Virginia Tech has a team of coastal experts available to talk with reporters as Hurricane Dorian heads toward the East Coast. Researchers can provide insight about hurricanes, flash flooding, storm surge, sea-level rise and emergency response.

Robert Weiss examines the impact of coastal hazards in the geologic past, today and in the future. His work analyzes how climate change and sea-level rise could change the nature and impacts of coastal hazards in coming years. He develops computer models and uses data analytics to translate the geologic record of coastal hazards into insights that improve the understanding of coastal hazards today. Weiss is a Professor of Natural Hazards in the Department of Geosciences.

Expertise featured on WDBJ

Christopher Zobel’s research is focused on helping decision makers improve their ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters. He is particularly interested in using analytical modeling and computer simulation to help understand the complex nature of disaster resilience. Zobel is the R.B. Pamplin Professor of Business Information Technology in the Pamplin College of Business.

Jennifer Irish studies coastal flooding and engineering solutions to minimize its impacts. Her work emphasizes the characterization of storm surge likelihood, barrier-island response to coastal storms, mitigation potential of coastal forest and wetlands, and the influence of sea-level rise. Irish is a Professor of coastal engineering in the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Todd Schenk focuses on collaborative governance approaches and tools to tackle complex public policy challenges, particularly in the areas of environment and climate change. Schenk's recently published book, Adapting Infrastructure to Climate Change: Advancing Decision-Making Under Conditions of Uncertainty (2018, Routledge), examines how infrastructure managers and other stakeholders can make better decisions in the face of dynamic and uncertain conditions. Schenk is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs.

Expertise featured on WVTF

Anamaria Bukvic researches coastal hazards and disasters, adaptation, resilience, and population relocation. She studies the impacts of climate change on migration dynamic and displacement in coastal settings, as well as the policy and planning mechanisms that would improve the relocation process as a viable adaptation response to sea level rise and chronic flooding. Bukvic is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography.

About the Virginia Tech Coastal Team The coastal zone hosts more than half of the world’s human population, large port facilities vital to the global economy, and military installations important to national and global security. Accelerating sea-level rise, coastal hazards, ocean acidification, population growth, and rapid economic development threaten livelihoods, tourism, health, fish and wildlife species, and ecosystem services in this area. The potential impact of this threat to our nation’s residents, to nature and our economy is so vast that it can only be accurately assessed by a team of researchers and their collective expertise.

Schedule an interview

To secure an interview, email Lon Wagner in the College of Science at (540) 739-9438 or email Shannon Andrea in the Media Relations office at (703) 399-9494.

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