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Elizabeth Frankenberg photo

Elizabeth Frankenberg, PhD
Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor, Sociology, UNC Chapel Hill
Director, Carolina Population Center

My work focuses on how individuals and families respond to unexpected changes and how government programs and policies can help them adapt. Much of my research is about Indonesia before and after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. I draw on household and community survey data that my colleagues and I have collected over the past 15 years, in combination with high resolution satellite imagery, to investigate how the disaster and subsequent recovery affect health and well-being at the population level. Drawing on this experience, I am leading the development and administration of the DEEPP household surveys in coastal Carolina communities.

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Rick Luettich, ScD
Alumni Distinguished Professor and Director, Institute of Marine Sciences, UNC Chapel Hill

I have an undergraduate and master’s degree from Georgia Tech and a doctor of science from MIT, all in civil engineering. I serve as the Director of UNC’s Institute of Marine Science, located on the coast in Morehead City, NC. I also serve as the Director of the UNC Center for Natural Hazards Resilience and am the lead Primary Investigator on the Department of Homeland Security’s Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence and on the US IOOS Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed. I am also Co-Primary Investigator on the DEEPP Project.

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Michael F. Piehler, PhD
Professor, Institute of Marine Sciences and Environmental Sciences and Engineering, UNC Chapel Hill
Director, Institute for the Environment

I study microorganisms and microbially mediated processes in coastal land-water interfaces (particularly wetlands) and near-shore waters. The land-water interface is an area of intensive biogeochemical cycling and trophic interactions involving microorganisms. It is also an area of extensive human activity, making the interactions of pollutants and native microbial communities in the land-water interface a significant issue in developed coastal environments. As a Co-Primary Investigator on the DEEPP Project, I am leading the efforts to study the ecological impacts of storms through the forces of wind and surging seawater or the downstream flow of river water.

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Todd BenDor, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Community Design, City and Regional Planning and Institute for the Environment, UNC Chapel Hill
Director, Odum Institute for Research in Social Science

My research and teaching focus on improving our understanding of the impacts that human activities and development can have on sensitive ecological and environmental systems. My work on the DEEPP team involves combining multiple sources of administrative data to analyze the effect of plans to mitigate the hazard of sea level rise along the North Carolina Coast.

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Phil Berke, PhD
Research Professor, City and Regional Planning, UNC Chapel Hill

My work focuses on the relationship between community resilience and urban planning with specific focus on methods, theory, and metrics of local planning and outcomes. I am currently focusing on development of the Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard. The aim is to better understand interactions among networks of policy institutions, networks of land use and development plans produced by such institutions, and social and physical vulnerability to hazards and climate change. Application of the Scorecard is currently funded by the US Department of Homeland Security and the National Science Foundation to assist cities in the US and the Netherlands to improve urban resilience planning.

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Cassandra R. Davis, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, Public Policy, UNC Chapel Hill

I hold a PhD in Education from UNC Chapel Hill. Within the last four years, I have been the principal investigator on various research evaluations. The most recent of these projects was “Investigating School District Resilience and the Impact of Hurricane Exposure on Student Outcome,” funded by the National Science Foundation. During 2018, I received funding to explore the impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Matthew on public schools in Texas and North Carolina. Both of these projects represented large-scale qualitative studies that specifically targeted underrepresented students. Building on this work, I bring this expertise to the DEEPP project to improve our understanding of the impact of natural disasters on schools and communities along the NC coast.

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Paul Delamater, PhD
Assistant Professor, Geography, UNC Chapel Hill

I am a health geographer with a particular interest in research and teaching relating to spatial components of health care access and utilization as well as disease modelling. I use methods that employ geographic information systems (GIS) and statistical/spatial analysis to better understand population health issues. My research has focused on understanding childhood vaccination, herd immunity, and vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States. Another active area of my research centers on access to health care services, with a focus on integrating evidence-based approaches in health care planning and regulation activities. On the DEEPP team, I focus on how storms and flooding affect the health outcomes of people living in impacted communities.

