LSU Hurricane Experts Available

Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, 2021.

– LSU Earth Scan Lab.

LSU has a number of experts available to discuss topics related to storm preparedness, climate, economic impacts, recovery efforts and more during hurricane season. 

To schedule interviews contact Abbi Rocha Laymoun or 225-578-3867.

Climatology, Meteorology, Oceanography

Alaric Haag, LSU Earth Scan Laboratory operational manager and LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences and Coastal Studies Institute information technology staff
Areas of Expertise: Satellite image processing of atmospheric and oceanic phenomenon; data analysis and visualization in support of emergency response, faculty research and graduate education.
Visit for satellite imagery and animations.

Kam-biu Liu, LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, professor and chair, George W. Barineau III Professor
Areas of Expertise: Hurricanes and typhoons, paleotempestology, coastal paleoecology, global environmental change, palynology and lake-sediments in the U.S. Gulf coast and Atlantic coast, Caribbean region and Central America, South America (Andes and Amazon Basin), Tibetan Plateau, China

Paul Miller, LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, assistant professor
Areas of Expertise: Hazardous weather impacts; coastal meteorology; thunderstorms and land-atmosphere interactions. Conducted new research on how hurricanes can affect weather after landfall

Robert Rohli, LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, professor
Areas of Expertise: Coastal weather and climate, atmospheric circulation variability, atmospheric hazards, tropical cyclone dynamics, surface-atmosphere interactions, synoptic meteorology and climatology.

Jill Trepanier, LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology professor and chair
Areas of Expertise: extreme climatic and weather phenomena including tropical cyclones; applies statistics to analyze these events.

Nan Walker, LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, professor (JP Morgan Distinguished Professor in Coastal Studies); LSU Earth Scan Lab, Director 
Areas of Expertise: Real-time satellite surveillance of hurricanes and Gulf of Mexico temperatures and currents of relevance to the prediction of hurricane intensity; impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes on coastal circulation and coastal erosion.
Visit for satellite imagery and animations.

Human Impacts

Katie E. Cherry, LSU Department of Psychology, professor and chair
Areas of expertise: Disaster stress; current research projects focus on disaster stress related to the historic flooding of 2016 and prior hurricane experience. Wrote the 2020 book, "The Other Side of Suffering:  Finding a Path to Peace after Tragedy" based on the lived experience of coastal residents who survived the 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. 

Craig Colten, LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology, emeritus professor
Areas of Expertise: Historical and social geography of hazards. Most recent publication from 2021 is "State of Disaster: A Historical Geography of Louisiana's Coastal Crisis." Wrote The Conversation article, "Hurricanes can cause enormous damage inland, but emergency plans focus on coasts" and the 2009 book "Perilous Place, Powerful Storms: Hurricane Protection in Coastal Louisiana."

Catherine M. Lemieux, LSU School of Social Work, PhD, MSW, LCSW-BACS, ACSW, PhD Program Director, Margaret Champagne Womack Professor in Addictive Disorders 
Areas of Expertise: coping, trauma, resilience, disparate impacts, and vulnerable populations and communities.

Michael Pasquier, Jaak Seynaeve Professor of Christian Studies and professor in religious studies and history
Areas of Expertise: history and culture of a fishing community outside the levee-protected system of coastal Louisiana; coastal Louisiana oral histories; and the history of religion in the Mississippi River Delta from the colonial period to the present.

Jen Scott, LSU School of Social Work, PhD, LCSW, associate professor, Coordinator, Graduate Specialization in Policy & Macro Practice
Areas of Expertise: reducing disparities in disaster-related mental health burden and building community-based response

Tim Slack, LSU Department of Sociology, professor
Areas of Expertise: Community vulnerability and resiliency; disparities in impacts across social groups; social stratification and social demography.

Kevin T. Smiley, LSU Department of Sociology, assistant professor
Areas of Expertise: Environmental justice; climate change; urban environments; health; social capital and community resilience. Wrote the Conversation article Homes are Flooding Outside of FEMA’s 100-Year Flood Zones, and Racial Inequality in Showing Through and research on climate change and environmental justice featured in Washington Post. 

