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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI launches interactive hurricane website, Hurricanes: Science and Society

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. – October 26, 2010 – The University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography has launched a comprehensive interactive website, Hurricanes: Science and Society (www.hurricanescience.org), in concert with the opening of the Louisiana State Museum exhibition, Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond.

The website and its associated educational resources provide information on the science of hurricanes, methods of observing hurricanes, modeling and forecasting of hurricanes, how hurricanes impact society, and how people and communities can prepare for and mitigate the impacts of hurricanes. In addition to in-depth science content, the website includes educational resources, case studies, and an interactive timeline of historical storms. All content has undergone rigorous peer review by a panel of hurricane experts.

The launch of the website took place during the Hurricane Science and Education Symposium at the Tulane/University Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research in New Orleans this week. This event brought together the nation’s leading hurricane researchers and forecasters, preparation and mitigation experts, as well as formal and informal educators from across the United States, to discuss the vital need to advance hurricane safety through science and education.

The director of the National Hurricane Center, Bill Read, offered opening remarks. “I am very impressed by the scope of scientific content in the Hurricane Science and Society website,” said Read. “I believe it will become a nationwide classroom tool for anyone interested in teaching or learning hurricane science.”

Hurricanes: Science and Society will play a critical role in the effort to educate both students and adults about the science and impacts of hurricanes and the importance of pre-hurricane planning and mitigation. The website will give educators the tools around which curricula and public education materials about the importance of hurricane pre-disaster planning can be developed. It will contain information tailored for specific audiences, including middle school through undergraduate educators and students, the general public, and the media.

The development of the website was led by URI’s Gail Scowcroft and Isaac Ginis and designed in coordination with Raytheon Web Solutions. Both the website and key elements of the museum exhibition have been made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.