From prediction to insurance consideration to ecological aftermath, Florida State University experts are among the world leaders in the study of hurricanes and their impact on people, property and the environment. These experts are available to answer media questions and provide perspective for news stories throughout the 2018 hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.
FORECASTING, FORMATION AND TRACKING
Mark Bourassa, professor of meteorology
(850) 645-4788; Bourassa@coaps.com
Bourassa’s expertise is in air-sea interaction, tropical meteorology and satellite observation of the atmosphere and ocean. He is also 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.
Dmitry Dukhovskoy, associate research scientist at the FSU Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS)
(850) 644-1168; firstname.lastname@example.org
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 investigated topographically trapped waves, deep-water processes and ocean responses to hurricanes and storm surges.
James Elsner, Earl & Sofia Shaw Professor and chair of the Department of Geography
(850) 566-3800; email@example.com
Elsner is an expert on hurricanes and statistical models for long-range prediction. He researches the development of 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 climate change. He also is the president and CEO of Climatek, a company that develops software for hurricane and tornado risk models.
Steve Morey, associate research scientist at the FSU Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS)
(850) 644-0345; firstname.lastname@example.org
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, and deep-water processes over steep topography. He has recently worked with a team at COAPS on developing computer models of storm surge and coastal flooding.
COASTAL WILDLIFE EFFECTS
Thomas Miller, professor of biological science
(850) 644-9823; email@example.com
Miller researches coastal dune vegetation and the forces that structure plant communities on barrier islands, especially in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Miller has been conducting a long-term study of the vegetation on St. George Island to isolate the effects of hurricanes, drought, geomorphology and succession on the patterns of individual species and abundance and community diversity through time.
Jaap Nienhuis, assistant professor of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science
(850) 645-4987; firstname.lastname@example.org
Nienhuis investigates how tides, waves and sea level shape coastal environments through coastal hazards such as flooding, sinking and erosion.
RISK AND INSURANCE
Jack Nicholson, director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center
(850) 644-8217; email@example.com
Nicholson is an expert in catastrophic risk management. He spent 21 years as the chief operating officer of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and eight years in insurance regulation where he was involved in numerous legislative initiatives related to the industry.
Chris Uejio, assistant professor of geography
(850) 644-1706; firstname.lastname@example.org
Uejio studies how the physical environment affects human health. He is currently working with county health departments to help them assess potential environmental problems — such as hurricanes — that would affect public health and then develop action plans to combat these issues.