Bookmark and Share
Faculty & Staff Focus, General Information, Media Advisory, Research, Science & Technology

2014 Hurricane Season: LSU Hurricane Experts Available

05/30/2014 11:49 AM

BATON ROUGE – Members of the media may be interested in contacting LSU experts for comment or analysis throughout the 2014 hurricane season.

 

LSU’s faculty study all aspects of risks associated with living in the coastal zone, and their areas of expertise include evacuation and emergency preparation; waves, wind and storm surge; water and environmental issues; and coastal land loss.

 

*This list is not meant to be comprehensive. For more information on LSU researchers, please visit www.lsu.edu or contact Billy Gomila at bgomila@lsu.edu or 225-578-3867 or Aaron Looney at alooney@lsu.edu or 225-578-3871.

 

Storms/Climatology/Coastal Modeling

Q. Jim Chen, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering
225-578-4911, qchen@lsu.edu  
Areas of Expertise: coastal engineering, prediction of storm surge and ocean waves, numerical modeling of costal processes, design of coastal structures

 

Haosheng Huang, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, School of the Coast & Environment
225-578-5117, hhuang7@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Huang studies physical oceanography, circulation in regional seas and continental shelves, coastal and estuarine circulation dynamics, unstructured grid numerical modeling and data assimilation, tide and storm surge simulation, bio-physical interaction and ecosystem modeling.

 

Barry Keim, Department of Geography & Anthropology, State Climatologist
225-578-6170, keim@lsu.edu  
Areas of Expertise: Keim serves as the State Climatologist and directs the Louisiana Office of State Climatology, housed in LSU’s Department of Geography and Anthropology. The Louisiana Office of State Climatology serves as the state's archive for weather and climate information. Keim is charged with fostering climatic research on Louisiana and the Southeast, educating the public on climate issues, providing data to the public, and monitoring the climate of the state. He has extensive experience in researching severe weather, including hurricanes and heavy rainfall events.

 

Chunyan Li , Director of WAVCIS, the Wave-Current-Surge Information System for Coastal Louisiana, Department  of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, School of the Coast & Environment
225-578-3619, cli@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Li can comment on physical oceanography, transport, coastal and estuarine circulations, innovative observations, modeling, extreme weather (such as hurricane) induced water level change including storm surges.

 

Kam-bui Liu, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, School of the Coast & Environment
225-578-8203 or kliu1@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Liu is widely recognized as a pioneer and leader in paleotempestology, an emerging field that studies past hurricane activity by means of geological proxy techniques and historical documentary evidence. Liu takes sediment cores from coastal lakes and marshes and uses the overwash sand layers contained in these cores to reconstruct the chronological and spatial patterns of catastrophic hurricane strikes along the U.S. Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast during the last 5,000 years. He has extended his paleotempestology work to the Caribbean region, Central America, and the Pacific coast of Mexico, and has studied the connection between hurricane strikes and coastal wildfires. He is also a leader in the use of documentary evidence to reconstruct the history of typhoon landfalls in China during the last 1,000 years.  He teaches a course called “Hurricanes and Typhoons” covering all topics relating to tropical cyclones from their global distribution, climatology and ecology to their geological and societal impact.

 

Lawrence Rouse, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, School of the Coast & Environment
225-578-3030, lrouse@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Rouse can speak to circulation processes /currents in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Louisiana coast; wind-driven coastal currents; the deep Gulf Loop Current and eddies, including effects on tropical storms and hurricanes; storm surges.

 

Kevin Robbins, director, Southern Regional Climate Center
225-337-1525, 225-578-1063, krobbins@srcc.lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Robbins’ research interests include network-integrated climate data management and delivery systems; natural climatic hazards and societal impacts; climate data analysis; regional climate services.

 

Nan Walker, director, Earth Scan Laboratory, School of the Coast & Environment
225-578-5331, nwalker@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: The Earth Scan Laboratory, or ESL, is a real-time satellite data receiving station with capabilities for the reception, processing and visualization of imagery from geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites. The ESL’s satellite measurements are valuable in supporting emergency-response activities such as tracking hurricanes and tropical storms, oil spills and the Loop Current. ESL also provides unique training of students and enhances research of LSU and non-LSU faculty. Director, Nan Walker has developed unique capabilities for detecting and tracking the Loop Current and eddies in the Gulf of Mexico in real-time and performs research on the impacts these currents have on hurricane intensity changes and air-sea interactions. She also studies the impacts of storms on coastal circulation, coastal land change, flooding, sediment transport and hypoxia.

