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Naval Postgraduate School to study surprise climate issues in $2.4M award

Naval Postgraduate School to study surprise climate issues in $2.4M award
The Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., received a $2.4 million award to study future climate events as they pertain to military installations. Photo courtesy of Naval Postgraduate School

Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The Naval Postgraduate School was awarded a $2.4 million grant to study practices to better prepare for future climate events, the U.S. Navy said on Wednesday.

A new research project, "Advancing Resilience Theory and Tools to Combat Environmental Surprise," will focus on developing new theories and tools to better understand and prepare for future climate events as they impact military installation operations.

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The award to the school, in Monterey, Calif., comes from the Department of Defense's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, which coordinates activities with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as with other government and non-governmental agencies.

Arizona State University will be involved in the four-year program as well.

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"Despite best practices for robust design, military infrastructure remains vulnerable to natural disasters, extreme weather and hybrid attacks," said Dr. David Alderson, Director of NPS' Center for Infrastructure Defense.

"The acute impacts of natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, fires and even cold weather pose a constant threat to mission readiness. The events in Texas over the last week demonstrate how something as simple as extended cold can wreak havoc on critical infrastructure systems," said Alderson, who is also principal investigator on the new project.

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The project will also include development of tools to address military response to sudden climate change situations.

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One, a virtual exercise called "Dystopia," can aid, through training wargaming scenarios, assessment and improvement of expertise in response to surprise events.

"The broader DOD community will also benefit as the project team will target experiential learning at military officers and government employees," added Alderson. "Advances in Dystopia will be made shareable and extensible to enable open-source methods for studying resilience in non-military settings."

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