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February 8, 2011

Lessons from Snowmageddon: UMBC Researchers Prepare Us for Severe Storms to Come

Dinah Winnick
Communications Manager
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

A year after the February 2010 North American blizzards and in the wake of recent storms, government and business leaders are asking how we can better deal with extreme weather. UMBC faculty researchers offer important perspectives on severe storms and Mid-Atlantic meteorology, emergency/disaster preparedness and response and the impacts of school closures on learning.

Jeffrey B. Halverson is associate professor of geography and environmental systems and associate director-academics at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET). He has expertise on severe storms, mesoscale meteorology and meteorology/climatology of the Mid-Atlantic region and he helped pioneer the first system to take direct measurements in the eye of a mature hurricane from 70,000 feet. Halverson has worked at both NASA Headquarters and the Goddard Space Flight Center. He has appeared in hurricane specials on The Discovery Channel and NOVA, and has written columns for Weatherwise Magazine and the Baltimore Sun. Contact him at or 410-455-3350 (o).

Richard A. Bissell, associate professor and graduate program director in emergency health services, is an expert on emergency preparedness and response and EMS system development, with specialties in rural and international EMS. Bissell’s work in emergency health epidemiology and disaster services planning/evaluation has taken him to over 40 countries. He has served on the advisory boards of the American Red Cross and World Health Organization, and as principal investigator on a multi-million dollar U.S. Public Health Service project to train clinicians and logistics personnel in medical response to disasters and terrorism. Contact him at or 410-455-3776 (o).

Dave E. Marcotte, professor and graduate program director in public policy, can offer insight on how resources impact student performance in primary and secondary education, including the effects of snow days on learning. His research has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Baltimore Sun, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Economist, Education Week, Christian Science Monitor and more. For details, see the Education Next article “Time for School.” Contact him at or 410-455-1455 (o).

Cell numbers available upon request.

Posted by dwinnick at February 8, 2011 3:01 PM