Thesis Defense by Inga Wuerges Thursday, March 27th at 8:00 a.m.
Space Studies Master’s student, Inga Wuerges, will defend her thesis as follows. Please show your support by attending.
When: Thursday, March 27th, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. (Central)
Where: Ryan Hall, Room 111
Title: Panic Development Mechanisms and Preventive Methods Analysis
About the Topic: Panic Development (PD) is one of the most serious areas of investigation due to such debilitating effects on human performance during high stress situations in extreme environments. High level of anxiety and panic invoked incidents are a real threat and can bring fatal consequences. However, this research area is one of the least explored due to severe restrictions on experimentation with human test subjects. Human Space Exploration ushered a new era for high stress extreme operational environments. The properly tailored training programs to prepare for new and unexpected situations during critical phases of such missions are in need of developing. Human integration with complicated Space Launch Systems and staggering amounts of visual and auditory presentations at a moment’s notice can be severely overwhelming to improperly trained astronauts. A delicate balance of crew selection, training, and design to consider cramped spaces while aboard a space vehicle, unexpected possibility of a solitary stay on an alien planet, or an instant success or failure during high stress emergency situation is an ongoing process. All task inputs and considerations will impact an overall operator’s Situational Awareness (SA) that ultimately determines an ability to recognize and control panic while accurately executing required mission protocols.
This research was aimed at investigating possible panic development profiles and preventive methods. There are many analogous extreme environments on earth: diving, mountain climbing, high altitudes skydiving and base parachute jumps, flying that can serve as a test medium for future space exploration training programs. The research focused on realistic training scenarios during intense military flying training exercise Red-Flag Alaska at Eielson AFB, AK. The high paced scenario based training environment is ideally suited to test pilot’s understanding, experience, and coping mechanisms during panic induced status. Most participants have had previous experience with panic and were able to relate valuable information in relation to realistic scenario/hands-on type of training environment. The questionnaire was developed with a focus on how realistic training techniques improve an ability to deal with a stressful situation at hand and further help recognize and develop positive coping mechanisms in future operational environments associated with potential panicked state development. The survey was crosstabulated using chi-square statistical methods and four portions: demographics, realistic training, realistic training and panic relationship, and realistic training benefits considered for evaluation. Based on theoretical considerations and preliminary statistical data analysis the questionnaire provided, panic development is a real danger to human performance in extreme environment missions. Training to recognize, overcome, or prevent panic development through realistic scenarios is a crucial part to a successful mission outcome. Further research is needed to focus on how realistic training techniques improve an ability to deal with specific situations on individual bases and how to develop training programs as close to real life environments as possible.
About the author: Captain Inga Wuerges is a KC-135R/T Stratotanker pilot in Alaska Air National Guard at Eielson AFB, AK with over 3,000 hours of total flight time and over 1,000 hours of Aircraft Commander time. She received her Associates degree in Pilot Technology from Miami Dade Community College, Aviation Department and graduated Magna Cum Laude. At the same time, she obtained her Commercial Multiengine Instrument Pilot’s ratings. She continued her education at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and received her Bachelor degree in Aviation Business Administration with a Minor in Aviation Safety. After graduation, she was selected to become a pilot in the Air Force Active Duty. Her first operational base was Grand Forks AFB, ND where she continued her Academic education at UND Space Studies Department within the area of research related to human performance in extreme environments. Her professional pilot career made her aware of dangers associated with human operators functioning under extreme stress or panic and a need to develop more precisely tailored realistic training scenarios to successfully accomplish a vital mission where human subjects involved as a critical part of the system.
******Those unable to attend in person may view the live webcast******
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