Experts on hurricane-related topics

Here's a compilation of experts on hurricane-related subjects that have come our way from a variety of sources, or that have been generated by us directly.

In some cases, they have come to us as press releases from university public affairs offices who want to make their academic specialists available for comment. We are passing these along to you as a convenience.

SEJ does not endorse any of the experts included or listed here. We encourage journalists who use these sources to take responsibility for ensuring that any expert being consulted does indeed specialize in an area appropriate to the questions being asked. It is always appropriate to ask an expert source to describe their qualifications, and always appropriate for a journalist to make his or her own evaluation of those qualifications.


  • University of California, Davis: experts are available on hurricane-related subjects including Flood Risks for US Cities, Emergency and Disaster Response, Threat of Disease, History of New Orleans and the Mississippi, Impact on Transportation Fuels, Oil and Gas Supplies, Integrated Emergency Management, Investor Reaction, Markets and Business Confidence, Emergency and Disaster Response, Toxic Dangers, and Hospital Evacuations.
  • Clemson University: Experts can address topics such as wetlands and toxic effluent in waterways; effects of excess saltwater on coastal ecosystems; rebuilding; public policy; opportunities; coastal development, resource policy and community development; tourism recovery; impacts on agricultural operations; plant protection from flooding; rising prices of gasoline, heating oils, diesel oil, jet fuels, kerosene and propylene; and more. Reporters must register (free) to access contact information.
  • University of Colorado at Boulder - Natural Hazards Center: Kathleen Tierney (director), (303) 492-6818. Tierney's field is sociology.
  • Colorado State University - Tropical Meteorology Project: This is the home of Dr. William Gray's renowned annual tropical storm forecasts, which are considered by Las Vegas bookies to be even better than NOAA's. Dr. Gray. Media Contact: Brad Bohlander, (970) 491-6432.
  • University of Delaware - Disaster Research Center: A social science research center, the DRC conducts field and survey research on group, organizational and community preparation for, response to, and recovery from natural and technological disasters and other community-wide crises. Contact DRC researchers for study results of disasters, including hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous chemical incidents, and plane crashes.
  • Duke University's News Tips: Hurricane Katrina Aftermath: Faculty from a variety of disciplines offer their perspectives on many of the issues and challenges that now exist in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, including Pumping Out New Orleans' Floodwaters, Raising The Level Of New Orleans, Imperiled Wetlands, Future Look Of New Orleans, Hurricane Victims As Immigrants, Racism And The Response To Katrina, Effect On Beachfront Communities, Role Of Government In Disasters, Government Response To Health Epidemics, and more. Each news tip contains contact information to reach faculty members for additional comment.
  • Florida International University - International Hurricane Research Center: (305) 348-1607. Their experts are listed here. Areas include: Coastal vulnerability, hurricane impacts, airborne LIDAR, sea-level rise impacts, storm surge mapping, damage mitigation, hurricane wind fields, structural mitigation, insurance modeling, financial and economic analysis, property insurance, damage estimation and prediction, storm surge modeling, and coastal erosion.
  • Florida State University: FSU's public affairs department created a list of hurricane-related experts there in 2003.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology: Dr. Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and author of "Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans."
  • Louisiana State University: LSU's public affairs department has compiled a list of hurricane experts there. LSU has a Hurricane Center, a Center for the Study of the Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes, and several units devoted to study of hurricane-related coastal issues, among other relevant lines of research.
  • The University of Maryland: U of MD issued a hurricane-related experts list in 2003, focusing primarily on family, food, and farm issues.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Dr. Kerry Emanuel, author, and professor of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science.
  • Miami University: Mycologist Nicholas Money, professor of botany at Miami U. (Oxford, Ohio), is a knowledgeable source on all aspects of mold. Email or phone 513-529-2140.
  • University of Michigan: recommended as extremely useful "for everything from hurricanes to tornadoes to global warming to air pollution meteorology to earthquakes/volcanoes to space weather."
  • University of Rhode Island: URI has a number of experts who are available for post-Katrina interviews. Specialty topics include: Mass Evacuation of New Orleans, Hurricane Forecasting/Intensity, Coastal Development, Ecological Impact in Mississippi/Alabama, Coastal Erosion, Structural Safety/Reliability, Mental Health Care, Media Coverage, Coastal Hazards.
  • University of South Carolina: USC's public affairs department has put out a list of hurricane-related experts there.
  • The University of Texas at Austin: experts are available on hurricane-related subjects including public health, economics, environmental issues and engineering.


  • American Planning Association offers experts' opinions on replanning of the Gulf Coast after Katrina. See also APA's Katrina web page. Contact: Public affairs associate Roberta Rewers, 312-786-6395, will direct your call appropriately based on expertise and availability.
  • National Hurricane Conference: Ironically or not, the National Hurricane Conference was held in New Orleans in March 2005. The conference agenda is still online (requires free Adobe Acrobat ® reader) and it constitutes a veritable Who's Who of hundreds of hurricane experts — most vetted by their peers. Unfortunately, you have to track down the phone numbers yourself.
  • Environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council has experts on the ground in Louisiana. Contact Jon Coifman, 212-727-4535 or 917-575-1885 (cell); or Rob Perks, 202-289-2420 or 202-302-1220 (cell)
  • ProfNet (a division PR NewsWire) put out a list of experts on hurricane-related topics. Their site requires registration, but you can preview the list here.
  • Environmental group Sierra Club has compiled a list of relevant environmental and public health issues for which they offer expertise: Toxics and Water Quality; Wetlands; Global Warming; and Gas Prices and Energy Consumption. If you would like to speak to any of Sierra Club's experts, many of whom are from the Gulf Coast, contact either Annie Strickler, 202-675-2384 (w), 202-487-4493 (cell); or Eric Antebi, 415-977-5747 (w), 415-279-0748 (cell).

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