The University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School is a pioneer in the study of the development, intensification and lasting-effects of tropical cyclones (hurricanes) and other weather-related phenomena. Striving to provide the most advanced and accurate scientific information to our community, we have assembled a list of faculty members from the Rosenstiel School who can serve as valuable resources when crafting your stories this hurricane season. A more comprehensive, university-wide list of experts covering topics such as architecture, psychology and communications is also available at www.miami.edu
Meteorology — Hurricane Intensity, Air-Sea Interactions, Waves and Clouds
, Ph.D., is a professor in the division of meteorology and physical oceanography at the Rosenstiel School. Dr. Albrecht’s research focuses on clouds and climate interactions, tropical meteorology, and remote sensing of clouds and precipitation. Dr. Albrecht is available to discuss research findings on clouds and their role in hurricane development, a phenomenon not well understood and thought to be pivotal in understanding hurricane intensification.
, Ph.D., is a professor in the division of applied marine physics at the Rosenstiel School. In 2007, he and his team designed and deployed a first-of-its-kind hurricane buoy in “Hurricane Alley,” and participated in a number of hurricane studies. Dr. Drennan is available to discuss air-sea interaction, boundary layers, surface gravity waves and turbulence.
, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the division of applied marine physics at the Rosenstiel School who studies wave-current interactions, and shelf and estuary dynamics using radar remote sensing techniques. Dr. Haus’ hurricane research involves studies of the air-sea coupling in very high winds. In particular using the Rosenstiel School’s Air-Sea Interaction Saltwater Tank (ASIST), to investigate the effects of wave breaking and spray on the air-sea interface.
, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the Rosenstiel School. His research focuses on improving analyses and predictions of hurricanes and typhoons, via the intelligent use of satellite and aircraft observations in numerical weather prediction models. Dr. Majumdar has flown on several “Hurricane Hunter” aircraft and is an expert on the state of hurricane forecasting and how researchers and their methods are helping to improve hurricane prediction.
, Ph.D., associate professor in meteorology and physical oceanography at the Rosenstiel School studies the fundamental mechanics of hurricanes — how they work, what causes the rapid changes in hurricane intensity, and how the frequency and intensity of hurricanes may (or may not) change with a changing climate.
Lynn K. (Nick) Shay
, Ph.D., professor of meteorology and physical oceanography, studies the impact of the upper ocean conditions, such as the Loop Current, on hurricane intensity changes. A field program is planned in summer 2009 with NOAA, NSF, MMS, USAF Reserve and the US Navy to deploy profilers, floats and drifters in the Gulf of Mexico prior, during and subsequent to hurricane passage. These data are used to improve coupled ocean-atmosphere models under development at National Center for Environmental Prediction and satellite-derived products such as altimeter-derived Oceanic Heat Content, which is used as a parameter in the Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction Scheme for forecasting at the National Hurricane Center (See the webpage: http://isotherm.rsmas.miami.edu/heat
, Ph.D., professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the Rosenstiel School, uses observations and computer models to study the effects of natural and human-caused climate change on hurricane activity. His collaborations with Dr. Gabe Vecchi at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J. have delivered groundbreaking climatological models and information on wind shear and hurricane intensity.
Robert Walko, Ph.D., is a senior scientist in the division of meteorology and physical oceanography at the Rosenstiel School. Dr. Walko specializes in the development, improvement, and application of atmospheric models that are used to simulate and predict a wide range of atmospheric phenomena, including hurricanes. He recently developed the OLAM model, which uses advanced techniques for representing storm systems in high detail within the global atmospheric system. Hurricane simulations and forecasts performed with OLAM help us to better understand hurricane behavior, and also provide valuable information that is used to improve atmospheric models. Dr. Walko is available to discuss atmospheric modeling in general and in application to hurricanes.
Remote Sensing — Real-Time Observations and Forecasting
Hans C. Graber
, Sc.D., is chairman and a professor in the division of applied marine physics at the Rosenstiel School, as well as the co-director of the University’s Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing (CSTARS). Dr. Graber also operates a hurricane forecasting model using remotely sensed data that predicts winds, waves and storm surge up to five days in advance. He is currently involved in preparing a large field program dealing with typhoons in the western Pacific. Dr. Graber’s research focuses on radar remote sensing of hurricanes, understanding air-sea interactions and the generation of ocean waves and storm surge.
Biology — Marine Ecosystems
, Ph. D., is a research assistant professor in marine biology and fisheries at the Rosenstiel School, who helped launch a coral nursery in Biscayne National Park to help rescue “orphaned” corals. Dr. Lirman has conducted extensive research on the physical impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms on coral reefs and the sea grass communities of South Florida.
Economics — Policy and Insurance
, Ph.D., is a professor of marine affairs and policy at the Rosenstiel School with a secondary appointment in the UM Department of Economics. Dr. Letson studies the economics of extreme weather and climate variations, to effect thoughtful resource management and policy. He recently testified before the Florida legislature on windstorm insurance, as a Council of Economic Advisors member of Florida TaxWatch.
Human Health and Ocean Microbes
Helena Solo-Gabriele, Ph.D., is a professor of environmental engineering within the College of Engineering, as well as co-principal investigator of the NSF/NIEHS Center for Oceans and Human Health at the Rosenstiel School. Dr. Solo-Gabriele’s research covers microbes in ocean water, water flows within the Everglades watershed, and metals in pressure treated wood. Post Hurricane Katrina, she and her team conducted extensive fieldwork on water quality in New Orleans.