Professor Aurelio Mercado Irizarry, retired professor of the Department of Marine Sciences of the Mayagüez University Campus (RUM), received an appointment as a member of the Tsunami Science and Technology Advisor Panel, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The panel’s main mission is to advise on scientific issues and the use of technology related to tsunamis.
“Once NOAA obtains complete information about something new, it in turn informs the agency administrator and the United States Congress. My functions as an advisor involve the knowledge of modeling, rendering, observations and suggesting new technologies that to date have not been implemented in the field of tsunamis ”, explained the professor.
Mercado Irizarry retired in 2018, after 39 years as a college teacher, and until last semester he taught his courses as an ad honorem professor at the Mayaguez campus of the University of Puerto Rico.
Mercado Irizarry became the only Puerto Rican among the group of seven scientists on the advisory panel, who come from other agencies at the state level and from academia.
“I will be in charge of a new aspect for me, which I had not worked before and that is the dissemination of information through communication channels. In addition, I will be part of the advice for the mitigation of damages and possible losses; in this way, the prediction of future events could be improved, as well as managing the instrumentation part of messages and alerts ”, he added.
The oceanographer appreciated the designation, which is added as an additional achievement within his career at the main educational center in the country.
“For me it is an honor, since now there are many people who are working with issues related to tsunamis. When I started in 1995, we were very few; and this is due to the increase in these atmospheric phenomena. I worked with hurricanes, coastal flooding and the impact on sea level rise. Now this field is more competitive ”, he indicated.
The president of the UPR, Dr. Jorge Haddock, highlighted the importance of the appointment of Professor Mercado Irrizarry for the academy and for Puerto Rico.
“On behalf of the entire university community, we extend congratulations to the esteemed professor Aurelio Mercado Irrizarry. With this appointment, his expertise is recognized once again and he puts his knowledge and extensive experience at the service of the communities, transcending the borders of the island. The greatest of successes in this new facet, ”said Haddock.