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 UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

March 4, 2004
Susan Beasy Latto, Director, UMD Public Relations 218 726-8830
James Riehl, Dean, UMD College of Science & Engineering 218 726-6397
Carol Wolosz, Director, UMD NATSRL Program 218 726-7446
Robert Johns, Director, U of M Center for Transportation Studies 612 625-9376

UMD to Host the
James L. Oberstar Forum on Transportation Policy and Technology
March 14-15
"Transportation in Rural America - Challenges and Opportunities"

National, State and Area Leaders to Attend

Public Open Forum
March 15 at 1 p.m.

Congressman James L. Oberstar and the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) will host the 3rd annual University of Minnesota James L. Oberstar Forum on Transportation Policy and Technology March 14-15 in the UMD Weber Music Hall and the Tweed Museum of Art. The conference is titled "Transportation in Rural America-Challenges and Opportunities". It will be attended by U.S. Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy (U.S. Department of Transportation) Emil Frankel along with nearly 40 national, state and local transportation professionals, academic leaders, and N.E. Minnesota legislators.

Participants will re-examine current assumptions and develop potential new directions for national transportation policy. A major goal is to strengthen the transfer and application of academic research to transportation policy and technology development. The Forum is named for Minnesota Congressman James L. Oberstar, a long-time leader in creating national transportation policy and establishing research and education programs in transportation technology.

This year's forum will explore how rural America is being transformed and the resulting challenges for transportation. It will also examine the potential opportunities and new policy directions for transportation in rural and small urban areas.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • rbanization of the countryside
  • diversification of the rural economy
  • changing role of transportation in economic development
  • low density issues of accessibility, separation, and isolation
  • opportunities for technology in rural transportation
  • the governor's role and public policy implications

The public is cordially invited to an Open Forum on Monday, March 15 at 1 p.m. in the UMD Weber Music Hall. Keynote speakers will be U.S.Congressman James L. Oberstar and U.S. Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation Emil Frankel. A panel discussion titled "Implications for Minnesota and the Nation" will follow moderated by Robert Johns, Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies.

Sponsors of the Forum are:
the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies and
the UMD Northland Advanced Transportation System Research Laboratory(NATSRL)



Sunday, March 14

2:30pm Registration of Invited Participants - Solon Campus Center
3:00 Welcome and Introductions
Vince Magnuson, Vice Chancellor for Academic Administration, University of Minnesota Duluth
Robert Johns, Director, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
3:15 Remarks
The Honorable James Oberstar, United States Representative
4:15 Setting the Stage - Faculty Presentations
Taek Kwon, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department University of Minnesota Duluth. Rural Transportation: Where are we today?
Richard Stewart, Associate Professor, Transportation and Logistics Department, University of Wisconsin - Superior. Moving Freight in Rural America
William Gartner, Professor, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota Twin Cities. The Economic Impact of Small Airports
5:45 Reception and Dinner - Tweed Museum of Art
7:00 Administrators' Roundtable
Modal Administrators Invited
8:15 Closing Remarks - Congressman James Oberstar
Monday, March 15
8:00 Discussion: Issues and Policy Actions
Facilitators: Kathy Stein, Principal, Howard Stein-Hudson and Associates, and Cheri Marti, CTS
11:15 Working Lunch - Tweed Museum of Art
11:30 Summary Report
Steve Lockwood, Vice President, Parsons Brinckerhoff
11:45 Dialogue on Policy Directions
Moderator: Robert Johns, CTS
Congressman James Oberstar
Emil Frankel, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation
The Honorable Tim Pawlenty, Governor, State of Minnesota (invited)
1:00pm Adjourn to Public Forum - Weber Music Hall


1:30 Welcome - The Honorable Herb Bergson, Mayor, City of Duluth
1:45 Keynote Remarks, Emil Frankel, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation
2:30 "Implications for Minnesota and the Nation" - Panel Discussion
Moderator: Robert Johns
Panelists: Congressman James Oberstar
Mr. James M. Foote, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Canadian National Railroad
Mr. Paul Foley, Chief Executive Officer, MAIR Holdings, Incorporated (including Mesaba Airlines)
Mr. Larry Naake, Executive Director, National Association of Counties
4:00 Concluding Remarks
Congressman James Oberstar

Northland Advanced Transportation Systems Research Laboratories (NATSRL)
Background Statement

NATSRL Program Coordinator

The Northland Advanced Transportation Systems Research Laboratories (NATSRL) is a relatively new research center under the University of Minnesota Duluth, and is affiliated with the University of Minnesota's University Transportation Center (UTC) in Minneapolis.

Target research areas are winter transportation systems, small urban transportation issues, and inter-modal freight transportation systems integrating shipping, railroad, and trucks. NATSRL's intent is to provide balanced research and education programs that actively pursue basic and applied topics in transportation.

NATSRL was formally established in March 2001. Since that time, it have progressed to having three laboratory areas: The Advanced Sensor Research Lab (ASRL); the Transportation Data Research Lab (TDRL); and the Transportation Engineering Research Lab (TERL).

Current research projects cover a wide range of topics, including visual and electronic traffic and road sensors, traffic flow and management in high traffic areas, management and benchmarking of transportation and road equipment with specific interest in winter road maintenance activities.

We receive some funding through DOT, but would like to pursue relationships that would mutually benefit other agencies in the Northland. Also, we are looking for partnering areas in the community where transportation research needs exist.

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