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Nathan T. Dollar, MA
PhD Candidate, Sociology, UNC Chapel Hill

I am a social demographer whose research lies at the intersection of migration, labor, and population health. I am particularly interested in how all three are influenced by social policy, and how those policies vary geographically. As a native of eastern North Carolina, I have lived through several hurricanes. As such, the DEEPP Project is personal to me and offers an exciting opportunity to use the skills I have acquired during the course of my graduate studies to serve my state. My role on the DEEPP team involves community outreach and helping manage the administration of the survey.

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Barbara Entwisle, PhD
Kenan Distinguished Professor, Sociology, UNC Chapel Hill

My research focuses on social, natural, and built environments and their consequences for demographic and health outcomes. My work ranges from the study of migration, residential change, and health from a life course perspective in the US to agent-based modelling of migration and other responses to environmental stress in Northeast Thailand. I bring this demographic expertise to the DEEPP team to help develop approaches to predict the effects of extreme events on flood exposures and, in turn, on population size, age, composition, and health.

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Miyuki Hino, PhD
Assistant Professor, City and Regional Planning, UNC Chapel Hill

My research examines the linkages between climate hazards, governance, and public policy to drive effective and equitable adaptation to climate change. Recent work has focused on the impacts of sea level rise, the effects of flood risk on property markets, and the use of managed retreat in adapting to climate change. I received a PhD in Environment and Resources from Stanford University and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Yale University. My work with DEEPP focuses on the effect of state and local policies to mitigate increasing risk of flood hazards along the NC coast.

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Rene Iwo
PhD Student, Sociology, UNC Chapel Hill

My own work focuses on families and children around the world, mainly about how they see themselves at the present and plan for their futures. I grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia, a city of 35 million people that sees severe flooding every year. So the topic of DEEPP is very important and personal to me, and it will be interesting to see what people from Jakarta and North Carolina can learn from each other. As a research assistant on this project, I help with the household surveys and communications with the public.

Natalie Johnson
Undergraduate Student, double major in Political Science and Economics, UNC Chapel Hill

I am an undergraduate student and Carolina Covenant Scholar double majoring in Political Science and Economics and minoring in Public Policy. I am especially grateful to be able to pursue research related to my interests around health economics, public policy, and public health. As a Research Assistant on the project, I complete household surveys with residents living in Eastern North Carolina to better understand how extreme events like hurricanes impact populations and health outcomes. Additionally, I help manage social media content and communications with the public.

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Nikhil Kothegal, MPH
PhD Student, Environmental Sciences and Engineering, UNC Chapel Hill

I am interested in health-related research connecting areas of environmental health sciences, epidemiology, and social sciences, with an emphasis on environmental justice and community-driven research approaches. I previously held a 3-year fellowship at the CDC where I worked on household-based HIV surveys in sub-Saharan Africa. I plan to apply what I learned from that experience to help with the DEEPP survey.

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Ted Mouw, PhD
Professor, Sociology, UNC Chapel Hill

I am a sociologist who studies labor markets, immigration, and social networks. My current research involves the mobility of low-wage workers, the economic incorporation of immigrants, and methods to collect samples from rare or hidden populations using social networks. I draw on my expertise collecting and analyzing various sources of administrative and survey data to aid the DEEPP team in our efforts to conduct a survey of households, individuals, and community informants, and to study the effects of policies to mitigate the risk of flooding.

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Rachel Noble, PhD
Mary and Watts Hill Jr. Distinguished Professor, Institute of Marine Sciences, UNC Chapel Hill

My research bridges environmental microbiology and marine microbial ecology. A main thread of my work is the application of novel molecular techniques for applied and basic science. I have developed a range of rapid water quality test methods, including for E. coli, Enterococcus, and Vibrio species, and I study the dynamics of microbial contaminants contributed through stormwater runoff to high priority recreational and shellfish harvesting waters. My expertise in microbial contaminants bolsters the DEEPP efforts to study the effects of storms and flooding on coastal ecosystems and the health of community members.