Kerri J. Tobin, Lutrill & Pearl Payne School of Education, associate professor
Areas of Expertise: homeless and unstably housed families in weather disasters

River Model

Disaster Recovery and Resilience

Aly-Mousaad Aly, LSU Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, assistant professor
Areas of Expertise: Wind impact on the build environment; innovative mitigation strategies to build more resilient communities; large-scale wind testing at high Reynolds number under realistic turbulence.

Traci Birch, LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio, interim managing director and School of Architecture, assistant professor
Areas of Expertise: Resiliency in community design and planning and coastal community development.

Carol Friedland, LSU AgCenter LaHouse Research and Education Center and Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, associate professor
Areas of Expertise: Hazard-resistant construction and mitigation; performance of housing and other built infrastructure subjected to natural hazards; combined wind and flood interactions on structures; post-event data acquisition; remote sensing of building damage; hazard-resistant and sustainable construction; hazard mitigation planning and mitigation decision-making; and loss estimation.

Navid Jafari, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, assistant professor
Areas of Expertise: Part of Hurricane Resilience Research Institute; Exploring new ways to get real-time data during severe weather events by deploying sensors using unmanned aerial vehicles in hard-to-reach areas; Investigates the performance of flood protection infrastructure and natural and nature based features. See "LSU CEE Professor Works With Coast Guard On Hurricane Preparedness"

Amin Kargarian, LSU School of Electrical Engineering, ISC Constructors, associate professor
Areas of Expertise: Power systems operation and planning, decentralized/distributed optimization, decision-making in smart grids, renewable energy and energy storage integration, infrastructure interdependency analyses in future power systems.

Heather Kirk-Ballard, LSU School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences, assistant professor
Areas of Expertise: Landscape preparation and storm damage recovery

Nina Lam, LSU Department of Environmental Sciences, professor
Areas of Expertise: Flooding in inland communities across the U.S. and resilience to natural disasters. Wrote The Conversation article: "Americans who live far from coasts should also be worried about flooding."

Brant Mitchell, LSU Stephenson Disaster Management Institute, director
Areas of Expertise: Disaster response and evacuations.

Claudette Hanks Reichel, LSU AgCenter LaHouse Resource Center, director, professor and extension housing specialist 
Areas of Expertise: Sustainable, resilient housing; residential building science; energy management; indoor air quality; disaster mitigation and restoration; universal design. LaHouse Resource Center is an educational sustainable housing demonstration facility
225-202-6593 (cell)

Isabelina Nahmens, Professor of Industrial Engineering
Areas of Expertise: Construction, exploring and introducing advanced homebuilding production technologies into industry and improving homes’ energy performance. This has led to sponsorships from the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Energy (DOE), Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).

Edward Richards, LSU Law Center Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow: LSU Law Center Climate Change Law and Policy Project
Areas of Expertise: Flood insurance plans; flood maps; land use issues, extreme weather, coastal restoration, and climate change. His publications include: Applying Life Insurance Principles to Coastal Property Insurance to Incentivize Adaptation to Climate Change, 43 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 427 (2016); The Hurricane Katrina Litigation Against the Corps of Engineers: Is Denial of Geology and Climate Change the Way to Save New Orleans? (2018); and The Societal Impacts of Climate Anomalies during the Past 50,000 Years and Their Implications for Solastalgia and Adaptation to Future Climate Change, 18 Hous. J. Health L. & Pol'y 131 (2018). He maintains the Climate Change Law and Policy Project Blog.

Chao Sun, LSU Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, associate professor, P.E.
Areas of Expertise: Coastal hazards (extreme winds, waves, and flooding) modeling and mitigation of infrastructure systems (buildings, bridges, offshore wind farms, electric power grids, offshore oil and gas rigs, and pipeline systems) exposed to tropical cyclones.

Children & Family

Cassandra Chaney, LSU School of Social Work, Human Development and Family Science, J. Franklin Bayhi Endowed Professor
Areas of Expertise: Various types of stressors; The impact of various forms of stress on families; How families can prepare for and navigate stressful events

Eugene Geist, Lutrill & Pearl Payne School of Education, professor
Areas of Expertise: child and family under trauma and stress

Anna Long, LSU Department of Psychology, associate professor
Areas of Expertise: Child and school psychology. She wrote the tip sheet: Helping Kids Cope with Traumatic Events and is a licensed psychologist in the state of Louisiana.

