Colloquium Lectures 2007

Statistical Approaches in the NIST World Trade Center Analysis

by Dr. James J. Filliben

January 4, 2007 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The Congressionally-mandated NIST Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center disaster has currently come to completion. The buildings’ degradation immediately prior to collapse was extremely complicated, with structural, thermal, dynamic, and stochastic interdependencies existent across both time and space. Four pre-collapse stages (a simplification of reality) will be discussed: aircraft impact, fire spread, thermal propagation through insulation, and structural deformation. Engineering issues and the statistical methodologies to address these issues will be discussed.

A major challenge in the statistical analysis of the World Trade Center was the relatively meager amount of data–little physical evidence existed on important events in the core of the WTC buildings. In this regard, the study was both assisted–and complicated–by reliance on computational engineering virtual data–primarily in the form of NIST’s FDS (Fire Dynamics Simulator) and phase-specific FEA (finite element analysis) computational models. As analyses progress from component to sub-assembly to global, such computational models require characterization, sensitivity analysis, and validation–it will be shown how statistically designed experiments played a major role in this regard. Various other statistical analysis techniques (e.g., complex demodulation for assessing post-impact building oscillation frequency and–indirectly–building damage) will also be discussed.

This talk will emphasize the statistical methodologies employed. Detailed engineering conclusions and recommendations resulting from the Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster are presented in the investigation’s (10,000 page) final report


Dr. James Filliben received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1969, and has worked in the Statistical Engineering Division (SED) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for 37 years. His primary research interests are in exploratory data analysis and statistical graphics, design of experiments, distributional and computational modeling, and uncertainty/sensitivity analysis. He is currently the Leader of the SED Statistical Modeling and Analysis Group, is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and received its Youden Award, and has received two Gold Medals, one Silver Medal, and One Bronze Medal from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Dr. Filliben is the author of over 75 technical papers, and has presented over 200 talks on statistics to a variety of audiences. He is also the author of Dataplot, an interactive, multiplatform, integrated graphics and analysis software system for scientists and engineers.

Return to the Moon: Exploration, Enterprise, and Energy in the Human Settlement of Space

by Dr. Harrison H. Schmitt

Thursday: February 1, 2007 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Dr. Harrison H. Schmitt will present a lecture on the future, and not the past, of traveling to and exploring the Moon. He will discuss the economic benefits of returning to the Moon and of exploiting the possibilities for generating energy – not only for a permanent base on the Moon, but also for Earth. His lecture will serve as a blueprint for how to achieve these goals, which hence contribute to making a reality the Vision for Space Exploration.


Dr. Harrison H. Schmitt graduated from Caltech and then received his Ph.D. in geology from Harvard. He joined the U. S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona, in 1964. Later that year, NASA had a call for scientist-astronauts for Apollo, and Schmitt applied. Only six were chosen out of the more than 1,000 applicants, and Schmitt was one of them. He transferred to NASA in 1965 and began his comprehensive training. He was selected as backup lunar module pilot for Apollo 15. He was the lunar module pilot for Apollo 17 – the last mission to the Moon in the 20th century. Schmitt was the only trained geologist to fly on any of the lunar landing missions. His three days on the Moon left him with the idea that the Moon was not only to be explored, but also one day to be exploited for humanity’s benefit. He remained with NASA until 1975 in the capacity of Chief of Scientist-Astronauts and then NASA Assistant Administrator for Energy Programs. He resigned from NASA and ran for U. S. Senator for his home state of New Mexico and won in 1976. His six-year term was instrumental in better understanding the political machinery of Washington. In 1994 he was appointed Adjunct Professor of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, and it was here that he contributed to the research into the possibility of helium-3 fusion for generating energy. Dr. Harrison H. Schmitt is currently the Chairman of the NASA Advisory Council. He is a man who has actually been to the Moon, explored its surface, and knows firsthand the economic benefits locked inside the lunar soil.

Motion Capture and Technology Leadership

by Dr. Nels H. Madsen

TUESDAY: March 6, 2007 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Dr. Madsen will discuss his experiences with the development of motion capture technology. It will be his goal to “animate” you about motion capture as effectively as his technology helped to animate Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. The unifying thread for the presentation will be the challenge of technology leadership. This thread will be used to tie educational activities at Auburn University to technological leadership and motion capture.


