Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 03:59 pm est

Universities collaborate to research storm impact on New York

Posted on November 7, 2013 | by Klein Aleardi

File photo by Lauren Kim

Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the beginning of the New York State Resilience Institute for Storms and Emergencies, a research institute housed at the Polytechnic Institute of NYU and Stony Brook University in response to Superstorm Sandy.

A meeting that will address funding and the final plan will take place today Nov. 7. The funding group consists of the two co-directors, Minghua Zhang of Stony Brook and NYU-Poly professor Fletcher Griffis in addition to four other researchers — two from NYU and two from Stony Brook.

NYS RISE comprises 15 work units, and researchers will also include faculty from Columbia University, Cornell University, Brookhaven National Lab and the City University of New York.

“We’ll allocate the resources accordingly and that’s the function of the program planning group. It’s ongoing function is to continue to plan the program,” Griffis said.

Lawrence Swanson, associate dean of the School of Marine and Atmosphe-ric Sciences at Stony Brook, said NYS RISE was established when the two universities combined the individual proposals they had been working on to create one proposal for post-Sandy research after being cut off from funding from Congress’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Swanson said Poly combined proposals with Stony Brook at the suggestion of state officials.

NYU’s proposal began when Katepalli Raju Sreenivasan, NYU-Poly president, wrote a letter about the university’s responsibility to respond to the storm.

“The main focus here is not the cost and inconvenience, but the vulnerability,” Sreenivasan wrote. “We have a responsibility to assess this vulnerability and make a set of recommendations to mitigate them. The responsibility is compounded because we formed [the Center for Urban Science and Progress] with the promise, in broad terms, of making New York the crown jewel among the livable cities of the world.”

Griffis said the goal of NYS RISE is to analyze the effects of Sandy and the response to the storm and work toward improving that response.

“What we’d like to do is synthesize what’s been done, summarize it and look for gaps, areas that need further research and have been overlooked,” Griffis said.

Griffs said NYS RISE will work with response planning, the assessment of dynamics, interdependency of bodies of water and infrastructure, vulnerability and resilience in a storm and environment risk under climate change.

These research areas are phase one of the research, and the projects must be finished by March of 2014. Planning for phase two will begin in December.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Nov. 7 print edition. Klein Aleardi is a staff writer. Email her at


profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.