Economic Impact

David E. Dismukes, LSU Center for Energy Studies director and College of the Coast & Environment, professor
Areas of Expertise: economic impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes on Gulf of Mexico oil and gas infrastructure, production and transport; power and utilities infrastructure.

Dek Terrell, LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business Freeport-McMoRan Endowed Chair of Economics 
Areas of Expertise: Regional and statewide economics; applied econometric and environmental-related studies.

Hurricane Route


Brant Mitchell, LSU Stephenson Disaster Management Institute, director
Areas of Expertise: Disaster response and evacuations.

Brian Wolshon, Edward A. and Karen Wax Schmitt Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and director of the Gulf Coast Research Center for Evacuation and Transportation Resiliency
Areas of Expertise: 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. 

Floods, Rivers and Storm Surge

Matthew Hiatt, LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, assistant professor
Areas of Expertise: How the movement of water, sediment and nutrients in river deltas, estuaries and wetlands affects the environment; deltas and wetlands; environmental fluid dynamics; flooding and water level fluctuations.

John Pardue, LSU Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering Elizabeth Howell Stewart Professor and Hazardous Substance Research Center, director
Areas of Expertise: Fate and transport of chemical contaminants during hurricanes and floods, handling debris after disasters and impacts of storm surge on industrial facilities; Part of Hurricane Resilience Research Institute.

Frank Tsai, LSU Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, professor
Areas of Expertise: Watershed and groundwater flow, fate and transport modeling in aquifer systems and surface water.

Clint Willson, Dean, LSU College of the Coast & Environment and Director, LSU Center for River Studies
Areas of Expertise: Watershed hydrology; physical and numerical modeling of rivers

Photo, Documents and Book Restoration

Ed Benoit, LSU School of Information Studies, associate professor
Areas of Expertise: Recovering damaged photos and other items; documenting natural disasters, cultural heritage, archival process and audiovisual preservation; climate change impacts on cultural heritage institutions such as libraries, archives, museums, etc.
414-336-4966 (cell)

Anne Edwards, LSU Libraries Special Collections, facilities manager
Areas of Expertise: Disaster planning and management for cultural heritage materials and facilities. 

Caroline Ziegler, LSU Libraries Special Collections, conservation coordinator
Areas of Expertise: Conservation of paper-based materials; Cultural heritage preservation best practices.   

Communication and Social Media

Renee Edwards, LSU Department of Communication Studies, professor
Areas of expertise: Risk communication, risk and decision-making concerning extreme weather and climate events

Alyson Neel, LSU Manship School of Mass Communication, professional-in-residence
Areas of expertise: Health communications; Natural disaster communications; Crisis communication

Sadie Wilks, LSU Manship School of Mass Communication, public relations area head, senior instructor
Areas of expertise: Crisis communications; Strategic communication and social media management

Animal Welfare, Pets and Wildlife

Prosanta Chakrabarty, LSU Museum of Natural Sciences, curator of fishes and Department of Biological Sciences, professor
Areas of Expertise: Deep sea fish in Gulf of Mexico and systematics of marine and freshwater fishes.

Mustajab Mirza, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine Equine Surgery, associate professor
Areas of Expertise: Large animals; equine surgery; small and large animal disaster response.

Laura Riggs, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, associate professor of equine surgery
Areas of Expertise: Large animal disaster response

Matthew Welborn, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, professor of food animal health maintenance
Areas of Expertise: Large animal disaster response

Nancy Welborn, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, DVM, associate professor of community practice 
Areas of Expertise: Small pets hurricane and disaster response

Wendy Wolfson, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, DVM, associate professor of shelter medicine
Areas of Expertise: Improving animal shelters in southern Louisiana, Teaching veterinary students and the law enforcement community the importance of identifying animal cruelty and prosecution of perpetrators, Providing care for pets found in the Louisiana prison system

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