USF faculty experts gear up for interviews as 2022 hurricane season begins


With another above-average Atlantic hurricane season predicted, the University of South Florida is making a variety of experts available to discuss hurricane and storm-related topics. You will find below the list of some of our experts, as well as their fields of intervention. As members of the media develop stories over the coming months, those interested in an interview are asked to contact Kevin Watler at [email protected] or 407-267-8402.

Hurricanes, wind, storm surges and coastal subsidence

Donny Smoak (College of Arts and Sciences) is a biochemist who studies the response of coastal wetlands to climate change and extreme weather events such as hurricanes.

Mark Luther (College of Marine Sciences) is an associate professor who uses real-time ocean observations with numerical models of ocean currents to address diverse challenges ranging from maritime safety and security to water quality and ocean responses to climate change. He is the Director of the Center for Marine and Port Studies and has provided support for the operation and maintenance of the NOAA/NOS Tampa Bay Real-Time Physical Oceanographic System since 1995. Luther can comment on port security, airwaves storm surge and the broader relationship between hurricanes, climate change and the ocean.

Gary Mitchum (College of Marine Sciences), Associate Dean, is a global expert on sea level rise who has served on the Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Group that helps make local projections of sea level rise. He can comment on the broader links between climate change and hurricanes, as well as the impacts of sea level rise, storm surges and hurricanes in Tampa Bay.

Timothy Dixon (School of Geosciences) is a professor who uses satellite geodesy (GPS, InSAR) to study coastal subsidence as well as the deformation of earthquakes and volcanoes, the depletion of aquifers and the melting of ice caps and glaciers. He can talk about the effects of hurricanes in terms of coastal flooding and long-term shoreline changes.
Chris Meindl (College of Arts & Sciences) is an associate professor of geography specializing in human-environment interactions in Florida. His research focuses on people’s perception of environmental issues, in particular natural hazards and water resources.

Hurricane and Flood Risk Awareness

Phil Trocchia (Muma College of Business) is a professor of marketing specializing in consumer behavior research and business education. Trocchia recently designed and conducted a National Flood Risk Awareness Survey which found consumers significantly underestimated their level of flood risk, leading many to forgo insurance. against floods.
Hurricanes and mental health

Judith Becker Bryant (Department of Psychology) is a teacher who can comment on how to prepare children for traumatic events, such as hurricanes, and the impact these events have on children. She is a national expert in developmental psychology, with a particular focus on language and social development in young children.

Kristin Kosyluk (College of Behavioral and Community Sciences) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy. She can comment on the stress and anxiety that storms and hurricanes can cause and the impact of natural disasters on people with mental illnesses.

Hurricanes and the Elderly

Lindsay Peterson (School of Aging Studies) is an assistant professor and conducts research on the impact of hurricanes and other disasters on older adults in nursing homes, assisted living communities and in the community at large, including disaster preparedness and response for people with dementia. She has written a number of articles on disaster preparedness in long-term care facilities, including hurricane and pandemic preparedness.

Kathy Black (College of Behavioral and Community Sciences) is a professor who studies gerontology, elderly care and end-of-life issues.

Community Preparedness and Recovery

Robin Ersing (School of Public Affairs) is an associate professor who studies community disaster preparedness to promote resilience in storm recovery. Ersing has participated in international research in Ghana and Indonesia to study the experience of women exposed to natural hazards.

Elizabeth Dunn (College of Public Health) is an instructor specializing in community resilience and disaster mitigation, preparedness and response for vulnerable populations. Her work experience includes community education and outreach, mass care (i.e. shelter, food, health), logistics and disaster planning at the grassroots level. She can discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on emergency management and preparedness with regards to hurricane evacuation shelters, PPE procurement and impacts on the agricultural sector .

Economy/Tourism and Hospitality

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