In the five weeks since we first shared the story of Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller citing MIIS student Tamara Patton’s work on geospatial analysis, Tamara’s work has continued to attract attention and plaudits from nuclear nonproliferation officials — and now the media has joined in. The Monterey County Herald’s December 6 front-page story (“MIIS student transforms nuclear intelligence”) highlights the influence that Tamara’s research is already having on the work of nonproliferation officials around the world.
In her October 27 remarks at Stanford University, Secretary Gottemoeller explained how Patton, a second-year honors student in the Institute’s Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies (NPTS) program, had taken open-source satellite images of Pakistan’s Khushab Plutonium Production Complex and used a freely available program called Google Sketch-up, as well as Google Earth tools and basic trigonometry, to construct a three-dimensional model of the facility. The model can then be overlaid onto a map, and used to analyze the potential uses of the facility. The NPTS program draws heavily for its curriculum on the expertise and resources resident in the Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) and Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program (MonTREP).
Two of Tamara’s colleagues in the CNS/NPTS galaxy also received significant media attention this week. Within the same 24-hour period that the Herald story appeared, the New York Times quoted CNS Senior Research Associate Miles Pomper regarding South Korea’s nuclear fuel enrichment program, and Professor of Nonproliferation Studies Avner Cohen was quoted in a TIME Magazine blog piece about tensions between Iran, Israel and the United States.