Dr. Nels Madsen received his Ph. D. in Mechanics and Hydraulics from the University of Iowa in 1978. Since that time he has been a faculty member in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University. At Auburn he currently holds the positions of Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Dean for Assessment. Dr. Madsen also works with Motion Reality Incorporated as Vice President for Research and Development. Dr. Madsen’s first love is engineering education and has dedicated his career to the experimental determination of the elastic limit of engineering students. Dr. Madsen’s primary research area is biomechanics with a particular interest in motion capture. His efforts in this area with Motion Reality resulted in his receipt of a 2004 Academy Award for Technical Achievement.

Humans and the Global Carbon Cycle: A Faustian Bargain?

by Dr. Berrien Moore III

TUESDAY: April 10, 2007 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Environmental concerns today are in some ways disturbingly similar and at the same time strikingly different from those that catalyzed the first Earth Day 37 years ago. Water pollution and air pollution led the list then, followed by loss of habitat and perhaps species; the concerns were local to regional. Today, in many parts of the world, there are similar place-based concerns: shortages of clean and accessible freshwater, health threatening changes in the chemistry of the atmosphere, severe degradation of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, increases in soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, alterations of the coastal zone, and declines in fisheries. But it strikes me that now we have a greater appreciation of the interconnected and ubiquitous nature of these difficulties.

There is also a concern today that was barely apparent on Earth Day in 1970. We now know that human activity has altered significantly the environment at the global scale: the climate of the planet and the fundamental global biogeochemical cycle, the carbon cycle. Regarding the latter, the values of important state variables, such as the concentration of atmospheric CO2, are moving into a range unprecedented during the past 25 million years.

The increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentrations (as well as other greenhouse gases) due to human activity has produced concern regarding the heat balance of the global atmosphere, and this shift in the heat balance will force the global climate system in ways that are not well understood, given the complex interactions and feedbacks involved. There is general agreement that global patterns of temperature will warm and precipitation will change, though the magnitude, distribution, and timing of these changes are far from certain.


Berrien Moore III joined the University of New Hampshire (UNH) faculty in 1969, soon after receiving his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Virginia. A Professor of Systems Research, he received the University’s 1993 Excellence in Research Award and was named University Distinguished Professor in 1997. Most recently he was awarded the 2007 Dryden Lectureship in Research by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He has led the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at UNH as Director since 1987.

He has been a visiting scientist at the International Institute of Meteorology at the University of Stockholm, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the East-West Center in Hawaii, and, a visiting senior scientist at the Laboratorie de Physique et Chemie Marines at the Universite de Paris.

Why We Explore

Steven J. Dick, NASA Chief Historian

TUESDAY: May 8, 2007 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


One could present many arguments, from jobs and education to technology development and national security, for undertaking a robust space program. In an ideal world only one argument is necessary, though in the real world some would argue it is not sufficient. That argument is exploration, and that we should undertake it for the most basic of reasons — our self-preservation as a creative, as opposed to a stagnating, society. This lecture examines the validity of this theme, and argues that exploration is essential for new knowledge and to find our place in the universe. New knowledge sometimes causes painful readjustments to worldviews, ranging from the downgrading of Pluto to the realization that humans play only a recent, and perhaps peripheral, role in the course of cosmic evolution.


Steven J. Dick is the Chief Historian for NASA and Director of the NASA History Office. He obtained his B.S. in astrophysics (1971), and MA and PhD (1977) in history and philosophy of science from Indiana University. He worked as an astronomer and historian of science at the U. S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. for 24 years, including three years on a mountaintop in New Zealand, before coming to NASA Headquarters in 2003. Author of numerous books and publications translated in various languages, his latest work Societal Impact of Spaceflight, will be forthcoming in 2007.

Dr. Dick is the recipient of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the NASA Group Achievement Award for his role in NASA’s multidisciplinary program in astrobiology, and the 2006 LeRoy E. Doggett Prize for Historical Astronomy of the American Astronomical Society. He has served as Chairman of the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society, as President of the History of Astronomy Commission of the International Astronomical Union, and as President of the Philosophical Society of Washington. He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics.

