FACULTY EXPERTS FOR HURRICANE IAN

by GISELE GALOUSTIAN | Friday, Sep 30, 2022

Several  Florida Atlantic University  faculty experts are available to discuss various issues surrounding Hurricane Ian:  

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. 

Jason O. Hallstrom, Ph.D., is the executive director of FAU’s Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering (I-SENSE) and a professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. FAU’s I-SENSE is the lead technology provider for the South East Atlantic Econet, a large regional network of atmospheric monitoring stations, managed in collaboration with Coastal Carolina University. The volumes of data collected by the network are used by the National Weather Service to drive its weather forecasting systems along the Atlantic coast. FAU’s I-SENSE is helping to build the southeastern region by deploying sensing assets in local municipalities.   

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 Laboratory often 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. Lapointe is a leading expert on septic systems and sewage spills and release. 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.

Diana Mitsova, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the John DeGrove Eminent Scholar Chair in Growth Management and Development, and director of the Visual Planning Technology Lab within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. Her research focuses on the use of geographic information systems and spatial and statistical analysis to understand the interactions between the built and natural environments to inform sustainable urban planning and environmental practices. She has expertise on topics related to sea level rise vulnerability, climate adaptation and mitigation planning, shoreline stabilization, and health effects of climate change.

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., 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 Creating Resilient Transportation Systems: Policy, Planning, and Implementation. 

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.

For more information on FAU’s faculty experts, email  mediarelations@fau.edu.   

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