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University of Texas at Austin experts
available to discuss aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Updated September 15, 2005

The following faculty members from The University of Texas at Austin are available to the media for interviews concerning the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Public Health

Barbara Jones, School of Social Work
512-475-9367 (work)
512-809-7031 (mobile)
Jones specializes in grief and loss, hope and resiliency and spirituality. She is co-director of the Institute for Grief, Loss and Family Survival in the School of Social Work.

Kathy Armenta, School of Social Work
Armenta specializes in social action—mobilizing and engaging people to participate in a collective endeavor. She could address how catastrophic events can be a catalyst for communities of people to mobilize around an issue. Her topics of expertise also include resiliency.

William Bester, School of Nursing
Bester led the nursing staff on the USNS Mercy, the hospital ship that went to the tsunami-stricken area in Indonesia. He can discuss the issues that will be faced by people living in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Dr. James Karboski, College of Pharmacy
Karboski’s expertise relates to individuals on long-term medications to treat chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. He can speak to the unique problems faced by these patients when their supply of medications run out and their local pharmacy is inaccessible. He can speak to a potential second wave of crisis for these patients and the timeline that will follow before their individual medical situations become life-threatening.

Marilyn Pattillo, School of Nursing
Pattillo specializes in disaster nursing health assessment and taught Disaster Nursing, one of the first post-Sept. 11 disaster nursing courses in the country. She is the author of numerous articles on the subject, including Ready Texas Nurses Emergency Response System and Homeland Security for Nurses in Texas.

Dr. Stephen Saklad, College of Pharmacy
Saklad can speak to the mental trauma facing survivors of the hurricane as well as to the long-term health care concerns for these individuals. He can also address issues related to mental health patients who will find themselves unable to secure their medications in the stricken areas. He serves as one of the College of Pharmacy faculty who are housed at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Dr. Robert Talbert, College of Pharmacy
Talbert can address the threat to cardiovascular patients as they face added stress in surviving the hurricane only to see their homes and communities devastated. He can also discuss the threat to the health of these individuals when the supply of needed medications is no longer available. Talbert leads the Division of Pharmacotherapy for the College of Pharmacy at its facilities at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Dr. Nathan Weiderhold, College of Pharmacy
Weiderhold can speak to the second life-threatening wave facing survivors of this week’s hurricane including the threat of disease outbreaks brought about by flood waters and the diseases born there, the threat of illness due to living in very close proximity to others such as relief shelters, and the vulnerable aspects that survivors face by going for an untold period of time without access to healthy drinking water and nourishing foods. He serves as one of the College of Pharmacy faculty who are housed at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.


Dr. Stephen Bronars, Department of Economics
Mobile: 512-791-6118

Dr. Daniel Hamermesh, Department of Economics
Bronars and Hamermesh are labor economists and can discuss the long-term economic impact of Hurricane Katrina on both the region and the nation.

Environmental Issues and Engineering

Dr. James Gibeaut, Bureau of Economic Geology
Gibeaut researches coastal processes, using data obtained by airborne light detection and ranging (LIDAR) equipment. His recent work includes: shoreline change analysis of the Texas Gulf Coast; LIDAR studies of selected areas of Honduras after by Hurricane Mitch (1998); and LIDAR studies of Texas Gulf Coast.

Troy Kimmel, Department of Geography & The Environment
Kimmel is chief meteorologist, KVET/KASE/KFMK Radio in Austin and can speak about hurricane preparedness and the meteorology of Hurricane Katrina.

Dr. Charles G. Groat, Department of Geological Sciences
Groat was director of the U.S. Geological Survey until June 2005 and is a past director of the Louisiana Geological Survey. He is an expert on Louisiana geologic issues including erosion and wetlands issues relevant to Louisiana, and he is a national expert on environmental policy.

Tiffany Hepner, Bureau of Economic Geology
Hepner’s research includes severe storm effects and beach recovery.

Dr. Krishan A. Malik, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering
Malik can discuss reservoir and economic evaluation, energy economics and policy, oil and gas finance, and petroleum and structural geology

Thomas McGarity, School of Law
Environmental policy, environmental problems, pollution, cost/benefit analysis for the Corps of Engineers projects.

Dr. Danny David Reible, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Reible is director of the Hazardous Substance Research Center/South & Southwest, a consortium of Louisiana State University, Rice University, Texas A&M University, Georgia Tech and The University of Texas at Austin. He specializes in contaminant processes in the environment and assessment and remediation of contaminated sediments. Prior to his arrival at the university, Reible was a chemical engineering professor at Louisiana State University from 1981 to 2004.

In addition to these experts, the University of Texas Libraries can provide detailed maps of the region at the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection Web site.

For more information contact: Robin Gerrow, Office of Public Affairs, 512-626-3467.


  Updated 2005 September 15
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