Three-day event highlights sustainability research

This is STAR-TIDES's third year holding its sustainability research demonstration on Mason's Fairfax Campus. Photo provided.

From Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus will host a major technology demonstration focused on a global knowledge-sharing network called STAR-TIDES, which is an acronym for Sharing To Accelerate Research—Transformative Innovation for Development and Emergency Support. STAR-TIDES, which is affiliated with Mason’s Institute for a Sustainable Earth (ISE), is devoted to building sustainable resilience and improving humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery.

This year’s demo will open at noon on Monday, Sept. 30, with a keynote address by Vint Cerf, one of the pioneers of the Internet, in Merten Hall, Room 1201, followed by other speakers, in parallel with demonstrations on the lawn near the Panda Express. Cerf, often called the “father of the Internet,” also holds an honorary doctor of science from Mason, which he was awarded in 2000.

The three days of exhibits and demonstrations on the Merten Lawn will address such topics as energy storage, 3D printing, information and communications technology (ICT), drones and geographic information systems, public health, and humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery. The event also will explore how the exhibitors could contribute to two broad scenarios: hurricane and flooding disaster relief and infrastructure resilience, including work being done in Puerto Rico, and increasing resilience in interdependent critical infrastructures in Northern Virginia.

STAR-TIDES is overseen by Mason's new transdisciplinary Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities, in affiliation with ISE. The center has a vision that communities worldwide can create life-changing social and economic opportunities through locally led, bottom-up resilience and sustainability initiatives supported by cross-cutting approaches and effective, replicable models. It builds on work begun by Mason’s Community Resilience Lab over the past 18 months.

Since this demo is designed to showcase equipment that works under field conditions, there are no rain dates. The hours will be 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday. There will be incentives for student attendance like free food, T-shirts, contests and, in some cases, class credits.

For more information about the initiative, see