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UVI to Host Homeland Security Conference Oct. 13-15


The University of the Virgin Islands will host the first International Caribbean Atlantic Homeland Security Conference on its St. Thomas campus from Oct. 13 through 15. The conference will cover border and maritime security, protection of critical infrastructure, transportation security, screening technologies, weapons detection, disaster response, post-incident mitigation, and threat/risk assessment.

"The conference represents an effort to build bridges between federal emergency response and security agencies and our local responders and security providers," said conference coordinator and chair Dr. Edward Tarver, an associate professor of chemistry at UVI.

The conference, which is free, is open to anyone with interest in national security. Dr. Tarver said conference sessions should be of particular interest to Virgin Islands police officers and other law enforcement personnel, local first responders, Customs and Border Patrol personnel and immigration officers.

Numerous national and local speakers are scheduled to speak at the conference. Among these are Dr. Mitchell Erickson, director of Northeast and Caribbean Operations for the Department of Homeland Security, Lynn Canton, executive director for Region II of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Aleksey Bolotnikov of the Brookhaven National Laboratory and Dr. O. Opolonin from the National Academy of Science of the Ukraine.

Two UVI applied mathematics majors, Mustafa Muhammad and Jerome Rogers, will present information on how data mining can be used to predict violent crime. The students' research effort was originally presented at UVI's 12th annual Fall Research Symposium held in September.

Dr. Tarver said conference sessions will provide key academic, government and industry representatives with opportunities to engage in a dialogue on critical issues. Speakers will identify and discuss emerging threats, cutting-edge technological resources, share expertise in conducting risk assessments, assist in the formulation of appropriate response strategies, and facilitate the development of inter-disciplinary partnerships to ensure the safety and security of our nation.

Dr. Tarver, who received his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Washington State University, holds United States patents for sensors used to detect and identify ultra trace levels of chemical warfare agents, high explosives, narcotics and toxic chemicals. He has also contributed to the development of radiation sensors capable of detecting smuggled nuclear materials.

Daily sessions will begin at 9 a.m. in the first-floor conference room of UVI's Administration and Conference Center. On-site registration is slated for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13. For more information, contact Dr. Tarver via e-mail at or call (340) 693-1250.