The CALIPSO Mission – One Year After Launch

Dr. Dave Winker

TUESDAY: June 5, 2007 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The CALIPSO satellite mission will celebrate its first year of on-orbit lidar (light detection and ranging) operations on June 7, 2007 with more than 575 million profiles acquired. CALIPSO is a joint mission between NASA and the French Space Agency, CNES, that seeks to better understand how clouds and atmospheric aerosols affect climate, weather, and air quality. The CALIPSO instrument payload features a two-wavelength polarization-sensitive lidar, an infrared imaging radiometer, and a visible camera and flies in orbit with 4 other spacecraft (Aqua, CloudSat, PARASOL, and Aura) in a tightly coordinated satellite constellation known as the A-Train (named after the Aqua and Aura spacecraft). The coupling of these spacecraft combine the advantages of active instrument techniques (e.g., lidar and radar) with passive sensors to gain new insight into the distribution and properties clouds and aerosols over the globe, their impact on Earth’s radiative balance, and transport pathways of air pollutants through the atmosphere.

The talk will highlight a number of accomplishments and findings by the CALIPSO mission including new views on clouds in the polar night, plumes of Saharan dust transported across the Atlantic Ocean, veils of thin tropical cirrus clouds near 50,000 ft, and smoke from the burning of large fires across the globe.


Dr. Dave Winker is the Principal Investigator for the CALIPSO satellite mission. He received his Ph. D. in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1984, where he designed and constructed a CO2 lidar for measurement of atmospheric transmission and aerosol backscatter cross-sections in the thermal infrared. Later, as a research staff member of the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, he did research in atmospheric turbulence and its effects on imaging systems. In 1989, Dr. Winker joined NASA Langley Research Center and employed ground-based and airborne lidars to study volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere and cirrus clouds and later served as the Deputy Project Scientist for the Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE), which flew as primary payload on the STS-64 mission in September 1994. He research interests span a broad range of topics related to the study of aerosol and clouds using lidars and other remote sensing instruments.

The Tuskegee Airmen – The Long Flight from WWII to the Congressional Gold Medal

Ezra M. Hill, USAF (Ret)

TUESDAY: July 10, 2007 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


During World War II , the United States Military, like so much of the nation, was segregated. Jim Crow Laws kept blacks from entering public places such as libraries, restaurants, and movie theaters. Although African Americans served in the armed forces, they were restricted in the types of jobs and positions they could hold. On April 3, 1939, Public Law 18 was passed which provided for an expansion of the Army Air Corps. One section of the law offered hope for those African Americans who wanted to advance their military careers beyond the kitchen or the motor pool. It called for the creation of training programs to be located at black colleges which would prepare blacks for service in a variety of areas in the Air Corps support services.

From 1941 to 1946 over 2000 African Americans completed training at Tuskegee and nearly three quarters of them qualified as pilots while the remainder were trained as navigators or support personnel. The 99th Pursuit Squadron was activated and became the 99th Fighter Squadron in May 1942. The Tuskegee Airmen saw combat in over 1500 missions in Europe and North Africa. Not one of the bombers that the Tuskegee Airmen escorted was lost to enemy fire; the 99th Fighter Squadron is the only U.S. squadron to hold that distinction during the Second World War.

Although the Tuskegee Airmen played an integral part in the outcome of World War II, their most important victory was the one at home. Due to the bravery, tenacity, and success of the Tuskegee Airmen, President Harry S. Truman desegregated the United States Military in 1948. Almost six decades later, Congress approved a bill to honor the Tuskegee Airmen with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2006.

Join Mr. Ezra Hill as he weaves the story of these brave young Americans–their struggles and successes–and ultimately the belated recognition of this country for their valiant service.



MSgt Ezra M Hill was born in Newport News, VA in 1930. He moved to Washington, DC as a child and lived there until the age of seventeen. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps at Ft Meade,MD in July 1947. He completed basic training at Lackland AFB, TX and in October 1947 was assigned to Lockbourne AFB, Columbus, OH. His primary duty was in crash and rescue, however, because of other talents which were discovered early on, he spent most of his time in “Special Services Activities”.

One key event took place while he was working in crash and rescue that he will never forget. During one aircraft incident, he heroically helped remove, then Col B. O. Davis, Jr, from his damaged plane upon landing at locbourne Air Force Base. This unselfish act, among others, sealed their relationship for life. (Col Davis was the leader of the famed Tuskegee Airmen who became the first black three-star general and later received his fourth star in retirement).

MSgt Hill was reassigned to Andrews AFB, MD in late 1949 where he played “base-level” basketball, (the first black and first enlisted man to play at this level). He was selected to play on the Air Force Basketball Team which played in worldwide competition. He also was an entertainer. He was selected to perform with the “Operation Happiness”. (They were the forerunners of today’s “Tops in Blue”). He was then assigned to Tokyo International Airport, Japan, for the next three years for duty in crash and rescue, but still devoting most of his time to “Special Services Activities”.

