Rice experts available to discuss 5th anniversary of Hurricane Ike

Rice University
Office of Public Affairs / News & Media Relations

David Ruth
713-348-6327
david@rice.edu

Amy Hodges
713-348-6777
ah25@rice.edu

Rice experts available to discuss 5th anniversary of Hurricane Ike

HOUSTON — (Sept. 12, 2013) — Sept. 13 marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Ike’s landfall in Galveston and the upper Texas Gulf Coast. Rice University experts are available to comment on the historical impact of Ike, the impact of hurricanes and other environmental factors on the Texas Gulf Coast and how the area has recovered since the storm.

Hurricane Ike made landfall in Texas in the early morning hours of Sept. 13, 2008. It remains the costliest hurricane in the state’s history and the third-costliest storm in U.S. history, with approximately $29.5 billion in damage.

John Anderson, professor of Earth science and author of the book ”The Formation and Future of the Upper Texas Coast,” can explain how hurricanes have impacted and helped to draw the modern coastlines of Texas, Louisiana, Florida and other Gulf Coast states. Anderson also co-authored “Atlas of Sustainable Strategies for Galveston Island,” a publication that sheds light on the island’s future and offers potential strategies for sustainable development.

Phil Bedient, director of Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center and the Herman Brown Professor of Engineering, can discuss Ike’s impact on the Houston-Galveston region and proposals to protect the area from future hurricanes. Bedient co-authored and edited “Lessons from Hurricane Ike,” a 194-page report on all that was learned during SSPEED’s multiyear, in-depth analysis of Ike. A noted expert on flood warning systems and hydrology, Bedient designed the Internet-based Flood Alert System that warns of impending floods in Houston’s sprawling Texas Medical Center. He also wrote the textbook “Hydrology and Flood Plain Analysis,” which is used at more than 70 universities.

Jim Blackburn, co-director of Rice’s SSPEED Center and professor in the practice of environmental law in Rice’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is available to discuss Houston areas at high risk for hurricane damage and what could be done to better protect these areas (such as the Centennial Gate proposed for the Houston Ship Channel by the SSPEED Center). Blackburn can also discuss the legal issues of flooding and federal assistance as well as the coastal green-space buffer proposed by the SSPEED Center that would extend from Chambers County to Matagorda County in the low-lying land areas.

Bob Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science at Rice and a fellow in urban politics at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, can discuss preparation and evacuation for past and future storms and the impact of Hurricane Ike on Houstonians. Stein also can discuss urban politics, public policy and the political ramifications of evacuating and relocating citizens.

Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7. For more information, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.

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This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu.

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Related materials:

John Anderson bio: http://www.glacier.rice.edu/faculty/anderson/

Phil Bedient bio: http://bedient.rice.edu/

Jim Blackburn bio: http://ceve.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=99

Bob Stein bio: http://politicalscience.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=145

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRiceU.

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About Amy Hodges

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.