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Tamlin M. Pavelsky, PhD
Professor of Global Hydrology, Geological Sciences, UNC Chapel Hill

My research interests are focused on the intersections between hydrology, satellite remote sensing, and climate change. I work on scales ranging from the entire globe to a single large wetland, with a special interest in Arctic and Subarctic regions. My current research projects, including DEEPP, aim to address three questions:

  • How can satellite remote sensing be used to understand the storage and movement of surface water?
  • How accurately can regional climate models simulate hydrologic processes?
  • How is anthropogenic warming impacting Arctic hydrologic and climatic systems?
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Antonia Sebastian, PhD
Assistant Professor, Geological Sciences, UNC Chapel Hill

Research in my lab focuses on understanding dynamic changes in watershed hydrology and their influences on flood hazards under rapidly changing anthropogenic conditions. We also work on topics related to risk quantification, visualization, and communication. Much of our research is computational in nature, utilizing watershed-scale hydrologic and hydraulic models, as well as geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial analytical and statistical tools. My current projects aim to address three primary questions:

  • How are changes in development patterns and anthropogenic warming impacting flood risks in urban and coastal communities?
  • How can physical, analytical and statistical models be leveraged to better predict flood hazards and risks across multiple scales?
  • How can current and future flood risks be managed through combinations of structural and non-structural solutions?
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Anne Smiley
PhD Student, Marine Sciences, UNC Chapel Hill

My research is focused on estuarine nutrient dynamics. I use a combination of geographic information systems (GIS) and analytical chemistry techniques to assess anthropogenic impacts on distributions of nutrient sources and sinks. I also aim to understand the effects of chronic and acute disturbances on nutrient regulation processes. My work on the DEEPP project centers around natural systems. In particular, I explore urbanization impacts on habitat distributions, biogeochemical processes, and overall provisions of ecosystem services.

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Richard Smith, PhD
Professor, Biostatistics, UNC Chapel Hill
Mark L. Reed III Distinguished Professor, Statistics and Operations Research
Director, the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute

My principal areas of research are spatial statistics, time series analysis, extreme value theory and Bayesian statistics. Specific areas of expertise include spatial and time series modelling of environmental pollutants, the health effects of atmospheric pollution, the statistics of global climate change, and extreme values in insurance and finance.

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Conghe Song, PhD
Professor, Geography, UNC Chapel Hill

I conduct research with remotely sensed data, household surveys, and ecological models to understand how land surface is changing, why it is changing and what the associated social-ecological consequences of these changes are. I integrate remote sensing and ecological models to estimate the land surface carbon and water dynamics as a result of land-cover/land-use change in the context of climate change. I also collect and analyze household survey data to understand the driving forces and the socioeconomic consequences of land-cover/land-use change.

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Bethany Stoutamire
PhD Student, Sociology, UNC Chapel Hill

I am interested in family formation and survey design. Before joining the DEEPP Project, I helped work on a survey to examine the role housing design played in aging in place in South Dakota. As a college student, I also worked in a lab to examine how stress impacts health outcomes. I’m excited to work on this project. I briefly lived in Goldsboro, NC, when I was younger, so I’m excited to get to see new — and different — parts of the state.

Duncan Thomas photo

Duncan Thomas, PhD
Norb F. Schaefer Distinguished Professor of International Studies
Professor of Economics, Global Health and Public Policy, Economics, Duke University

I investigate the inter-relationships between health, human capital, and socioeconomic status with a focus on the roles that individual, family, and community factors play in improving levels of health and well-being across the globe. Much of this work highlights resource allocation and decision-making within households and families. My research uses data from large-scale population based longitudinal surveys that I have designed and fielded in collaboration with Elizabeth Frankenberg and other colleagues in the US, Indonesia and Mexico. These include the Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS), the Work and Iron Status Evaluation (WISE), the Study of the Tsunami Aftermath and Recovery (STAR) and the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS) and now the Dynamics of Extreme Events, People, and Places (DEEPP).