In 1956, he was relocated to McGuire AFB, NJ and retrained into the electronics field as a weapons systems technician. He spent the greater portion of 1958 and 1959 in technical schools at Lowry AFB, CO and Hughes Aircraft Plants, taking advanced courses on weapons systems. He was subsequently assigned to Langley AFB, VA where he worked as a weapons systems technician in the 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron from 1960 to 1965. He went from there to McGuire, AFB, NJ and worked as an Electronics Operational Readiness Inspector until his retirement as a MSgt in 1967.

After retirement, he taught in the Newport News School System for approximately one year and worked with the Navy at NAS, Norfolk, VA for 18 years, as a Computer Technician Supervisor, before retiring for the second time.

His educational achievements include many military courses, an Associate Degree in Computer Science from Trenton State University, Trenton, NJ and a BS Degree in Industrial Engineering from Ohio Saint Matthew University in Columbus, OH.

He married the former Mabel Haltwanger in 1953 and from this union they have 3 children, 9 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

F22 Raptor’s First Year in Service from an Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Perspective

Lt. Col. Dane West, 1st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander, Langley Air Force Base

TUESDAY: August 7, 2007 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The Air Force’s F-22 Raptors, stationed at Langley AFB, Va., are already leaving a powerful impression in the fighter community. In a two-week joint service exercise held in Alaska in June 2006, the F-22’s capabilities were highlighted during several air-to-air engagements, which included facing an opposing force at a 4-to-1 disadvantage. Lt. Col. Dane West, 1st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander, will discuss the success of the Raptor from a maintenance perspective with a professional team working to determine the strengths and weaknesses of F-22.


Lt Col West enlisted in the Air Force in 1979 and after receiving his commission through the ROTC program in 1989, he served as a computer development engineer for advanced airborne computers in the Avionics Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB. Beginning in 1992 he led the Armament, Avionics and 58th Sortie Generation flights supporting F-15 C/D air superiority aircraft for the 33d FW at Eglin AFB. In 1992 he led the F-16 Mid-Life Update Radar program for the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium. He then served as the F-16 Sensors Integrated Product Team Chief, culminating his assignment as Executive Officer for the F-16 SPO at Wright-Patterson AFB. Starting in 1999 Lt Col West served as the Chief of Maintenance for the 8th Maintenance Squadron, Kunsan AB, ROK supporting Block 30 F-16 C/D Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses and interdiction aircraft. In 2000 he was the Chief of USAFE’s conventional munitions at Ramstein Air Base, GE and served as the command liaison to EUCOM, SHAPE and NATO. He then went on to serve as the Deputy Chief of Logistics Resources, culminating in his selection as the USAFE/LG Executive Officer. Lt Col West’s next assignment was to attend the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB. In July 2004, he assumed command of the 1st Component Maintenance Squadron, Langley AFB, VA. Then in Mar 06 he took command of the 1st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, leading 732 personnel trained to maintain and deploy F-15 C/D and F-22A aircraft to forward theaters of combat.

Lt Col West holds a bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, Masters in Aeronautical Sciences from Embry Riddle and a Masters in Military Operational Art and Science from Air University.

He married the former Miss Sheryl L. Anderson of Bismarck, ND in 1980. They have two daughters: Sarah who resides in Cockeysville, MD and Kristin who is a senior at Wright-State University, OH.

Climate Change Impacts on Natural Resources in Virginia

Prof. Roger Mann, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

TUESDAY: September 11, 2007 2:00 P.M. in the Pearl Young Theatre.


A current challenge to climate modelers is to refine global scale products to make predictions at the regional level. The available 100 year climate scenarios for Virginia predict temperature increases from 3.5oC to as high as 6.5oC clustered in the summer months, and rainfall patterns varying between drier and wetter in total amount, sometimes with a wetter spring but drier fall months, and often with more extreme rainfall events. These warm and wet, or warm and dry scenarios have clear implications for change in natural resources.

Virginia sits at a number of important biological community boundaries where animal and plant types, both terrestrial and aquatic, change in north-south and east-west directions. Climate, and particularly temperature, is a causative agent in determining these boundaries. A transect from west to east across the landscape of Virginia encompasses remarkable biological diversity, From the forested foothills of the Appalachians an observer passes through the coastal plains that support a mixture of forestry and agriculture, to freshwater wetlands, to the Chesapeake Bay with its fringing marshes, sea grasses, oysters, crabs and finfish, to the coastal barrier islands, and onto the inner continental shelf.

