Our Team

Dr. Austin Becker
University of Rhode Island

Associate Professor, Marine Affairs

Dr. Austin Becker is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in the Department of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island. As an interdisciplinary social scientist, he works across the fields of planning, policy, engineering, design, and ocean science. He uses coastal-dependent infrastructure as a case study, focusing on creating and testing tools that help decision makers engage with complex problems involving uncertainty, consequences of natural hazards and large-scale shifts in climate, and the resulting challenges in policy and planning.

He serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Maritime Policy and Management, co-editor of Climate Change Adaptation Planning for Ports, and as Vice Chair of the Advisory Board for the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting. Dr. Becker has over 30 peer-reviewed publications and in 2017 was awarded the prestigious Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship in Ocean Sciences. He earned a PhD in Environment and Resources at Stanford University. In a previous career, Dr. Becker captained sail training vessels and still maintains a 500-Ton U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license for ocean-going vessels.

web/uri.edu/abecker

Dr. Isaac Ginis
University of Rhode Island

Dr. Isaac Ginis studies the coupled ocean-atmosphere system, ranging from small to large space and time scales combining observations, theory and numerical modeling. His primary research areas include tropical cyclone-ocean interactions, surfaces waves in high wind conditions and their effects on air-sea fluxes and the hurricane boundary layer dynamics. His research efforts have resulted in pioneering advances in modeling of the tropical cyclone-ocean interactions that have led to significant improvements in the hurricane intensity forecast skills.

Dr. Ginis’s research group has contributed to the development of the GFDL and HWRF hurricane models used by the U.S. National Hurricane Center and Joint Typhoon Warming Center for operational forecasting of tropical cyclones in all ocean basins. His current research projects focus on advancing the physics in the U.S. Navy’s operational COAMPS-TC prediction system, surface wave impacts on upper ocean response to tropical cyclones, and advancing modeling capabilities to better understand the consequences of coastal and inland hazards associated with extreme hurricanes and to better prepare coastal communities for future risks.

web.uri.edu/gso/meet/isaac-ginis

Pam Rubinoff
University of Rhode Island

Pam Rubinoff is a Coastal Resilience Extension Specialist with URI's Coastal Resources Center and RI Sea Grant. For more than 30 years, Pam has linked engineering, natural hazards, and coastal management to provide technical assistance to vulnerable communities. Through her leadership she brings the best available science to incorporate science-based risk exposure and reduction practice into tangible guidance and outreach tools, locally and internationally.  

She has a master’s degree in Marine Affairs from University of Rhode Island and a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from University of Delaware.

crc.uri.edu/contacts_page/pam-rubinoff/

Dr. Peter Stempel
Penn State University

Peter Stempel is an associate professor of landscape architecture at Penn State University and is affiliated with the Penn State Institutes of Energy and Environment. His work integrates design and social science to create and test models and visualizations used for hazard communication and disaster risk reduction.

Aimée Mandeville
University of Rhode Island

Research Associate, Environmental Data Center

Aimée Mandeville is a Research Associate with the Environmental Data Center at the URI. She‘s an experienced GIS analyst with a focus on pushing the capabilities of ArcGIS Online to create effective interactive resources through hub sites, story maps, web applications and data dashboards.

Chris Damon
University of Rhode Island

Research Associate, Environmental Data Center

Christopher Damon serves as a Research Associate for the University of Rhode Island’s Environmental Data Center (EDC), where his focus has been on strengthening resource management, policy and decision-making through the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) technologies. His work includes both international and domestic assignments providing geospatial training, application development and GIS technical support to project partners. Christopher is a certified GIS Professional (GISP).  He holds a M.A. in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, a B.S. in Marine Science from Coastal Carolina University, and is a certified Remote Pilot with a small Unmanned Aircraft Systems rating.

Greg Bonynge
University of Rhode Island

Research Associate, Environmental Data Center


Noah Hallisey
University of Rhode Island

Doctoral student, Marine Affairs

Noah is a PhD Student in the Marine Affairs Department of the University of Rhode Island. His research focuses on identifying the factors that drive the adoption of new tools for emergency management during storm events. His worked has focused on collecting data from facility managers statewide for the RI-CHAMP system, as well as working on expansion of the system to a regional audience through the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration’s Environmental Response Management Application.

Mansur Ali Jisan
University of Rhode Island

Doctoral student, Graduate School of Oceanography

Mansur Ali Jisan is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island. His research focuses on investigating the changes in hurricane surface and boundary layer wind structure during the landfall process. At GSO, Mansur works in the Hurricane Research Lab under the advisement of Dr. Isaac Ginis. Mansur holds a Master of Science in Coastal, Marine, and Wetland studies from Coastal Carolina University, SC, and a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Islamic University of Technology, Bangladesh.

Kyle McElroy
University of Rhode Island

Doctoral student, Marine Affairs

Kyle McElroy is a Ph.D. candidate from the University of Rhode Island in the Department of Marine Affairs. Her research focuses include coastal hazard risk response tools and how municipalities integrate flood risk information into urban policies and planning. Her background is formally in coastal engineering design and marine construction. She has professional experience working in marine construction on dredging projects with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC, and in coastal engineering modeling and design, working in public (USACE Norfolk District) and private (Mott MacDonald Consultancy Group) professional sectors.

