Mississippi River Flooding Experts Available to Speak to Media

Center for River Studies

The LSU Center for River Studies conducts research on the world’s major rivers with a specific focus on the Mississippi River.Photo:  LSU Strategic Communications

UPDATED 05/31/2019
BATON ROUGE – Louisiana plans to open its Morganza Spillway for only the third time since it was constructed in 1954 to keep the Mississippi River from flooding communities. The Mississippi River runs through 10 states and is the second largest river in the U.S. Heavy rainfall in the Midwest has caused the river to swell and communities along the river have experienced flooding. LSU has a number of experts available to provide context and analysis for reporters covering the Mississippi River, flooding, engineering and more. Please check here as this list will be updated.

To schedule interviews, contact 225-578-5685/eballa1@lsu.edu or 225-578-3870/asatake@lsu.edu.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER EXPERT
Clint Willson, LSU Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering Mike N. Dooley P.E. Professor and LSU Center for River Studies director
Areas of Expertise: Watershed hydrology; physical and numerical modeling of rivers; lower Mississippi River Delta
225-578-8672
cwillson@lsu.edu

STATE CLIMATOLOGIST
Barry Keim, LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology Richard J. Russell Professor and Louisiana State Climatologist
Areas of Expertise: Climate extremes including heavy rainfall and hurricanes; detection of climate change and its impacts; statistical analysis of extremes and Probable Maximum Precipitation.
225-578-6170
keim@lsu.edu

GULF OF MEXICO EXPERTS
Chris D’Elia, LSU College of the Coast & Environment dean
Areas of Expertise: Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi River; nutrient dynamics in aquatic systems and hypoxia; estuarine ecology; energy and the environment.
225-578-7188
cdelia@lsu.edu

Robert Twilley, LSU College of the Coast & Environment professor and Louisiana Sea Grant College Program executive director
Areas of Expertise: Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi River; coastal deltas.
225-578-6710
225-279-0353 (cell)
rtwilley@lsu.edu


SUBSIDENCE EXPERT
Kevin Xu, LSU Coastal Studies Institute interim director and LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences associate professor
Areas of Expertise: Coastal and oceanographic geology; subsidence.
225-578-0389
kxu@lsu.edu

Mississippi River

The Mississippi River runs through 10 states and is the second largest river in the United States. Photo: LSU Strategic Communications

STORM SURGE EXPERT
Scott C. Hagen, LSU Center for Coastal Resiliency director, Louisiana Sea Grant Laborde Chair and LSU Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering professor
Areas of Expertise: Tide, wind-wave and hurricane storm surge modeling; digital elevation model development; flood-plain analysis; coastal dynamics of sea level rise and biogeophysical modeling.
225-578-4303
shagen@lsu.edu

HYDROLOGISTS
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.
225-578-6092
mhiatt1@lsu.edu

Richard Keim, LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources professor
Areas of Expertise: Hydrology of forested wetlands and watersheds; management of bottomland and coastal forests; hydrological interactions between forests, soils and the atmosphere; scaling of hydrological processes; dendrochronology.
225-578-4169
rkeim@lsu.edu 

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.
225-578-4246
ftsai@lsu.edu

WATER QUALITY EXPERTS
Sibel Bargu Ates, LSU College of the Coast & Environment associate dean of academics and LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences professor
Areas of Expertise: Harmful algal blooms; freshwater, estuarine and marine phytoplankton ecology.
225-578-0029
sbargu@lsu.edu

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.
225-578-8661
jpardue@lsu.edu

John White, LSU College of the Coast & Environment associate dean of research and the John and Catherine Day Professor of Oceanography & Coastal Science
Areas of Expertise: River nutrients; water quality; eutrophication.
225-578-8792
jrwhite@lsu.edu

DISASTER SCIENTIST
Brant Mitchell, LSU Stephenson Disaster Management Institute director
Areas of Expertise: Disaster response and evacuations.
225-578-5939
bmitch9@lsu.edu

EVACUATION EXPERT
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. For more on the Gulf Coast Research Center for Evacuation and Transportation Resiliency, visit http://www.evaccenter.lsu.edu/.
225-578-5247
brian@rsip.lsu.edu

HOUSING EXPERT
Claudette 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: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/lahouse
225-202-6593 (cell)
225-578-4400
creichel@agcenter.lsu.edu

ECONOMISTS
James Richardson, LSU Department of Economics and Public Administration Institute professor
Areas of Expertise: Ports; regional and energy economics; state and local taxation; forecasting; public policy.
225-578-6745
parich@lsu.edu

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.
225-578-3785
mdterre@lsu.edu

GEOGRAPHER
Craig Colten, LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology Carl O. Sauer Professor
Areas of Expertise: Historical and social geography of hazards. 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.
225-578-6180
ccolten@lsu.edu

Kory Konsoer, LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology assistant professor
Areas of Expertise: River flows and channel formation; sediment transport; erosion.
225-578-0891
kkonsoer@lsu.edu

DEMOGRAPHER
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.
225-578-6197
nlam@lsu.edu

 

Additional Link:
LSU AgCenter’s Disaster Information Resources: https://www.lsuagcenter.com/disasterinfo

  

 

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Contact Alison Satake
LSU Media Relations
225-578-3870
asatake@lsu.edu

 

Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations
225-578-5685
eballa1@lsu.edu