Forwarded from: Richard Caasi <caasi@private> http://www.dailynebraskan.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2003/09/26/3f73cbc785c34 By DAKARAI I. AARONS DN Staff Writer September 26, 2003 Researchers on three University of Nebraska campuses are working to complete a proposal that could make NU the first Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. Mel Bernstein, department of homeland security director of university programs, announced last week that NU was one of 12 universities selected from 72 that submitted initial proposals for a DHS Center of Excellence for Risk Analysis and Modeling Related to the Economic Consequences of Terrorism. The full proposal will detail how researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska Medical Center would create programs and plans that would evaluate the risks bioterrorism attacks could pose to Nebraska's infrastructure and transportation systems, said Steven Hinrichs, director of the University of Nebraska Center for Biosecurity. "We're very pleased that DHS has selected the University of Nebraska from 72 universities to compete," he said. "This is a great opportunity to show the cooperation between our campuses." The proposal is due Oct. 6. After the full proposals are submitted, two panels will review them and select three univerisites as finalists, Hinrichs said. Those universities will receive on-site visits from DHS, and the first Center of Excellence should be announced by the end of November. If NU gets the center, it will be housed at UNO's Peter Kiewit Institute. Gerald Wagner, UNO distinguished research fellow, is the principal investigator for the project and director of the institute's International Academy for Advanced Decision Support. The DHS center will develop a model to simulate terrorist attacks on the transportation system and alternative responses to those attacks, he said. The goal of the model will be to evaluate the economic risks associated with potential attacks, he said. The simulation will involve multiple technologies, including artificial intelligence and geographic information systems, Wagner said. The center would create a model program looking at the best way to prepare Nebraska for a bioterroism attack, and how to protect the state should an attack occur. Such a model would then be used on a national scale, he said. Hinrichs said time would tell if the Department of Homeland Security would pick NU's proposal, but he said the university's selection for the second round showed Nebraska had what it took to compete. "We believe we will be very competitive," he said. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomo@private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomo@private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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