 

John White, associate director, Coastal Studies Institute, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, School of the Coast & Environment
225-578-8792, jrwhite@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: White's research program is focused on coastal wetlands including short-term salinity changes in coastal environments due to storm surge and impacts of rising sea level on coastal wetland functions.

 

Environmental impact of disasters

 

John Pardue, Elizabeth Howell Stewart Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering, director of the Louisiana Water Resources Research Institute, co-director of the Hazardous Substance Research Center 
225-578-8661, jpardue@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Pardue’s research interests include the fate and transport of chemical contaminants during hurricanes; passively treating groundwater contaminated with chlorinated solvents in treatment wetlands; environmental impacts; and investigating the uptake of desorption-resistant organic contaminants by wetland plants.

 

Structural Engineering

 

Michele Barbato, assistant professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering
225-578-8719, mbarbato@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: structural engineering and dynamics

 

Steve Cai, Edwin B. and Norma S. McNeil Distinguished Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering
225-578-8898, cscai@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: bridge engineering, wind engineering, structural dynamics, structural performance evaluation and rehabilitation

 

Dimitris Nikitopoulos, Alexis & Marguerite Voorhies Endowed Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
225-578-5903, meniki@me.lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Nikitopoulos studies fluid-structure interaction and wind-tunnel measurement and testing techniques.

 

Ayman Okeil, associate professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering
225-578-7048, aokeil@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: bridge engineering, structural reliability, nondestructive testing and evaluation of structures, structural rehabilitation and strengthening, nonlinear behavior of concrete structures

 

Aly-Mousaad Aly, assistant professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering
225-578-6654, aly@lsu.edu
Area of expertise: Wind storm loads induced on the built environment

 

Resilient Building/Landscape Architecture/Hazards Mitigation

 

Jeff Carney, director, Coastal Sustainability Studio, Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, College of Art & Design
225-578-4990, jcarney@lsu.edu
Areas of expertise: Resiliency in community design and planning

 

James Wilkins, director, Louisiana Sea Grant Law & Policy Program
225-578-5936, jwilkins@lsu.edu
Areas of expertise: coastal hazard mitigation, helping communities reduce risk while maintaining community charm and amenities, how to protect homesteads from coastal hazards.

 

Melissa Daigle, research associate and resiliency specialist, Louisiana Sea Grant Law & Policy Program
225-578-9968, mtrosc2@tigers.lsu.edu
Areas of expertise: coastal hazard mitigation, helping communities reduce risk while maintaining community charm and amenities, how to protect homesteads from coastal hazards.

 

 

Disaster Preparation/Management

 

Rachel Dowty Beech, director, Disaster Science and Management Program, College of Humanities & Social Sciences
225-578-6244, rdowty1@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: disasters, social anthropology, bio- and phyto-remediation of oil spills in Louisiana fresh marshes

 

Joseph Booth, director, Stephenson Disaster Management Institute, E. J. Ourso College of Business
225-235-4680, jbooth7@lsu.edu
Areas of expertise: Disaster management from preparation through recovery, community and business resiliency, emergency evacuations, public/private partnerships, and reduced reliance on FEMA resources.

 

Pat Santos, director of business development, Stephenson Disaster Management Institute.  
225-938-7218, psantos@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise:  Disaster Management and Homeland Security, Community and Business Resiliency, Public - Private Sector Partnership, Business Emergency Operations Center, Military Support to Civilian Authorities,  Animals in Disaster,  and National Flood Insurance Program.

 

Henry T. “Paco” Capello Jr., Geographic Information Systems program manager, Stephenson Disaster Management Institute
225-578-2245 (o), 225.202.1708 (c), hcapello@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – Visualization tools for emergency planning, mitigation and response. Information Systems – leveraging information technology as Decision Support Tools (DST) to make rapid informed decisions.
Military Support to Civilian Authorities (MSCA) – 20+ years as National Guard leader with responses to multiple state emergencies. Cyber Security - Cyber Protection Team (CPT) commander for Louisiana National Guard, and liaison to FBI Cyber Task Force. National Flood Insurance Program – 6 years’ experience working with State Floodplain administrators, and creator of Louisiana Floodmaps Website (http://maps.lsuagcenter.com/floodmaps).

 

Benjamin L. Bourgoyne, Stephenson Disaster Management Institute
225-316-1527, bbour68@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise:  Information Technology (IT), Interoperable communications during emergency response, military support to civilian authorities, cybersecurity, disaster recovery, strategic planning.

