Call for Public Comment on New NASEM Study Committee: Polar Icebreaker Cost Assessment

In a Congressionally mandated study supported by the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Academies has appointed a committee to:  (i) describe current and emerging requirements for the Coast Guard’s polar icebreaking capabilities; (ii) identify potential design, procurement, leasing, service contracts, crewing, and technology options that could minimize life-cycle costs and optimize efficiency and reliability of Coast Guard polar icebreaker operations in the Arctic and Antarctic; and (iii) examine a variety of other factors related to Coast Guard estimates for the procurement and operating costs of a Polar icebreaker. The study is being led by the Academies Transportation Research Board, with support from the Polar Research Board and the Ocean Studies Board. 

Formal comments on the provisional appointments to a committee of the National Academies are solicited during the 20-calendar day period following the posting of the membership and these comments will be considered before committee membership is finalized. Submit your comments here.

RAdm. Richard West, Ret. – (Chair)
U.S. Department of the Navy [Retired]

Rear Admiral Richard “Dick” D. West, Chair (US Navy, Retired) served as President and CEO of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE)/Ocean Leadership from 2002-2008. As President of this DC-based non-profit organization, he led efforts to promote ocean research and education within the U.S. federal government on behalf of the academic and private ocean research community. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on marine related policy issues and has addressed the United Nations on Safety of Life at Sea. Admiral West was also actively involved in three congressionally-mandated Federal Advisory Committees.

Mr. Jay Carson

Jay P. Carson is a naval architect and independent management consultant with more than 40 years of progressively responsible positions in challenging business and professional environments. Mr. Carson specializes in early stage ship design, requirements definition and deployment, functional engineering, and planning, scheduling and budgeting. From 2002 to 2007, Mr. Carson worked at General Dynamics NASSCO, where he held various positions before retiring as Vice President, Engineering.

Dr. Roberta R. Marinelli

Dr. Roberta R. Marinelli serves as Dean for the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. Prior to coming to Oregon State University, she was the Executive Director of the University of Southern California, Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies. She played a leadership role in planning and implementing an expansion of academic and research programs in environmental studies at USC’s University Park Campus, and directs the Philip K. Wrigley Marine Science Center on Santa Catalina Island. Dr. Marinelli also oversaw the George and Mary Lou Boone Cente

Mr. R. Keith Michel
Webb Institute

R. Keith Michel, NAE, is president of Webb Institute. Prior to this appointment in 2013, he worked for the Herbert Engineering Company (HEC), a naval architecture firm, for 38 years. Mr. Michel is currently the Chairman of the Board of HEC’s group of companies, having previously served as President and CEO. At HEC he worked on design, specification development, and contract negotiations for containerships, bulk carriers, and tankers. Mr. Michel has served on numerous industry advisory groups developing guidelines for alternative tanker designs, including groups advising the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the U.S. Coast Guard, and served as chair of the IMO’s BLG committee tasked with developing regulations concerning the subdivision of tankers, including criteria for the acceptance of alternative designs to double-hull tankers. His work has included development of methodology, vessel models, and oil outflow analysis.

VADM David P. Pekoske
Independent Consultant

VADM David P. Pekoske U.S. Coast Guard (Retired) is currently an Adjunct Professor at American University in Washington, D.C.. VADM Pekoske is a former Vice President, National Programs, at PAE and a former Group President of the National Security Group at A-T Solutions, Incorporated. Admiral Pekoske’s expertise and experience includes maritime security and maritime transportation. Prior to joining PAE / A-T Solutions, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 33 years until his retirement in 2010. In his last position, Admiral Pekoske served as Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, essentially serving as second in command and chief operating officer, and often representing the Commandant and Secretary of Homeland Security in National Security Council and Joints Chiefs of Staff settings. Admiral Pekoske serves on numerous boards and scientific advisory committees, to include as chairman of the Board of Directors for the InfraGard National Members Alliance (a national non-profit organization sponsored by the FBI focused on protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure) and as a member of the National Security Advisory Council of the U. S. Global Leadership Coalition (a network dedicated to strengthening America’s leadership in the world through strategic investment in development and diplomacy). Admiral Pekoske has a Master of Business Administration, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master of Public Administration, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering, U. S. Coast Guard Academy.

