FAU Experts for the 2023 Hurricane Season

With the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season officially starting on June 1 and ending Nov. 30, 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 [email protected].
  • 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 [email protected].
  • Tiffany Roberts Briggs, Ph.D., is interim chair of geosciences, director of the environmental sciences program 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 [email protected].
  • Dennis Hanisak, Ph.D., is a research professor and director of education at FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. 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 and meteorological data, which is posted in real-time at org. Hanisak can be reached at [email protected].
  • 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 [email protected].
  • Ken H. Johnson, 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 [email protected].
  • 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. He is knowledgeable how hurricanes impact water quality and harmful algal blooms. Lapointe can be reached at [email protected].
  • 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. Mitsova can be reached at [email protected].
  • 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 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. CES was established to improve Florida’s sustainability through research, education and outreach on wetlands ecology and coastal resilience. Polsky can be reached at [email protected].
  • Peter Ricci, Ed.D., is 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 20 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 [email protected].
  • James Sullivan, 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 and their negative effects on ecosystems and human health (toxins, hypoxia/anoxia, wildlife kills, etc.). Sullivan can be reached at [email protected].

For more information, email [email protected].  

– FAU –

About Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students across six campuses located along the southeast Florida coast. In recent years, the University has doubled its research expenditures and outpaced its peers in student achievement rates. Through the coexistence of access and excellence, FAU embodies an innovative model where traditional achievement gaps vanish. FAU is designated a Hispanic-serving institution, ranked as a top public university by U.S. News & World Report and a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.