 

Carol Friedland, assistant professor, Department of Construction Management & Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering
225-578-1155, friedland@lsu.edu
Areas of expertise: Hurricane wind and storm surge damage assessment, vulnerability assessments, damage modeling, applications of remote sensing for hurricane damage detection, structural engineering

 

Human Impact

 

Troy C. Blanchard, Department of Sociology, College of Humanities & Social Sciences
225-578-1115, troy@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Population (especially migration/population growth), religion, food deserts and community

 

Jim Catano, Department of English, Film & Media Arts, College of Humanities & Social Sciences
225-578-3140, catano@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Catano has worked closely with Croatian oystermen, fishermen and their families since Hurricane Katrina, both on their boats and in their homes. He is available to discuss the impact hurricanes have had on the fishermen, their industry and their traditional ways of life.

 

Craig E. Colten, Department of Geography & Anthropology, College of Humanities & Social Sciences
225-578-5942, ccolten@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Colten, Carl O. Sauer Distinguished Professor of Geography, studies the historical aspects of hazards, including hurricanes, historical aspects of hurricanes, the hurricane protection system, and the human dimension of hurricanes; and is an expert on levee and flood history, the environmental history of New Orleans, and environmental justice. He has investigated the threat of hurricanes to historic districts and environmental justice issues related to coastal hazards. He has an interest in the long-term human dimension of preparation for and response to hurricanes.

 

Michael Pasquier, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, College of Humanities & Social Sciences
225-578-2220, mpasquier@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Pasquier is cultural historian of coastal Louisiana who specializes in the religious and moral implications of natural and manmade disasters.

 

Tim Slack, Department of Sociology, College of Humanities & Social Sciences
225-578-1116, slack@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Community vulnerability and resiliency; disparities in impacts across social groups; social stratification and social demography.  Slack can speak to the role that social context plays in shaping differentials in susceptibility to disaster impacts, how people come to conceptualize losses and other impacts incurred from catastrophic events, differential social responses depending on whether a disaster process is viewed as ‘natural’ or ‘manmade’ (e.g., technological).

 

Journalism & Public Relations Response

 

Andrea Miller, associate dean, Manship School of Mass Communication
225-578-3146, almiller@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: National and local media coverage of crisis and tragedy; Media coverage of man-made and natural disasters

 

Judith Sylvester, associate professor, Manship School of Mass Communication
225-578-2067, jsylves@lsu.edu
Area of Expertise: Journalists’ role in coverage disasters

 

Lisa Lundy, associate professor, Manship School of Mass Communication
225-578-2216, llundy@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Crisis responses of public relations practitioners; public understanding of agricultural and environmental science  

 

Impact on Animals/Seafood

 

Kenneth Brown, Department of Biological Sciences, LSU College of Science
225-578-1740, kmbrown@lsu.edu
Areas of expertise: Oyster growth and development, freshwater and marine food webs at both the population and community level, predator-prey interactions between oysters and the southern oyster drill (a snail), the stone crab and the black drum

 

Fernando Galvez, Department of Biological Sciences, LSU College of Science
225-578-0599, galvez@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Fish physiology, physiological responses of fish to environmental toxicants, including the effects of salinity and hypoxia stress, metals, and crude oil. Host-parasite interactions.

 

John Hawke, professor of microbiology & parasitology, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, Louisiana Aquatic Diagnostic Laboratory, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine
225-578-9705, jhawke1@lsu.edu
Areas of expertise: Crawfish, emerging infectious diseases of cultured marine and freshwater fish and crustaceans

 

Rebecca McConnico, professor of veterinary medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine
225-578-9922, gguttner@lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Evacuation of animals before a hurricane, and help with rescue and sheltering of animals following disasters.

 

John Supan, associate professor, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program and LSU AgCenter
225-578-6527, jsupan@lsu.edu
Areas of expertise: Oyster culture and economics, polyploidy and selective breeding, clam culture, hydroacoustic evaluation of oyster grounds & management of Grand Isle Bivalve Hatchery

 

Evacuations

 

Brian Wolshon, director, LSU Transportation Lab, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, LSU College of Engineering
225-578-5247, brian@rsip.lsu.edu
Areas of Expertise: Wolshon studies issues relating to hurricane evacuations and major-event traffic scenarios. His recent projects have included the testing and evaluation of intelligent transportation systems and traffic-flow analysis, with particular emphasis in application for hurricane evacuation.

 

 Other Resources

 

LSU AgCenter online resources to help in recovery from the immediate impacts and rebuilding homes and lives

LSU Media Relations
225-578-5685