Past Features

May 1, 2007 (Vol. 5, No. 7)

May 3 Lecture to Address Vulnerability of NYC Area to Hurricane Damage

Science Classroom

Queens College Geology Professor Nicholas K. Coch will discuss the vulnerability of the New York area to hurricane damage in a lecture to the College's Sigma Xi chapter on Thursday, May 3, at 6 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room. The talk will be preceded by presentations of current student-faculty research under way at Lehman in the natural and social sciences.

Sigma Xi was founded in 1886 to honor excellence in scientific investigation and encourage a sense of cooperation among researchers in all fields of science and engineering. Since its inception, over 200 members have received Nobel Prizes in various fields.

Dr. Coch's talk, based on his recent research, will address the unique set of topographic, oceanographic, demographic and geographic characteristics that would lead to maximum damage should a hurricane make landfall in the New York-New Jersey region. Looking back at the consequences of direct landfalls in New York City in 1821 and 1893 can help in planning for another such event, potentially avoiding catastrophic consequences.

Dr. Coch received his doctorate from Yale University, with a specialization in sedimentology and coastal geology. In 1967, he joined the faculty of Queens College and the CUNY doctoral faculty in earth and environmental sciences. The co-author of two college geology textbooks and the author of Geohazards: Natural and Human, Dr. Coch has focused his recent research on the effects of hurricanes on coasts and inland areas and on categorizing hurricane damage patterns.

An expert on Northern Hurricanes, he is a consultant to both the New York City and New York State offices of emergency management. Programs about his research aired last year on the Weather Channel, Discovery Channel and History Channel and will air on the National Geographic Channel in 2007.