In this lecture I argue that the biological diversity within and the geographical location of Virginia makes it an excellent natural laboratory in which to study the impacts of climate change, that these impacts are emerging in all natural systems within the state, and that they are cause for concern.


Roger Mann has a B.S. in Biology (1972, University of East Anglia, UK) and a Ph.D in Marine Science (University College of North Wales, Bangor , UK). He was a postdoctoral fellow and subsequently an Assistant and then Associate Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 1975-1984. He joined the faculty of the College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) in 1985, and was promoted to the rank of Professor of Marine Science in 1987. He served as the Chair of the Department of Fisheries Science at VIMS from 1992-1995, and has served as Director for Research and Advisory Services (DRAS) for the Institution since 2003. This position coordinates institutional scientific and advisory support to federal and state agencies, local government, non-governmental organizations, private institutions and the general public. His research interests range from shellfish stock assessment and ecology (varying from native oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay to offshore clam populations supporting major fisheries), larval ecology, the biology and management of invading and non-native species in new environments, and climate change impacts on natural resources. He has worked with both native oyster restoration and introduced oyster species as tools for rebuilding of depleted fisheries. He has published over 100 peer review research publications, edited 3 books, He was awarded the Chesapeake Bay Commission Tribute to Excellence in1994, for “…official recognition of significant contributions to the management and protection of the Chesapeake Bay.” He has provided Congressional Testimony on invasive species and climate change issues. He currently serves on the Expert Review Panel for Non-Native Oyster Environmental Impact Statement Research, the Mid Atlantic States Invasive Species Council, the Virginia invasive Species council, the Invertebrate Stock Assessment Working Group of the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas Working Groups on Introduced Species and Ballast Water Management.

The Search for the Cause of the Mysterious Tiny Crystals in the Charters of Freedom

Dr. Joel S. Levine, NASA Langley Research Center

TUESDAY: October 2, 2007 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


In the mid-1990’s, conservators at the National Archives in Washington, DC, made an unexpected and disturbing discovery: minute crystals and micro-droplets were forming on the surfaces of the glass plates containing the Declaration of Independence, the U. S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, collectively known as “The Charters of Freedom.” In the early 1950’s, The Charters of Freedom, the founding documents of our Nation, were hermetically sealed in an atmosphere of humidified chemically-inert helium in specially designed encasements for their safety and preservation. In 1998, the National Archives contacted Dr. Levine, with a request for assistance in identifying the cause or causes for the formation of the mysterious tiny crystals. Over the next four years, a team of NASA scientists and technicians formed and led by Levine, investigated the atmosphere within the hermetically-sealed encasements and eventually determined the cause of the mysterious crystal formation. In 2001, the Charters of Freedom were taken off display at the National Archives Rotunda, removed from their original encasements, placed in brand new encasements and returned to public display in 2003. The search for the cause of the mysterious crystals in the Charters of Freedom is a real-life detective story and highlights the application of NASA science and technology to problems of national interest and concern.


Dr. Joel S. Levine is a Senior Research Scientist in the Science Directorate at the NASA Langley Research Center. Dr. Levine’s areas of research involve atmospheric and planetary science.

Dr. Levine is the Principal Investigator of Langley’s ARES Mars Airplane Mission. ARES is a robotic, rocket-powered airplane that is designed to fly about a mile over the surface of Mars in search of life on Mars by looking for trace atmospheric gases of biogenic origin. In January 2007, Levine was named NASA’s Mars Scout Program Scientist for the Mars Exploration Program, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters. In February 2007, Levine was named co-chair of NASA’s Human Exploration of Mars Panel. From 2000-2004, Levine served as NASA Principal Investigator on the U.S. Geological Survey/NASA Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater Coring Project at NASA Langley Research Center. From 1998-2003, Dr. Levine formed and led the NASA Charters of Freedom Research Team. From 1987 through 1999, Levine was Principal Investigator of NASA’s Biomass Burning Program, whose objective was to quantify the impact of global fires on the Earth’s atmosphere and climate.

