Message from the President

A Message From the President, Winter 2019

Dear Colleagues, 

One of my goals has been to align VASEM activities more directly with growing the prosperity and well-being of our citizens.  That theme was front and center at the recent summit, Securing Prosperity in the Coastal Zone.  The urgency was evident as people came together in unprecedented numbers to discuss time-critical steps that will increase Virginia’s resilience from the Atlantic to the upper reaches of our remarkable Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America. I was impressed to realize the number of dedicated groups working on these issues at every scale from large infrastructure to small business owners and neighborhoods.  To my delight, and to my dismay, many of these groups were meeting each other for the first time.  The new connections speak to the excitement that I have for VASEM as a unique and unifying resource for Virginia. 

The challenges of building coastal resilience are complex and interconnected. Putting the pieces together will require policy decisions that address big-picture regional issues that can also be locale-specific.  These policy needs are urgent because the big storms, such as the near-miss of Hurricane Florence in 2018, will not wait for us to act.

VASEM is an independent resource to assist with that effort.  Just as VASEM worked to provide policymakers with independent and actionable recommendations for how to grow the aerospace industry in Virginia, the VASEM network of technical expertise in science, engineering, and health is an independent resource to help identify actionable paths to growing resilience in the coastal zone— a profound challenge of our time

Looking ahead, future Summit and workshop events will continue to focus on topics that broadly relate to the theme of securing prosperity for the citizens and businesses of Virginia.  These topics come from policymakers and our members so I encourage you to contact me with your thoughts about urgent needs in Virginia and how a VASEM-led technical study or an event can focus experts on a shared problem-solving objective.  There is much to do, but working together, we can secure prosperity for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  


Patricia Dove, Ph.D.
President, Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
Member, National Academy of Sciences (2012)
University Distinguished Professor and C.P. Miles Professor of Science
Virginia Tech