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ASA Models Aid U.S. Sailors in 2008 Olympics

Posted October 28, 2008 by

ASA extends congratulations to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team for strong performances in Beijing.

Anna Tunnicliffe led the team on the water with a gold medal in the Laser Radial class, the first gold medal for a U.S. female sailor in 20 years. Zach Railey in the Finn Class also had a strong performance, earning a silver medal for the U.S. ASA provided tide and current model predictions to team coaches and sailors for race planning and strategy. For the full press release on ASA’s models for U.S. sailors, visit www.asascience.com/news/releases.


ASA Models for the Gulf of Thailand

Posted October 28, 2008 by

ASA scientists have been supporting the offshore oil and gas industry for over 20 years with modeling services, contingency planning, forecasting, and environmental impact assessment services. Education on the conceptual components of these studies is essential to assist industry and regulators in understanding the role of science and the practical application of the results for the offshore community.
Oil and gas exploration and production has been active in the Gulf of Thailand for over 30 years. Currently there are over 200 oil and gas platforms operating in the Gulf of Thailand. Asia-Pacific ASA staff have been providing support for the very active Australia and Southeast Asia offshore regions, and are working closely with Chulalongkorn University and the Thailand Government looking at issues specific to the Gulf of Thailand.

On 13 June, Sasha Zigic gave a 3-hour seminar in Bangkok, Thailand on the application ASA’s models for offshore Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA). The seminar provided insight into the main components of the studies, understanding the metocean conditions (winds and currents), classifying possible discharges and analyzing the possible impacts from offshore discharges. Sasha described the use of tools such as HYROMAP for circulation modeling, OILMAP for probabilistic and deterministic oil spill modeling, and MUDMAP for the modeling of cuttings, mud, and production water discharges. The seminar provided practical examples of the interpretation of model results.

The following day Sasha provided a more technical seminar for government regulators and Chevron personnel. The seminar went into greater detail on the model formulations and validation, classification of the metocean input data for the Gulf of Thailand, and world-wide applications.

A stringent HYDROMAP validation study was undertaken for the Gulf of Thailand, comparing model results with measurement data from 11 tide stations. There was a very good agreement between the measured and predicted surface elevation, phase and amplitude. The successful validation of the model in this region was very satisfying for the modeling team at APASA as the complexity of water movement within the Gulf of Thailand is a real challenge for numerical models.


ASA’s SHARC: Breakthrough Java-Based Chemical Transport Model

Posted October 28, 2008 by

One of the challenges of modeling chemicals released into the environment is accurately determining how long they will persist. With this in mind, ASA has developed methods to incorporate both systemic and local changes in environmental state in order to provide the most accurate means of determining the temporal and spatial persistence of chemicals in the environment.

ASA recently delivered v1.0 (alpha) of the System for Hazard Assessment of Released Chemicals (SHARC) to the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). SHARC was developed as part of a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) project focused on the development of an advanced waterborne chemical transport modeling capability. SHARC was designed with the operational user in mind, and allows the operator to rapidly create and visualize incident characteristics and predictions from a single intuitive interface.

A chemical kinetics and fates module within SHARC incorporates available environmental information to provide thorough environmental fate determinations for a given chemical of interest. Hydrolysis is the major pathway for environmental degradation in an aqueous environment for water-reactive compounds which are moderately soluble to highly miscible. SHARC integrates chemical specific information, including solubility, density, and vapor pressure, with localized environmental variability to create a visual and analytical tool to provide the user with the ability to develop highly specific local fate scenarios. The model has the ability to calculate the hydrolysis rate instantaneously.

As with all of ASA’s systems, SHARC has a particular emphasis on near-real-time (NRT) data acquisition. As crucial as the underlying physics and chemistry is in providing realistic modeling results, the quality of the input data is a key factor. New web services-based technology allows servers to continuously evaluate different metocean data products, including winds and currents forecast data. The data services continually gather and integrate global and regional metocean datasets and make them available to operational responders on an as-needed basis. It has been shown that rapid access to present and future environmental information is essential when responding to a marine emergency.

SHARC is written in Java and represents ASA’s push to develop more applications that are compatible across different computing platforms. Java also leverages a number of open source components, including OpenMap. OpenMap is an open source JavaBeans’ GIS package developed and maintained by BBN Technologies. SHARC expands upon the base functionality provided by OpenMap by including layers and mapping tools specifically developed for viewing and manipulating both the environmental data ingested into SHARC as well as the model output. ASA has added support to OpenMap for formats such as NetCDF and Grib which are widely used in environmental sciences. SHARC also includes ASA’s TimeSlider component, which provides control over the presentation of time-varying data such as currents and the movement of chemical plumes. The system has been delivered to DTRA and is in pre-operational testing.


Mabbett & Associates, Inc. Opens Southern New England Office

Posted October 21, 2008 by

Mabbett & Associates, Inc. (M&A), Environmental Consultants and Engineers, Bedford, Massachusetts, recently announced the opening of a Southern New England Regional Office in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Arthur N. Mabbett, President of M&A indicated that “the firm is most pleased to open a Southern New England Regional Office in the City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island in the recently restored and historic Hope Artiste Mill Complex. The firm has primarily served manufacturing industry in Rhode Island for many years but now is even more committed to grow locally in Rhode Island, the Massachusetts South Coast and Western Connecticut areas from a Pawtucket base. The Providence-Pawtucket area affords increased opportunity for the firm to attract competent and experienced scientists, consultants and engineers and to thus, grow the firm?s business in both the local-municipal, state, Federal and private sectors. M&A; is committed to growth and we are confident of the new office’s success.”

Founded in 1980, M&A is an award-winning Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business and provides integrated multi-disciplinary consulting and engineering services in environmental, health and safety management, waste minimization/pollution prevention, site assessment and restoration, environmental pollution control, occupational safety and health, energy conservation, sustainability, and training to industry, commercial enterprise and public agencies. For more information regarding M&A, visit the firm’s website at www.mabbett.com.


Nutter Ranks #1 Nationally in Summer Associate Survey for Second Consecutive Year

Posted October 14, 2008 by

Nutter ranks #1 nationally in Summer Associate Survey for second consecutive year

Only Boston firm to make The American Lawyer’s Top 5

(BOSTON) – The law firm of Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP ranked #1 nationally, for a second consecutive year, in The American Lawyer’s annual Summer Associate Survey.  Nutter scored a perfect 5 out of a possible 5 points to achieve the top ranking.  This news complements the 2008 American Lawyer’s annual survey of midlevel associates, in which Nutter ranked #1 nationally.

The annual survey is based on feedback from more than 7,600 law students, each of whom worked at least three weeks at one of the 190 firms surveyed.  Nutter is the only Boston firm to be named in the top 5, with perfect scores in all nine categories, including training, guidance, quality of work and interaction with partners.  This year, The American Lawyer recognized Nutter as a “perennial favorite,” particularly for its commitment to providing summer associates with substantive work.

“We place a high value on our summer associates and the work they do on behalf of the firm,”
Nutter’s Managing Partner Michael Mooney said.  “While partners lead our client matters, we are committed to creating an environment for our summer associates where they gain experience as key members of the team and are given responsibility.”

About Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
: Founded in 1879 by future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis and Samuel D. Warren, Nutter is one of the oldest and most distinguished law firms in New England.  The firm, with offices in Boston and Hyannis, has grown to its present strength of more than 150 lawyers by building on a tradition of professional excellence, ingenuity, and foresight in serving clients.  For more information, visit www.nutter.com.