Deborah Crowley
University of Rhode Island

Doctoral student, Marine Affairs

Deb Crowley is a graduate research assistant at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography pursuing a Ph.D. in Oceanography. She focuses on numerical models that replicate coastal processes, such as coastal flooding from storms, and works for the Hurricane Research Lab under Dr. Isaac Ginis. Working in the lab has provided an opportunity to use high-performance computing (HPC) to set up and run model simulations of different storms, validate model predictions, and synthesize the modeling results.

On the RI-CHAMP project she is using the Advanced Circulation model (ADCIRC) coupled with the Simulating Waves in the Nearshore (SWAN) model to simulate tropical storms and extra-tropical storms, or nor’easters, in the New England region for present conditions and for future conditions that incorporate sea level rise.  Her work has included validating the model application through comparison of model  predictions to observations.  The validated model application was incorporated into the real time forecast system while simulations of past and theoretical events, including those with sea level rise, have been made available for training and planning exercises.  

Josh Port
University of Rhode Island

Doctoral student, Graduate School of Oceanography

Josh Port is working on the automation of ADCIRC storm surge simulations that drive the RI-CHAMP dashboard. He is also working to provide accurate, high-resolution wind data for the entirety of the RI-CHAMP target domain, not just the coastal areas covered by the storm surge model output. This process involves scaling wind speeds using high resolution surface roughness data, blending together multiple wind products, and validating performance under storm and typical forecast conditions.

Sam Adams
University of Rhode Island

Doctoral student, Marine Affairs

Samuel W. Adams is a doctoral student in the Department of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island. His research addresses the vulnerability of coastal communities as a function of critical infrastructure dependencies and the cascading consequences of storm hazards. He has a master’s degree in public administration from American Public University and a bachelor’s degree in historic preservation from Roger Williams University.

He also serves as the University’s full-time Emergency Management Director and Assistant Director of Public Safety where he oversees campus emergency management and fire safety programs. He is past president of the Rhode Island Association of Emergency Managers (RIAEM) and is a RIAEM-certified Advanced Emergency Manager.

Rosemarie Fusco
University of Rhode Island

Doctoral student, Marine Affairs

Rosemarie is a certified planner involving all phases of land development and comprehensive planning. Her professional experience in coastal zone management and planning for coastal communities led her to the University of Rhode Island where she is pursuing a PhD in Marine Affairs. Her previous graduate research focused on environmental justice of coastal planning practices in city and county government. Her current research centers on the implications of climate change for coastal planning, particularly on what incentivizes resilience to natural hazards for seaports and harbors.

Angelos Papandreou
University of Rhode Island

Doctoral student, Graduate School of Oceanography

Angelos Papandreou is working on the coupling of storm surge and wave models using ADCIRC and WAVEWATCH III, respectively. Currently he is running simulations of Hurricanes Florence, Michael and Sandy. By comparing the wave height and water level results to observations and results from the ADCIRC/SWAN coupled model, he aims to find the most accurate and efficient possible setup for ADCIRC/WW3. Also, his goal is to implement the sea-state-dependent drag coefficient to the coupled model and do a three-way coupling between ADCIRC, WW3 and an atmospheric model. By doing this, he hopes that the model’s predictions will become even more accurate.

Levi Louis
University of Rhode Island

Undergraduate student, Geology and Geological Oceanography

Levi J Louis is an undergraduate student at URI. He's majoring in Geology and Geological Oceanography and plans to go into meteorology in grad school. Having worked with Isaac Ginis and Mansur Ali Jisan on the past project as an intern for hurricane research, Levi joins RI-CHAMP as an intern and as an assistant for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. His goal is the development of a set of questions and workflow for a phased development and implementation of a Coastal Hazards Analysis Modeling and Prediction Tool in that state for the first time ever. While analyzing storm, flooding and wind data of New London and Groton, he works on finding out who would be the initial end users & facility contacts in Connecticut and what are the biggest coastal threats to the region.

Levi Louis
University of Rhode Island

Undergraduate student, Geology and Geological Oceanography

Levi J Louis is an undergraduate student at URI. He's majoring in Geology and Geological Oceanography and plans to go into meteorology in grad school. Having worked with Isaac Ginis and Mansur Ali Jisan on the past project as an intern for hurricane research, Levi joins RI-CHAMP as an intern and as an assistant for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. His goal is the development of a set of questions and workflow for a phased development and implementation of a Coastal Hazards Analysis Modeling and Prediction Tool in that state for the first time ever. While analyzing storm, flooding and wind data of New London and Groton, he works on finding out who would be the initial end users & facility contacts in Connecticut and what are the biggest coastal threats to the region.

PROJECT ALUMNI

Dr. David Ullman | Associate Marine Research Scientist
Sam Radov | Marine Affairs | BA
Joyce Pak | Public Health, Brown University | Masters
Ellis Kalaidjian | Marine Affairs | Masters
Emma Shanahan | Environmental Science and Management | Masters