University of South Carolina

Media: USC experts able to discuss crisis in Japan

The University of South Carolina Media Relations Office has prepared a list of faculty experts who can discuss various aspects of the Japan earthquake. For more information or to schedule interviews, call or e-mail the staffer listed with each expert. Or call 803-777-5400.

Economic impact of natural disasters

Dr. Douglas Woodward, a professor of economics and director of the Division of Research in the Darla Moore School of Business, can discuss the economic effects of natural disasters. Woodward, who has done economic impact studies for private and public entities, conducted an economic impact study after Hurricane Hugo, one of South Carolina’s most devastating natural disasters. Woodward can discuss what Japan can expect, namely that the Japanese economy, like Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and South Carolina after Hurricane Hugo, will be suffer at first and then surge during rebuilding. Contact: woodward-doug@sc.edu

Nuclear energy and public opinion

Dr. John C. Besley, an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, can discuss public opinion about nuclear energy in the United States and other countries. His research focuses on risk communication and public attitudes towards technologies involving potential health and environmental risks. He has conducted several public opinion surveys about nuclear energy in recent years with funding from the National Science Foundation. Contact: jbesley@sc.edu.

Effects of radiation

Fears about radiation contamination continue as radioactive material is released into the air around Japan’s nuclear plants. Dr. Dan Zurosky, director of radiation safety and a faculty member in the radiology department at the USC School of Medicine, can discuss radiation safety and the biological effects of ionizing radiation. To coordinate an interview, call Megan Sexton at 803-777-5400.

How do bridges stand up to an earthquake?

Dr. Paul Ziehl, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, works with the S.C. Department of Transportation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology on projects that involve designing and monitoring bridges for seismic events. He can discuss ways bridges are built to stand up to earthquakes. To coordinate an interview, call Megan Sexton at 803-777-5400.

The effect of culture

Dr. Nancy R. Buchan, an associate professor of international business and an expert on cross-cultural communications, can discuss the influence of Japan's distinct culture on behavior demonstrated throughout the disaster, on official communications and on response by foreign governments. She also can discuss the upending effect the disaster may have at least temporarily, on social order. Buchan has studied and lived in Japan. Contact: nancy.buchan@moore.sc.edu

What's happening inside Japan’s nuclear reactors

Dr. Vladimir Gudkov, a professor in USC’s department of physics and astronomy, can discuss the physics of nuclear reactors and what happens to those reactors under extraordinary circumstances such as damage sustained from earthquake or tsnumani. He is also an expert on radioactive radiation and contamination, and the physics principles of nuclear safety. Gudkov formerly worked at leading nuclear research centers in the U.S.S.R. and Japan; currently he is doing his research in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other nuclear research centers in the U.S. Contact: Megan Sexton at 803-777-5400.

Effects of radiation

Fears about radiation contamination continue as radioactive material is released into the air around Japan’s nuclear plants. Dr. Dan Zurosky, director of radiation safety and a faculty member in the radiology department at the USC School of Medicine, can discuss radiation safety and the biological effects of ionizing radiation. Contact: Megan Sexton, 803-777-5400.

How do bridges stand up to an earthquake?

Dr. Paul Ziehl, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, works with the S.C. Department of Transportation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology on projects that involve designing and monitoring bridges for seismic events. He can discuss ways bridges are built to stand up to earthquakes. Contact: Megan Sexton, 803-777-5400.

Impact on global supply chains

Dr. Manoj Malhotra, a management science professor and global supply chain management expert at the Darla Moore School of Business, can discuss the impact the crisis is and will have on Japanese corporations and the flow of traded of goods between the U.S. and Japan. Malhotra says the level of disruption will vary for Japanese companies, including ones with U.S. operations. On the reverse side, he says the flow of products from the U.S. to Japan could be substantial for businesses trying to emerge from the recession. Contact: Peggy Binette, 803-777-5400.

Japan's looming nuclear crisis

Dire reports of damage to Japan's nuclear facilities have many envisioning the worst-case scenario. Dr. Travis Knight, acting director of USC's Nuclear Engineering Program, can discuss how severe the damage must have been to compromise the many layers of safety put in place in Japan's nuclear industry, which, because of that nation's geographic location and seismic instability, has prepared for just such an event. Contact: Bond Nickles, 803-404-4398.

Natural disasters, emergency management and social vulnerability

Dr. Susan Cutter, a Carolina Distinguished Professor of Geography, is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on natural and manmade disasters, the social vulnerability of population and emergency management procedure. Cutter, director of USC’s Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute, can discuss the challenges facing Japan as it recovers from the earthquake. Cutter is well-known internationally for her research and works closely with local, federal and international emergency preparedness and response agencies. Cutter serves on a National Research Center task force that is evaluating the United States’ vulnerability to natural disasters. She also is a member of a research committee on worldwide disaster risk for the International Council for Science (ICSU). Contact: Scutter@mailbox.sc.edu

Understanding the science of earthquakes

Dr. Thomas Owens, a professor of geological sciences and director of the lithospheric seismology program at USC, is involved in the study of earthquakes and the collection and analysis of seismological data. He can discuss the reasons for the earthquake in Japan and the tsunami that followed, along with earthquake hazards in the United States. Contact: Megan Sexton, 803-315-5904

Japan’s earthquake and natural disaster history

Dr. Dean Kinzley, the director of the Center for Asian Studies and a historian who studies Japan, can discuss Japan’s history of earthquakes and natural disasters and the ways in which those events have shaped political, social and cultural consciousness. Contact: Peggy Binette, Peggy@mailbox.sc.edu

Tourism economics in the aftermath of earthquakes/natural disasters

Dr. Simon Hudson, the endowed chair for the CoEE in Tourism and Economic Development in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, wrote a case study about disaster recovery at resort destinations following the 2004 Thailand tsunami. He can discuss how tourist destinations have since developed savvy disaster-recovery strategies to bring tourists back to their resorts and attractions. Contact: Frenche Brewer, 803-414-7596.

Dr. Rich Harrill, director of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Travel & Tourism Industry Center and International Tourism Research Institute, can discuss how equipped the Japanese economy is prepared to recover from an epic natural disaster, and how important tourism is to the overall economy. He is co-author of a major research study on Japanese outbound tourism. Contact: Frenche Brewer, 803-414-7596.

Dr. Xiang (Robert) Li, associate director of USC’s Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Travel & Tourism Industry Center and the International Tourism Research Institute, was principal investigator for a major project studying Japanese inbound tourism to the U.S. He can comment on how the disasters may affect Japanese outbound tourism (i.e., Japanese traveling internationally), particularly to the U.S. Contact: Frenche Brewer, 803-414-7596. 

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 03/11/11 @ 5:00 PM | Updated: 03/28/11 @ 9:50 AM | Permalink