Virginia Tech has a team of experts available for interview to discuss the devastating floods in Kentucky. Researchers can provide insight about emergency response and recovery, community resiliency, and economic hardships facing Appalachian communities

Emily Satterwhite is an associate professor and the director of Appalachian Studies at Virginia Tech. With a focus on Appalachian studies and climate justice, she is able to offer perspective about Appalachian people, cultures, and economic and environmental hardships facing the community. Her book Dear Appalachia: Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878 (2011) won the Weatherford Award for best nonfiction about Appalachia and the Phi Beta Kappa Sturm Award honoring excellent work that is recognized as significant by a wider audience.

Robert Weiss is director of the Center for Coastal Studies, director of the Academy of Integrated Science, and professor of natural hazards in the Department of Geosciences in the College of Science at Virginia Tech. His research is interdisciplinary in sedimentology, coastal engineering, and oceanography. His work analyzes how climate change and sea-level rise could change the nature and impacts of coastal hazards in the 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.

Liesel Ritchie is associate director of the Center for Coastal Studies at Virginia Tech and a professor of sociology. She has studied a range of disaster events, including the Exxon Valdez and BP Deepwater Horizon oil spills, the Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash release, Hurricane Katrina, and earthquakes in Haiti and New Zealand. Since 2000, her focus has been on the social impacts of disasters and community resilience, with an emphasis on technological hazards and disasters, social capital, and renewable resource communities, and she has published widely on these topics. Ritchie has more than 30 years of experience in research and evaluation working with federal agencies and non-profit organizations.

Anamaria Bukvic researches coastal hazards and disasters, adaptation, resilience, and population relocation. She studies the impacts of climate change on migration dynamic 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 associate director of the Center for Coastal Studies at Virginia Tech and an assistant professor of geography.

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. She also studies disaster resilience and risk assessment. Irish is associate director of the Center for Coastal Studies at Virginia Tech and a professor of civil and environmental engineering.

Schedule an interview

To secure an interview, email Shannon Andrea or Jordan Fifer in the media relations office.

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