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Solar Eclipse Webinar: Preparing for August 21, 2017 - Webinar Materials


Target Audiences 

  • State and local departments of transportation (DOTs) in the 14 states as well as the neighboring states who are under the path of the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse.
  • Event planners and organizers in those cities and towns who will witness the path of solar totality and who wish to learn more about how best to work with State and local DOTs in both the development and implementation of their solar eclipse transportation plans.
  • Those wanting to learn more about the solar eclipse, events that will occur as part of the eclipse celebration, and how rural, urban and states have begun to develop plans for the event.


Learning Objectives 

  • Understand what is known about the upcoming solar eclipse and how State and local agencies have begun to address a truly “rare” planned special event.
  • Understand who your partners are for the event and how best to reach them to ensure that our state/locality have enough time to develop, test and implement plans.
  • Understand how to take what you’ve learned as you prepare for the event and to make it available for those states who will witness the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse.




  • Laurel Radow, Evacuations/Emergencies and Planned Special Events (PSE) Program Manager, Traffic Incident and Events Management Team, Office of Operations, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)  Laurel Radow joined FHWA in 1996 and currently manages the agency’s PSE programs as well as a range of TIM tasks. Current TIM and PSE responsibilities and tasks include: management of the document, “Making the TIM Business Case”; deployment of the TIM Virtual Public Outreach Toolkit, the TIM SHRP2 (Strategic Highway Research Program 2); TIM responder training; management of the Planned Special Events Capability Maturity Framework workshops; and authorship of the August 2016 publication, “2017 Solar Eclipse Transportation Fact Sheet for State and Local Departments of Transportation.” Since 2014, Ms. Radow has served as Vice Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Standing Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Protection (ABR10). This committee is one of the three committees in TRB’s new section, Transportation Resiliency.



The Eclipse

  • Madhulika  (Lika) Guhathakurta, PhD., Program Scientist, is with the Heliophysics Division (HPD), Science Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Headquarters and serves as the lead scientist for the event.  NASA is the lead agency for the eclipse. As a NASA astrophysicist, Dr. Guhathakurta has had the opportunity to work as a scientist, mission designer, instrument builder, directing and managing science programs and teacher and spokesperson for NASA's mission and vision in the Heliophysics Division. Before joining NASA Headquarters in December of 1998, her career focused on studying the importance of the scientific exploration of space in particular understanding the Sun as a star and its influence on the planet Earth, with research focus on understanding the magneto hydrodynamics of the Sun's outermost layer, the solar corona. She has been a Co-Investigator on five Spartan 201 missions on aboard space shuttles to study the solar corona in white-light and UV radiation and has authored more than 70 publications.  Dr. Guhathakurta has been the Lead Program Scientist for NASA's initiative called "Living With a Star" (LWS) which focuses on understanding and ultimately predicting solar variability and its diverse effects on Earth, human technology and astronauts in space and presently manages Emerging Partnership efforts within the division."
  • Shauna Edson, Astronomy Educator, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory  Shauna Edson is a pre-school dropout and lifelong learner, now an Astronomy Educator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Her job is to facilitate awe experiences with visitors as they use the telescopes at the Museum’s Public Observatory. Before discovering this dream job, Shauna worked as an environmental consultant, cleaning up hazardous material spills and writing compliance reports. A volunteer gig at the local natural history museum led to an MAT in Museum Education, which brought her to Washington, DC. She has worked at the National Air and Space Museum since 2012. As part of the team developing educational materials and programs for the 2017 eclipse, Shauna will discuss the efforts underway at the affiliated museums in the states where the total eclipse will be visible.


Rural/Urban/State Transportation Plans

  • Rich Ochs is currently the Emergency Management/Homeland Security Coordinator for Teton County, WY and the Town of Jackson. He has had the honor of serving in this position since September of 2009. Prior to serving as Emergency Management/Homeland Security Coordinator, Rich was the Deputy Coordinator from 2007 through 2009. Rich held a variety of positions in public safety in Teton County with Jackson Hole Fire/EMS, Teton County Sheriff’s Office, and the Jackson Hole Airport, all of which have helped him gain the understanding needed to coordinate between agencies in an emergency management role.In addition to his emergency management duties, Rich is a state-certified Incident Command System instructor, chairman of the Teton County Local Emergency Planning Committee, and Western Area Director of the Wyoming All-Hazards Association.  Rich is a FEMA-certified Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP), a graduate of FEMA’s National Emergency Management Advanced Academy, and has also received his Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) designation from the International Association of Emergency Managers.
  •  Stewart Anderson, has served with the Natrona County Wyoming Sheriff’s Office for more than 33 years with the rank of Lieutenant. For the past 27 years, he has served as the Natrona County Emergency Management Coordinator. Natrona County covers 5,700 square miles with a population of approximately 70,000. Stew is responsible for the planning and coordination of all responses to the hazards that affect the County which include everything except tsunamis and hurricanes. During this tenure he has completed the FEMA Professional Development Series as well as Advance Practical Series. Stew also served as a non-direct ICS instructor for CDP as well as instructs various emergency management courses and with different institutions. He serves as the LEPC Chairman and as the Eastern Area Director of the Wyoming All Hazards Association. In addition, Stew is an EMS training Captain for the Evansville WY Fire Department and is a state certified EMT, Professional Peace Officer and General Instructor.   Lt. Anderson will talk about how Casper is preparing for both the event and the weekend before when an astronomy conference will be held and Casper’s population is more than likely to double.  Wyoming Eclipsefest Casper 2017 blog -
  • Derial Bivens, CEMP, Emergency Manager, Tennessee DOT will talk about the types of issues and concerns state and local departments of transportation need to consider for this event.  Mr. Bivens joined Tennessee DOT in 1994.  As head of TDOT Office of Emergency Operations since 2006, Mr. Bivens administers TDOT’s Emergency Preparedness and Infrastructure Protection Programs.  Prior to joining TDOT, he served as an Army Engineer Officer for 23 years and is a veteran of both the Cold War and Persian Gulf War.  Mr. Bivens worked in 26 different countries, primarily in topographic mapping and road-building functions.  With a BS in Business Administration and Project Management from Colorado Technical University, Mr. Bivens also has certificates in Engineering/ Construction Management and in Logistics Management; is a Certified Professional Emergency Manager, and holds various other certifications in critical infrastructure protection, emergency communications and hazardous materials.


To learn more about the eclipse, please go to

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