Expert Pitch: 2016 Hurricane Season

James Elsner, professor of geography.
James Elsner, chair of the FSU Department of Geography

Florida State University’s experts are among the best in the nation when it comes to the study of hurricanes and their impact on people and property. These experts are available to answer media questions and provide perspective to news stories throughout the 2016 hurricane season.

Mark Bourassa, professor of meteorology, (850) 644-6923 or 645-4788;
Bourassa’s expertise is in the transfer of energy and momentum between the ocean and the atmosphere, and remote sensing, particularly of surface winds. He also is an expert in surface water waves and the identification of tropical disturbances, possible precursors to tropical cyclones. Recent work has involved remotely sensed estimates of the energy released in storms as water vapor is converted to precipitation.

James Elsner, professor of geography, (850) 566-3800;
Elsner is an expert on hurricanes and statistical models for long-range prediction. His research focuses on developing the science and technology for modeling the risk of a catastrophic storm along the nation’s coastline. He studies the relationship of hurricanes to climate factors, including El Niño and global warming. His recent work compares hurricane activity along the Gulf Coast measured from historical and geological records, and he has developed a model for predicting the likelihood of economic losses.

Steven Morey, associate research scientist at the FSU Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS), (850) 644-0345;
Morey’s research focuses on studying physical processes and circulation within the Gulf of Mexico. He conducts studies of estuarine systems and their connectivity to the offshore environment, the ocean response to hurricanes and deep-water processes over steep topography. He is currently working with a team at COAPS developing computer models of storm surge and coastal flooding.

Dmitry Dukhovskoy, associate research scientist at the FSU Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS), (850) 644-1168;
Dukhovskoy’s research interests focus on numerical modeling of ocean physical processes, including ocean dynamics, storm surges, air-sea interaction, waves and tides. He has been involved in different research efforts that studied ocean response to tropical storms. He was part of the team that developed a storm surge model for the U.S. Gulf Coast for flood risk assessment in the Gulf of Mexico.

Lorilee Medders, director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center, (850) 645-8393;
Medders is an expert on catastrophe modeling, statistics, insurance and finance aspects of hurricanes and other severe storms. She has special expertise in risk modeling, catastrophe risk finance, markets for catastrophe insurance, incentive systems for pre-disaster mitigation and adaptation, economic resilience to disasters, economic sustainability, and organizational reputation/crisis risk management.