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FAU Experts for the 2024 Hurricane Season

Hurricanes, Hurricane Season, Atlantic

Forecasts indicate a highly active 2024 Atlantic hurricane season.

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1, and forecasts indicate a highly active season. Several Florida Atlantic University faculty experts are available to discuss various issues surrounding hurricane preparedness, evacuation and aftermath:

  • Anthony Abbate 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. He also is certified for Disaster Service Essential Emergency Duties. Abbate can be reached at
  • 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. Bloetscher can be reached at
  • Tiffany Roberts Briggs , Ph.D., is chair and 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. Roberts Briggs can be reached at
  • 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 I-SENSE is the lead technology provider for theSouth 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 I-SENSE manages a network of more than 135 atmospheric stations in Florida – with additional stations managed outside the state. Hallstrom can be reached at
  • Jeffrey E. Huber is an associate professor in the School of Architecture within the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. His work focuses on interdisciplinary public work projects that combine ecological, landscape, urban and architectural design. Huber is currently researching issues of sea level rise in South Florida. He has advanced sustainability educational and professional initiatives in agricultural urbanism, green school design, missing-middle housing typologies, Transit-Oriented Development and Low Impact Development. Most notably, in 2017, Huber received the National Young Architect Award and in 2018 he received a National Institute Honor Award for his sea level rise design research “Salty Urbanism.” He also recently received the presidential award from AIA Florida for his dedication to leading the profession to properly respond to Florida’s changing climate conditions. Huber can be reached at
  • 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 fire histories. Johanson’s Environmental Change Laboratoryoften collects and analyzes sediment cores from lakes and wetlands in Central and South America, the Caribbean and Florida. Johanson can be reached at
  • Ken H. Johnson , Ph.D., is a professor in the finance department and associate dean of graduate programs 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. Johnson can be reached at
  • Brian Lapointe , Ph.D., is a research professor at FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. 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. He is knowledgeable about how hurricanes impact water quality and harmful algal blooms. Lapointe can be reached at
  • Melina Matos , Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. She has more than 10 years of experience as a planning practitioner with local and state governments. Matos has actively participated in the plan-making process, land use planning, floodplain management, disaster mitigation, climate adaptation, resilience planning and community engagement. She is specialized in disaster recovery, climate adaptation and community resilience. Her research interest focuses on developing and deploying strategies to create innovative, sustainable and resilient communities. Matos has been working on community engagement efforts within the Center of Excellence for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning and on several resilience grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  • 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, infrastructure resilience, climate adaptation and mitigation planning, shoreline stabilization, and health effects of climate change. Mitsova can be reached at
  • Colin Polsky , Ph.D., is an associate vice president, founding director of FAU's School of Environmental, Coastal, and Ocean Sustainability (ECOS), a professor in geosciences, and director of the FAU Center for Environmental Studies (CES) within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. Polsky is an environmental social scientist whose research and teaching examine how people create, perceive and respond to environmental challenges. Trained as a geographer, he is knowledgeable on sea level rise, flood risk perception and climate change vulnerability assessments. Polsky can be reached at
  • 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. Renne can be reached at
  • Peter Ricci , Ed.D., is a clinical professor and director of FAU’s hospitality and tourism management program within the College of Business. He is a hospitality industry veteran with more than 25 years of managerial experience in segments including: food service, lodging, incentive travel and destination marketing. Ricci can discuss how hurricanes affect hospitality and tourism and his areas of expertise include guest service/customer service, hotel management, and hospitality and tourism trends. Ricci can be reached at
  • James Sullivan , Ph.D., is the executive director of FAU 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 and their negative effects on ecosystems and human health (toxins, hypoxia/anoxia, wildlife kills, etc.). Sullivan can be reached at
  • Yijie Zhu , Ph.D., is an assistant professor of climate science in the Department of Geosciences within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. He has been actively studying the spatial and temporal patterns of tropical cyclone post-landfall intensity decay process using the best-track data. Zhu’s work also involves the use of the Weather Research and Forecasting model to investigate the physical factors, including the impact of changing climate, which contribute to the destructive wind footprint from hurricanes as they move inland. Zhu can be reached at .

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