Office of Science and Technology Policy Blog
- Posted byon April 30, 2013 at 8:26 AM EST
This article is posted in full on the Joining Forces website
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at the White House Forum on Military Credentialing and Licensing, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, April 29, 2013. The First Lady announces the IT Training and Certification Partnership, a new public-private partnership that will enable thousands of service members to earn industry-recognized information technology (IT) certifications before they transition from military service. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
At the event, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the launch of the IT Training and Certification Partnership, a new public-private program that addresses an issue that can prevent our troops from gaining employment in the private sector: Active military personnel typically do not have the industry-recognized certifications that reflect the IT skills and expertise they gained through their military service.
- Posted byon April 29, 2013 at 2:57 PM EST
President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the National Academy of Sciences on its 150th anniversary, in Washington, D.C., April 29, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
- Posted byon April 29, 2013 at 12:22 PM EST
Dan Wojciechowski is a Washington National Guard Major who recently completed the IT Training and Certification Program pilot. The pilot provided him with the necessary licenses for a new position at Costco Corporate Headquarters, where he will start as an Information Security Analyst in June, 2013.
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the White House Forum on Military Credentialing and Licensing, where she announced the IT Training and Certification Program. This program will offer Service members an opportunity to receive industry-recognized information technology (IT) certifications as they transition from military service. That announcement had special meaning for me. Last year I had the great honor of being asked to participate in the pilot for the IT Training and Certification Program as part of the President's Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force, with the goal of finding ways to smooth Service members’ transition to working in the private sector. Today’s announcements by the First Lady showed that the work the Task Force has done is definitely going to make a difference for a growing number of Service members.
I know the potential of this kind of program from personal experience. I was part of the pilot program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State, and it has already paid significant dividends for me. Through the pilot program I have now acquired several certifications that have been huge enablers for my transition into a civilian career. Basically, the training and certification processes helped align my military experience as a signal officer in the Washington Army National Guard with the business needs of employers who are looking for people with IT skills. With those certification credentials following my name on my resume, I got a solid job at Costco Wholesale, working as an Information Security Analyst.
- Posted byon April 26, 2013 at 2:17 PM EST
Just as there is weather on Earth, there is weather in space. And though we cannot directly see or feel it when we step outside, it has the potential impact our daily lives.
“Space weather” originates on the Sun, can release the energy-equivalent of 100 hurricanes in just minutes, and can produce wind gusts that exceed one million mph. Every 11 years, the Sun undergoes a period of heightened activity called the "solar maximum”—a period that is occurring right now—that can bring especially powerful solar eruptions and hurl energetic particles into space, sometimes toward the Earth. Though the likelihood that these solar storms will thrust particles in our planet’s general direction is very low—when they do, they can damage satellites, harm astronauts in space, make GPS information erratic or undependable, and in some cases even cause electricity blackouts on the Earth.
That’s why the Federal Government works to maintain a range of sophisticated instruments on the ground and in space, which collect data on space weather phenomena spewing particles outward from the Sun. And, that’s why today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a new report, Space Weather Observing Systems: Current Capabilities and Requirements for the Next Decade—an assessment of our Nation’s capacity to monitor and forecast potentially harmful space weather aimed at ensuring these critical capabilities continue to be supported and maintained.
- Posted byon April 26, 2013 at 12:33 PM EST
In its November 2012 report, “Transformation and Opportunity: The Future of the U.S. Research Enterprise,” the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) encouraged the Federal Government to adopt policies that enable researchers to collaborate more efficiently. The recommendation recognized that interdisciplinary collaboration can increase productivity and innovation by ensuring that the best expertise and widest range of capacities are brought to bear on the toughest problems.
Across the Federal Government, agencies are stepping up to do just that. In one recent example, the Physical Sciences – Oncology Centers Network (PS-OC), a program run by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), assembled an interdisciplinary group of physicists, engineers, mathematicians, chemists, computational scientists, and biologists from 20 laboratories across the country to investigate the biophysical progression of malignant tumor cells.
Using identical cells and chemicals, and under carefully standardized and well-documented conditions, 95 researchers, including 46 graduate students and post-doctoral scholars, used nearly 20 distinct laboratory techniques to perform coordinated molecular and biophysical studies on tumor cells to accomplish what no scientist could have done alone: track what happens to a cell as it gains the capacity to spread to other parts of the body—a key transition that makes cancer much more difficult to treat and is the main cause of cancer-related mortality.
- Posted byon April 25, 2013 at 12:36 PM EST
One of the core goals of the President’s Safety Data Initiative is to empower first responders and the public with information to make the safest and smartest decisions when they need it. In support of this goal, there has been a proliferation of innovative public safety apps—a number of which have been highlighted at the OSTP-supported Safety Datapalooza—using open data from local governments and Federal agencies.
The Red Cross Hurricane and Earthquake apps, for example, put lifesaving information in the hands of people who live in or are visiting hurricane- and earthquake-prone areas, giving instant access to local information on what to do before, during, and after hurricanes or earthquakes. And the PulsePoint app empowers citizens trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to provide life‐saving assistance to heart attack victims by notifying those trained citizens when someone nearby is having a cardiac emergency. The app also directs citizen rescuers to the location of the closest publicly accessible Automated External Defibrillator.
To make this growing number of public safety apps more available and useful, organizations supporting the first responder community have begun to aggregate and promote them. Yesterday, for example, saw the launch of a new public safety application community, “AppComm,”created by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International.
Separately, in support of the President’s call to improve public safety and emergency preparedness, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) had its latest board meeting on Tuesday.
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