CNS Summer Undergraduate Interns Share Research

Masako Toki
August 2, 2018

2018 Summer Interns

For more than a decade, Sarah and Tom Pattison have been stalwart supporters and friends of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS). They are the major supporters of the Summer Undergraduate Nonproliferation Program. CNS has been fortunate to have such dedicated friends who value and understand the importance of nonproliferation and disarmament education to the goal of peace and security in a world free of nuclear weapons.

Since 2015, one of the highlights of the annual Summer Internship Program is when the interns present their research at a luncheon event with the Pattisons, CNS experts, relevant MIIS faculty and staff members, and other friends. This year, Tom and Sarah visited CNS to meet with the summer interns on July 27.

With a personal commitment to nonproliferation and a more secure and peaceful world, Tom and Sarah established the Tom and Sarah Pattison Fund a decade ago in support of the CNS mission. Their generosity bolsters CNS activities related to efforts to achieve a WMD-free zone in the Middle East as well as the training of young scholars and fellows in the nonproliferation field. In this way, CNS’s unique Summer Undergraduate Nnonproliferation Internship Program aligns with the purpose of the Fund.

At the luncheon, thirteen top-level undergraduate interns presented the key findings of their research projects. This year’s group is a diverse set of undergraduate students from a variety of backgrounds and specializations. The students were divided into four groups according to their research interests.

Each group presented two to four sets of research projects, each demonstrating their use of sophisticated research methodologies and solid studies to back up their analyses:

Media Narratives in Nonproliferation

By Rowen Price, Ethan Fecht, and Jack Nassetta
These presentations covered Chinese media narratives on nuclear issues and an analysis of the social media conversations surrounding coercive nonproliferation in Syria.

Analyzing Chemical/Biological/Radiological/Nuclear Weapons Capabilities Using Open-Source Data

By Yun Zhang, Ariel Du Temple, and Caroline Gustavson
The second group’s two presentations examined how climate change affects the patterns of anthrax outbreaks, and the radiological-weapons capabilities and intentions of the Houthi rebels and al-Qaida.

New Tech: Geospatial and Countermeasure Intelligence

By Octave Lepinard, Jenna Mazza, and Masao Dahlgren
The third group introduced their research projects on CNS’s satellite imagery project titled Geo4nonpro, and the effectiveness of missile defense. (Their presentation was based on research that has yet to be published. Due to this, their presentation will not be posted publicly.)

How Nuclear Governments Think: National Strategies, Policies, and Behavior

By Megan Gillahan, Christine Roberts, Claudia Deitch, and Kenshin Cho
The fourth group researched salient nonproliferation topics of different regions and countries, including South Africa’s nuclear program and apartheid regime, India and Pakistan’s crisis behavior, US export controls in a protectionist world, and the 1950s Soviet radiological-weapons program.

The luncheon was a mutually enjoyable event for all participants, who engaged in lively and thoughtful discussions following the students’ presentations.

Audience members were very impressed by the undergraduate interns’ high-quality research projects as well as their analytical skills. CNS Director Dr. William Potter, in his final comments, shared his conviction in the importance of nonproliferation education for the next generation to combat proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

All the summer interns were selected through a rigorous and competitive application process. The summer undergraduate internship in nonproliferation studies offers college students a rare opportunity to engage in research on nonproliferation issues. This initiative helps fulfill the CNS mission to train the next generation of nonproliferation specialists, a mission which has been consistently supported by the Tom and Sarah Pattison Fund.

CNS is also grateful for the Early Family Fund for International Education for their generous support for the interns from Middlebury College.

Slideshow from Event

2018-07-27-Pattison event

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