GVSU President helped manage Exxon Valdez spill clean-up
Thomas Haas thethornapple.com
Patrick Center March 24, 2014 | WGVU “I was put into an office to figure out how are we going to manage the measurement of how clean is clean? In other words we needed to figure out the way to communicate to various stakeholders our responsibility in identifying the progress of the spill clean-up.”
Coast guard Lieutenant Commander, Thomas Haas, was dealing with the government and the media.
“Well it was government federal, state, local. You also had significant interest by environmentalists as well and we also had the bureaucracy of Exxon we had to deal with. The Coast Guard was the on-scene coordinator. There was a two-star admiral in charge and I was his direct report. Then in order to create a system, a data system really, that we knew would eventually go into the courts to show our decision making and then really create something that hadn’t been created before. How do we measure the clean-up operation? How effective were our operations in the long and short run? So that’s what they put me in charge of. I was not an I.T. guy but I learned quickly on how to use the technology that were available to us at that point in time and also using some of the newer technologies when it came to both mapping and display of the data set so that many could understand what was happening and how the progress of the spill clean-up was going especially during that first summer.”
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