a unique way to spend time with your family, enjoy the beautiful Monterey county September sun, and show your children the importance community service and support for our shared natural resources, this event is for you!”

The Coastal Cleanup Day is considered one of California’s largest volunteer events with more than 82,500 volunteers registered in 2010 removing over 1.2 million pounds of trash and recyclables from state beaches, lakes, and waterways.

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

Ops Research Faculty Featured in Top Professional Journal
Javier Chagoya

NPS Department of Operations Research (OR) Senior Lecturer retired Navy Capt. Jeff Kline was caught by surprise when he showed up on the cover of one of his field’s top professional publications, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) journal, "OR/MS Today."  

“When I submitted the article that explains teaching methods and programs here at NPS to the magazine’s editor about a month ago, he didn’t tell me it was going to be on the cover. So when the online version appeared and then the print arrived in our offices, there was quite a stir with my colleagues,” said Kline.

Kline was the 2011 winner of the Teaching of Practice Award sponsored by INFORMS which led to his invitation to write the article on teaching methods in the OR arena.

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Leonardo Carrillo 

NPS Student Honored With Skurla Naval Flight Officer Instructor of the Year Award
MC1 Leonardo Carrillo

Marine Corps Capt. Adam Gable, center, is presented with the 2011 George M. Skurla Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) Naval Flight Officer Instructor of the Year Award by NPS Dean of Students Capt. Matthew R. Vandersluis, left, and Marine Corps Lt. Col. Gregory P. Flaherty, Deputy Dean of Students and Deputy Marine Corps Representative, right, during an impromptu ceremony in the Dean of Students office, Aug. 23.

Gable, a graduate of Ohio State University, has been in the Marine Corps for 10 years where he has served as F/A-18D Weapons Systems Officer with VMFA (AW)-121 in Miramar, Calif.; Assistant Air Officer with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in Okinawa, Japan; and Flight Instructor for VT-4 and VT-10 at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla. His previous awards include the Air Medal Strike Flight (seventh award), Navy Commendation Medal, Naval Achievement Medal (third award), VT-4 Instructor of the Year in 2010, VT-10 and TRAWING-6 Instructor of the Year in 2011.  

The Skurla Award was established in 1985 by a collaboration of the Northrup Grumman Corporation and CNATRA in honor of former Chairman of the Board and President of Grumman Aerospace Corporation, Mr. George M. Skurla, for his long association and contributions to naval aviation. It is an annual award presented to the most outstanding Naval Flight Officer instructor at the Naval Air Training Command, with the highest competitive standard of excellence in the flight phase of training.

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

Two NPS Staff Leaders Bid Farewell to Naval Careers
Javier Chagoya

Cmdr. Mary Sims bade a fond farewell to her precisely 23.75 years in active duty, which was displayed to the audience on queue by Culinary Specialist Second Class Jeremy Myers. There were other figures in years which she took into account as Myers flipped through numbered pages – deployments, years at sea, countries visited and partner navies she served with. Sims shared stories of her most memorable moments, some which happened very early in her career as she arrived on USS San Jose (AFS-7), as the first woman in the U.S. Navy to be permanently stationed aboard a forward-deployed ship. Sims went on to serve on several other ships, including amphibious assault ships, and has proven to be a pioneer for women at sea.

Master Chief Gas Turbine System Technician Bret Westerman also gave a humble account of his Navy career, which he says was a perfect fit to his mechanical curiosity. “I was always taking things apart to see how they worked,” said Westerman. While his mechanical  talents may have been supreme, Westerman shared his own story of challenge. He found himself floundering after a failed attempt at his first semester of college, and admitted his direction in life lacked definition. However, he notes, he soon got to think seriously about what he was going to do for a career, and joined the Navy in 1982. He not only attended both the Navy’s Gas Turbine A and B schools concurrently, he graduated top of his class. He served several years aboard ships — serving on frigates, destroyers and small boats where he kept the turbine engines running smoothly. He would succeed in both mechanical and management skills, and would attain the rank of Master Chief in just 18 years.

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Grant Ammon 

NCAR Director Lectures on Severe Weather Phenomena
MC1 Grant Ammon

Dr. Roger Wakimoto, Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), leads a seminar titled "Tornadoes: Some Facts, Current State of Knowledge, and Recent Results," Aug. 27 on the NPS campus. Wakimoto delivered two seminars to students, faculty and staff during his visit to the university.

Wakimoto’s seminars, aimed at both the weather novice and senior faculty members alike, began with a brief introduction to tornados and intense vortex storms, and continued with an in-depth overview of findings from the 2009-2010 Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment 2 (VORTEX2) where he served as a principal investigator. Wakimoto presented a detailed kinematic analysis of the internal structure of a tornado based on data collected during VORTEX2.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is a federally-funded research and development center devoted to service, research and education in the atmospheric and related sciences. NCAR’s mission is to understand the behavior of the atmosphere and related physical, biological and social systems; to support, enhance and extend the capabilities of the university community and the broader scientific community – nationally and internationally; and, to foster transfer of knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth.

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