As the coast of Florida braces for Hurricane Ian, Virginia Tech has a team of coastal experts available who 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.

Stephanie Zick is an assistant professor of geography and meteorologist in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. Her research areas include tropical meteorology, tropical cyclones, precipitation, numerical weather prediction, and model forecast verification.

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 a 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.

Anamaria Bukvic researches coastal hazards and disasters, adaptation, resilience, and population relocation. She studies the impacts of climate change on migration dynamics 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 an 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.

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