Photo: @Plimber

I wanted to compile a few notes about our recent article “Building back bigger in hurricane strike zones“, which appeared in the December (2018) issue of Nature Sustainability.

We’re grateful to have received some ace media coverage. Eleanor Cummins wrote about our findings for Popular Science. YaleEnvironment360, put out by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, included us in their E360 Digest. And I had a number of people collar me with “Hey! You’re on the Weather Channel!” (We were not on the Weather Channel. But the work got a spot, thanks to Pam Wright.)

We contributed our own “Behind the Paper” blog post for the Nature Research Sustainability Community. We used that venue to collate a number of relevant stories – from Houston, from the Jersey Shore – by journalists that we’d followed closely but whose pieces we couldn’t cite in the article itself.

There are also a couple of backstage details – maybe only interesting to process nuts like me – that are nevertheless part of the story of the work, and they make me happy to recall.

One is that Rosie Dodd was an undergraduate when she helped gather data and run some of the early comparative analyses. She was supported by a summer bursary funded by the excellent and vital Cardiff Undergraduate Research Opportunity Programme (CUROP) at Cardiff University. I can’t say enough good things about that programme, and “research experience for undergraduate” avenues like it.

The other is that the first inkling of this idea came in April, 2014, from Patrick Limber – now at Coastal Carolina University, and whose racked-focus image it is at the top of this post. In an email to me, he’d attached a plot of a strange pattern he’d found on the Bolivar Peninsula of Texas. I read that email standing in the lobby of a hotel in Malta, where I was waiting for a cohort of second-year Cardiff Marine Geography students (including Rosie Dodd) to gather before our next field-trip activity. I remember bashing out a hasty reply – “Let’s do something.”


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