Mr. Steven T. Scalzo
Steven T. Scalzo, of Scalzo Marine Services, LLC, is the former Chief Operating Officer of Foss Marine Holdings, Inc. and former President and CEO of Foss Maritime. Steve joined Foss Maritime, a subsidiary of Foss Marine Holdings, Inc. in 1975. In his career at Foss Maritime, he held a variety of executive positions. In 2005, Steve assumed the position of Chief Operating Officer of Foss Marine Holdings, Inc., a holding and support company for investments in tug, barge, shipyards, terminals and ancillary marine service companies.
He is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy and received a Master’s degree in Law and Commerce from Gonzaga University. Steve is a past member of the Marine Board of the National Research Council and he is active in International, National and local public policy, legislative and regulatory issues effecting Marine transportation’s safety, including service as past chairman of the U.S. Department of Transportation Towing Safety Advising Committee, the State of Washington Puget Sound Marine Safety Committee, was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board, and a Board member for the Webb Institute. Steve has also served as the Chairman of the American Waterway Operators, the tug & barge industry national trade association. Steve is currently a Board member of the American P&I Club, Seattle University and a Trustee for the Coast Guard Foundation.

Mr. David G. St. Amand
Navigistics Consulting

David G. St. Amand, President of Navigistics Consulting, has over 40 years of maritime industry experience, the last thirty of which has been as a management consultant. Mr. St. Amand holds a B.S. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Webb Institute and an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. He previously served on National Academies’ Committees Assessing the U.S. Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Roles and Future Needs and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (Section 4115) Implementation Review. He also served on the U.S. Coast Guard’s Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) and has received U.S. Coast Guard’s Public Service Commendation and Certificate of Merit for his work on TSAC.

Mr. Eugene A. Van Rynbach
Herbert Engineering Corporation

Eugene A. Van Rynbach, is a Vice President at Herbert Engineering Corp. (HEC), and manager of the Annapolis, MD office. He joined HEC in 2005 after an extensive background in the ship operation and engineering fields. At HEC he has worked on projects including managing the concept design for the National Security Multi-mission Vessel (new state maritime academy training vessel) for MARAD, preparation of a suite of RoRo vessel designs for MARAD and other organizations for American Marine Highways, deputy engineering manager for the FPSO EnQuest Producer major at B+V Shipyard in Hamburg, LNG propulsion system design, conversion of a RoRo ship to partial containership, several newbuilding projects, vessel life extension studies, tanker piping system modifications, tanker barge construction cost estimates, technical support and plan approval management for a floating dry dock being built in China and evaluation of steel renewals for ships undergoing repairs. Prior to joining Herbert Engineering, Mr. Van Rynbach worked for 15 years as Manager of Technical Services for the container ship operator Sea-Land Service and its offshoot U. S. Ship Management.
Dr. Carin Ashjian
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Dr. Carin J. Ashjian is a Senior Scientist in the Department of Biology and the Henry Bryant Bigelow Senior Scientist Chair at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). She graduated with a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island in 1991. She did postdoctoral work at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University of Miami, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution before joining the scientific staff at WHOI in 1996. Her research has focused on oceanography, zooplankton ecology, and biological-physical interactions in a range of the world’s oceans. Her recent work focuses on the impact of climate change on polar ecosystems and the greater Arctic system, including the human dimension. She has extensive seagoing experience (60 research cruises) on a range of research vessel types, including USCG icebreakers (Polar Sea, Healy) the NSF icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer, and the UNOLS ice capable R/V Sikuliaq, serving as Chief Scientist on three cruises on USCGC Healy and two cruise on R/V Sikuliaq as well as on other UNOLS vessels. She has service on several national committees focusing on science mission requirements, design, acquisition, or testing of UNOLS research vessels and icebreakers. She was a member, and then Chair, of the UNOLS Arctic Icebreaker Coordinating Committee for which she received the USCG Meritorious Public Service Award.

About the Polar Research Board

The Polar Research Board (PRB) is a unit of the National Academies dedicated to enhancing understanding of the Arctic, Antarctic, and high-latitude regions and providing guidance to Congress, federal agencies, and the nation on cold region issues. The PRB facilitates participation of U.S. scientists in two international, nongovernmental polar scientific organizations–the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). The Board accomplishes its mission by:

  • providing a forum for the polar science community to address research needs and policy issues;
  • conducting studies and workshops on emerging scientific and policy issues in response to requests from federal agencies and others;
  • providing program reviews, guidance, and assessments of priorities, and;
  • facilitating communication on polar issues among academia, industry, and government.

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