Levine has authored or co-authored more than 150 scientific papers, reports and chapters in books and has edited four books: one dealing with the atmospheres of the Earth, Mars and the other planets and three books dealing with fires, atmospheric chemistry and climate change. Among his awards and honors, Levine received NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal, the New York Academy of Sciences’ Halpern Award for Photochemistry and was honored as Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist.

Finding our Origins with the James Webb Space Telescope

Dr. John C. Mather, GSFC Nobel Prize winner

TUESDAY: November 6, 2007 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


How did we get here? Where are we headed? Dr. John Mather will tell the history of the universe in a nutshell, and describe what our future holds within the realm of discovery. Dr. Mather is Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is planned for launch in 2013. As a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the Webb telescope will look even farther back in time and examine the first stars and galaxies that were created after the big bang. JWST will be the largest telescope mirror ever placed in space and with a positioning of 1.5 million miles away from earth, the Webb telescope will be able to unravel some of the biggest mysteries of the universe.


Dr. John C. Mather is a Senior Astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. His research centers on infrared astronomy and cosmology. As an NRC postdoctoral fellow at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (New York City), he led the proposal efforts for the Cosmic Background Explorer (74-76), and came to GSFC to be the Study Scientist (76-88), Project Scientist (88-98), and the Principal Investigator for the Far IR Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) on COBE. He showed that the cosmic microwave background radiation has a blackbody spectrum within 50 parts per million, confirming the Big Bang theory to extraordinary accuracy. As Senior Project Scientist (95-present) for the James Webb Space Telescope, he leads the science team, and represents scientific interests within the project management. Dr. Mather is also the chief scientist for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Nobel Prize in Physics (2006) with George Smoot, for the COBE work.

The USS Monitor Materials: Organic and Metal

Susanne Grieve and Eric Nordgren, The Mariners’ Museum

TUESDAY: December 4, 2007 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.

Abstract/Speaker 1: USS Monitor Organic Materials Research and Treatments by Susanne Grieve

The anoxic burial environment of the USS Monitor was ideal for the preservation of fragile organic artifacts that were once everyday items used by the sailors that lived onboard. Organic artifacts consist of objects made from plant or animal products and are the first items to deteriorate in a waterlogged environment. The rotating gun turret of the Monitor, recovered in 2002 by a joint expedition of the United States Navy and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, contains artifacts such as leather shoes, rubber buttons, bone knife inlays, and a wooden chest. The limited quantity of these materials necessitates the use of non-destructive testing to understand the composition of the materials and to determine the most appropriate treatment.

Susanne Grieve is currently a Conservator at The Mariners’ Museum where she is responsible for small finds and organic materials from the USS Monitor. She received a BA degree in Anthropology with a specialization in underwater archaeology. During that time, Susanne attended Flinders University in Australia. After completing her BA, she began an internship with the CSS Hunley project in Charleston. She then went on to receive a MA in conservation from University College London.

Abstract/Speaker 2: Conservation and Corrosion of Metals from the USS Monitor by Eric Nordgren

The recovery of the gun turret, engine, condenser, and other large metal artifacts from the wreck of the USS Monitor (1862) has presented a major challenge to the team working to conserve this material at The Mariners’ Museum in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The metal components raised from the Monitor will require long periods of wet storage during study and conservation, during which they will be vulnerable to corrosion. A Corrosion Assessment was carried out by CC Technologies and Mariners’ Museum conservators. Corrosion monitoring and mitigation measures including impressed current cathodic protection have been put in place on the turret and gun carriages, and a reduction in corrosion rates on these artifacts has successfully been achieved. This paper will describe the ongoing corrosion studies, mitigation and conservation of metal artifacts from the Monitor.

Eric Nordgren is a Senior Conservator with the USS Monitor project at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia. A native of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, Eric obtained a BA in Classical Archaeology from McGill University, Montreal, Canada in 1994 and went on to study Archaeological Conservation at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, England. Since graduating from UCL in 1997, he has worked as a conservator for a wide variety of museums and archaeological projects in the US and overseas, including the National Museum of Beirut, Lebanon (1997-99), the Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago (1999-2000) the Institute of Nautical Archaeology in Alexandria, Egypt (2001-03), and the Queen Anne’s Revenge Archaeological Conservation Lab, Greenville, North Carolina (2003-06). Eric has also worked as field conservator on many archaeological excavations in Greece and Turkey, and the Middle East. He has conserved historic and archaeological objects made of a wide variety of materials and from varied contexts, but currently focuses on the conservation of metal objects from marine archaeological sites.