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Post-Sandy Resources for Journalists

(Updated Wednesday, March 6, 2013)

  Before Hurricane Sandy, scientists at The Earth Institute were at the forefront of studying the dangers posed by such storms, especially in the New York City area, where they are based. Among their specialties: the physics of storms and storm prediction; impacts of climate on weather and sea level; vulnerability of populations to natural disasters; the challenges of strengthening urban infrastructure against flooding and other forces; urban public health; and the sociological, cultural, legal and political aspects of natural catastrophes, climate and related issues. Our scientists are available to provide continuing information and perspective. Below, a partial list.

       A large assortment of media featuring our scientists is at:


   Journalists may contact scientists directly.  For help or if your request is extremely urgent, please contact a press officer at bottom. (*Denotes a person may be unreachable due to power/phone outages or other destruction.)


Roger N. Anderson

Research scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; consultant to Con Edison

Expert on NY City power grid and challenges of making it resilient; urban energy sources; general urban infrastructure


Contact:,   212 870 2271, 713 398-7430


*Tony Barnston

Chief forecaster, International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Expert on physics of weather systems, medium-term climate forecasts on US East Coast and globally


Contact:, 845 680 4447


James F. Booth

Postdoctoral researcher, Goddard Institute for Space Studies/Columbia Dept Applied Physics & Math

Studies physics of midlatitude storms, extratropical cyclones; influence of climate, oceans on weather


Contact:, 212-678-5668, 212-851-5937


Steven Chillrud

Research scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Public health and storm-induced pollution by toxins, heavy metal and other hazardous substances o 845-365-8893  h 845-398-9767 c 845-596-4468

Steven Cohen

Executive director, The Earth Institute

Prolific writer and commentator on urban infrastructure and resilience, environment, climate change and related political and cultural issues. Ex-EPA official.


Contact:, 212-854-4445

Assistant: Annie Hunt 212-854-4445


George Deodatis

Professor, Columbia Engineering School

Sea level, climate and storm surge effects on transport, urban infrastructure; storm barriers, other long-term engineering solutions


Contact:  212-854-9728


John Dwyer

Graduate researcher, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory/Columbia Dept Applied Physics & Math

Studies weather patterns, storm surges and seasonality of weather and climate, especially on US East Coast




Michael Gerrard

Director, Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School

Environmental, climate and energy law. Legal implications of environmental disasters


Contact:, 212-854-3287


*Lisa Goddard

Director, International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Expert on medium-term climate forecasting, effects of weather and climate on infrastructure including sea levels, and physical adaptations to shifting climate


Contact:, 845-680-4865


Vivien Gornitz

Special research scientist, Center for Climate Systems Research

One of the first people to warn that sea-level rise and other effects related to climate change threatened to beset New York and other coastal cities. Author of the 2013 book Rising Seas: Past, Present and Future.




Timothy M. Hall

Research scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Studies atmosphere and ocean dynamics, including generation and tracking of large storms. Has researched likelihood of giant storms.


Contact:     212-678-5652


Radley Horton

Research scientist, Center for Climate Systems Research/Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Coauthor of reports detailing New York’s vulnerability to climate and storm disasters and how to strengthen infrastucture. Has served on New York task force on climate change. Extreme weather, climate, flooding.

See: (go to Radley Horton)

Contact:, 212-678-5649


*Klaus Jacob

Research scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

One of the earliest to accurately map flood hazards to subways and other infrastructure; coauthor of several key reports on this issue. Seismologist by training, but focusing on coastal hazards.

Video interview with Jacob from his flooded home (free for download):

See also:,,

Contact:, 845 365-8440


Andy Juhl

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Storm-induced water pollution, especially microbial sewage. In coming days, Juhl and colleagues will test water quality by boat around Manhattan, Brooklyn and other areas in New York and along the Hudson River. (Footage may be available; please contact our press office.)


Contact:  845-365-8150



Patrick Kinney

Professor, Mailman School of Public Health

Expert in urban public-health issues and epidemiology related to weather and climate.


Contact:, 212-305-3663


Arthur Lerner-Lam

Deputy director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Director, Center for Hazards and Risk Research

Seismologist by training, expert in risk and hazard assessment; earthquakes, storms and other disasters; international studies of government response, at-risk populations, infrastructure, and human vulnerability.


Contact:, 845-365-8348


Simon Mason

Chief climate scientist, International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Physics of climate change and weather patterns; disaster preparedness. Works globally with International Red Cross.


Contact: o  845-680-4514  h 845-735-0151

John Mutter

Director, Earth Institute PhD in Sustainable Development; Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory & School of International and Public Affairs

Expert in human and infrastructure vulnerability to disasters, sustainable development and climate issues. Previously led the ‘Katrina Death List,’ a definitive study of mortality in that disaster.


Contact:, 212-854-0716


Benjamin Orlove

Co-director, Center for Research on Environmental Decisions

Specialist in the psychology and sociology of natural disasters and climate. Perceptions of danger, climate adaptation, and public policy.


Contact:, 212-854 1543, 530 400 3074


Irwin Redlener 

Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Mailman School for Public Health

Redlener, a professor of public health, studies how society prepares for disasters at all scales


Contact:  212-535-9707


Cynthia Rosenzweig

Head of Columbia University Climate Impacts Group, Center for Climate Systems Research

Co-chair, NY City Panel on Climate Change scientific advisory team, which warned of events like Sandy. Has been laying out blueprints for coping with such events. Climate change, urban infrastructure, sea level.


Contact:, 212- 678-5626, 5562


Elliott Sclar

Director, Center for Sustainable Urban Development

Expert in urban planning, sustainable development, effects of climate on cities.


Contact:, 212-854-3548


Jeffrey Shaman

Professor Environmental Health Sciences, The Earth Institute

Public health, disease implications of disasters, climate and weather


Contact: 212-305-3590


Adam Sobel

Research scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory/Columbia Dept of Applied Physics & Math

Top expert in US East Coast weather, general physics of storms and climate connections.


Contact:, 212-854-6587


# # #


More information:

Kevin Krajick 212-854-9729

Kyu Lee  212-851-0798

Kim Martineau  845-365-8708

Science for the Planet: In these short video explainers, discover how scientists and scholars across the Columbia Climate School are working to understand the effects of climate change and help solve the crisis.
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Pakistan Tribune
11 years ago

It was a big disaster………

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