Hurricane Experts

Orrin Pilkey (
Pilkey is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Geology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and an expert on beach preservation, who can discuss how hurricanes may affect the Carolina coast. He is the author of numerous books about the coast, including “Lessons from the Sand” (2016), “The Rising Sea” (2009) and “How to Read a North Carolina Beach” (2004).

Children Coping
Katie Rosanbalm (, 919-668-3294)
A senior research scientist at Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy, Rosanbalm can discuss dealing with child trauma in the wake of a disaster, for instance how to help affected individuals cope.

Mark Wiesner (, 919-660-5292)
An expert in the transport and fate of nanomaterials in the environment and environmental analysis, Wiesner can talk about the effects of flooding and the dangers lurking for contamination from sources such as chemical plants, hog farms, and sewer treatment systems.

Lee Ferguson (, 919-660-5460)
One of the lead scientists investigating the Cape Fear GenX contamination issue and the subsequent program to search for other potential pollutants, Ferguson can talk about the effects of flooding and the dangers lurking for contamination from sources such as chemical plants, hog farms and sewer treatment systems.

Environmental Law/Hog Farms
Ryke Longest (, (919) 613-7207)
Longest is a clinical professor at Duke Law and the Nicholas School of the Environment and director of the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. Prior to coming to Duke he ran a solo law practice and worked for 14 years at the North Carolina Department of Justice. Longest helped negotiate and lead the state’s implementation of two multimillion dollar settlement agreements aimed at reducing the adverse impacts from swine farming in North Carolina. He also advised environmental agencies regarding regulation of swine farms and litigated enforcement actions against more than a dozen animal waste facilities.  

Michelle Nowlin (, (919) 613-8502)
Nowlin is a clinical professor of law at Duke Law and the Nicholas School of the Environment and supervising attorney for the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. Prior to joining Duke’s faculty, Nowlin was a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, where she led the Hog Industry Project to develop a comprehensive regulatory program for concentrated animal feeding operations. She has written several articles and a book chapter on the environmental impacts and legal and regulatory landscape of livestock production. After Hurricane Floyd, Nowlin successfully sued the state over mismanagement of hog operations. Nowlin also serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Superfund Research Center.

Ana Barros (, 919-660-5539)
An expert on hydrometeorology, climate predictability, extreme events and risk assessment of natural hazards, Barros has conducted research on how hurricanes are essential for vegetation growth in the American South, and can also speak on flooding issues and storm surge impacts.

Health Hazards
Dr. John Jacob Freiberger (919-668-0032,
Dr. Freiberger, an associate professor of anesthesiology and a hyperbaric medicine specialist at Duke University School of Medicine, can talk about precautions and dangers related to carbon monoxide poisoning from gas-powered generators.

Dr. Julia Kravchenko (contact: Sarah Avery -- sarah.avery@duke.edu919-660-1306)
An assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Duke University School of Medicine, Dr. Kravchenko’s area of research interests includes analysis of health impacts of environmental exposures on disease risk and patients’ survival, including the studies on the effects of water quality, air pollution and weather/extreme temperatures on human health.

Dr. H. Kim Lyerly (contact: Sarah Avery -- sarah.avery@duke.edu919-660-1306)
Lyerly, a professor of cancer research at the Duke University School of Medicine and professor in the departments of surgery, immunology and pathology, can talk about exposure to animals/insects and heat or cold. He is director of the Environmental Health Scholar Program and is co-editor of the North Carolina Medical Journal issue on health and environment in the state.

Henri Gavin (, 919-660-5201)
Gavin has expertise in structural dynamics and structural loads from environmental factors such as earthquakes and winds.

Henry Petroski (, 919-660-5203
A professor of civil and environmental engineering and an expert on the evolution of engineering design, Petroski can discuss the nation’s aging critical infrastructure. He has written more than 15 books on engineering and technology, most of which deal with engineering’s close reliance on failure to perfect designs and the evolution of common items such as the pencil and bridges.

Elizabeth Albright (
Albright studies how policy decisions are made in response to storms and other extreme weather events. She is an assistant professor of the practice of environmental science and policy methods at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

Mark Borsuk (, 919-660-1767)
An expert on risk assessment including areas ranging from designing large structures that can withstand natural disasters to setting policy in regards to protecting environmental resources.

Martin Doyle (
Doyle studies river management and restoration, including aging river infrastructure and flooding. He can discuss how river management affects the risk of flooding during heavy rainfall. He is a professor of river science and policy at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and directs the water policy program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Doyle is also a former fellow with the Department of the Interior.