FAU Experts for the 2021 Hurricane Season

FAU Experts for the 2021 Hurricane Season


By Gisele Galoustian | 8/12/2021

With hurricane season in full force, several Florida Atlantic University faculty experts are available to discuss various issues surrounding hurricane preparedness, evacuation and aftermath:

  • Anthony Abbate , AIA, LEED AP, is a professor and director of the MetroLAB in the School of Architecture, within the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. Abbate is knowledgeable in materials and methods of construction, and architectural design for climate and adaptation to climate change. Abbate has been licensed to practice architecture in Florida since 1985 and has completed building evaluations including damage assessments.
  • Fred Bloetscher , Ph.D., is a professor and associate dean for undergraduate studies and community outreach in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering within the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Bloetscher is knowledgeable on water and wastewater technology; groundwater wells, flow and contaminant transport; wastewater disposal practices and risk assessment; sustainable water resource planning and management; environmental engineering; and utility management.
  • Tiffany Roberts Briggs , Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Geosciences within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. Roberts Briggs is knowledgeable on hurricane impacts, coastal geomorphology, and sedimentology with emphasis on the beach dune and nearshore environments.
  • Laurent Cherubin , Ph.D., is an associate research professor at FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute specializing in ocean modeling. Cherubin studies water movement in marine environments, including the forces that influence it and the ways it affects the proliferation of sea life. He is knowledgeable about natural forces and systems that can exacerbate storm surges, flooding and unusual high sea levels along the coast of Florida.
  • Jason Hallstrom , Ph.D., is a professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and director of the Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering (I-SENSE). FAU I-SENSE is the lead technology provider for the South East Atlantic Econet, a large regional network of weather monitoring stations, managed in cooperation with Coastal Carolina University. The volumes of data collected are used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) weather modeling systems to increase the accuracy of its weather forecasting systems along the Atlantic coast. FAU I-SENSE is helping to build the southeastern region by deploying sensing assets in local municipalities.  
  • Dennis Hanisak , Ph.D., is a research professor and director of education at FAU Harbor Branch. Hanisak is knowledgeable on marine ecosystem health. His research interests are in marine plants, especially seagrasses and seaweeds, and coral reef ecology. Hanisak leads the Indian River Lagoon Observatory programs, which includes a network of monitoring stations that continuously collect water-quality information, which is posted in real-time at irlon.org.
  • Erik Johanson , Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. Johanson is knowledgeable on hurricane impacts, climate stress, human impact on environments and climate modeling. Johanson’s Environmental Change Laboratoryoften collects and analyzes sediment cores from lakes and wetlands in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Florida.
  • Ken H. Johnson , Ph.D., is a professor in the finance department and associate dean within the College of Business. Johnson can discuss the effects of hurricanes on the housing market and new development. His areas of expertise include rental housing, real estate markets, homeownership, real estate and real estate economics.
  • Brian Lapointe , Ph.D., is a research professor at FAU Harbor Branch. He is an algal physiologist and biochemist with research expertise in seagrass and coral reef ecology, marine bio-invasions, and marine conservation. His research is focused on the causes and consequences of excessive nutrients and algal growth in freshwater and marine environments, using techniques that identify the nutrient(s) fueling the growth, which aids identification of sources and solutions. He studies the macroalgae Sargassum spp. and the complex ecosystem it hosts in the Gulf of Mexico, Sargasso Sea, and Caribbean region.
  • Colin Polsky , Ph.D., is a professor of geosciences and director of the Center for Environmental Studies (CES) within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. Polsky is knowledgeable on sea level rise. CES was established to improve Florida’s sustainability through research, education and outreach on wetlands ecology and coastal resilience.
  • John Renne , Ph.D., AICP, is a professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. Renne is knowledgeable on hurricane evacuations and his work focuses on creating sustainability and resilience through land use and transportation systems. Among his numerous books is Resilient Transportation Systems: Policy, Planning and Implementation (Elsevier, forthcoming).
  • Peter Ricci , Ed.D., is director of FAU’s hospitality and tourism management program within the College of Business. Ricci can discuss how hurricanes affect hospitality and tourism, an industry still trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. His areas of expertise include guest service/customer service, hotel management and hospitality and tourism trends.
  • James Sullivan , Ph.D., is the executive director of FAU’s Harbor Branch. Sullivan is knowledgeable on marine ecosystem health and researches the ecology and physiology of phytoplankton (commonly called algae), and in particular, the algae that create harmful algal blooms (HABs) and their negative effects on ecosystems and human health (toxins, hypoxia/anoxia, wildlife kills, etc.).

For more information on FAU’s faculty experts, contact FAU Media Relations at 561-297-2676 or mediarelations@fau.edu.