Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography & ODU Resilience Collaborative

Fall 2018 Seminar Series


Burrell Montz
Department of Geography, Planning, and Environment
East Carolina University

Monday, October 22, 2018
3:30 PM
Conference Center, Innovation Resarch Building II
4211 Monarch Way, Norfolk, VA 23508


In 2017, rip current deaths ranked third in all weather-related fatalities in the United States, behind floods and heat. The National Weather Service recognized the need to identify effective ways to communicate rip current risk to both the public and water rescue professionals. This project provided an evaluation of five alternative graphics using a national online survey and focus groups of water rescue and other professionals in coastal North Carolina. The results of the online survey suggest that overall there is a generally good understanding among respondents of what the graphics show with respect to the probability categories. While the results do not identify one most effective graphic, specific elements from the graphics were seen to be more effective than others. The results make it possible to develop a new graphic that should be tested through additional research. Further, it became clear that outreach, particularly to inland states, is needed to minimize rip current mortality.


Burrell Montz is Professor in the Department of Geography, Planning, and Environment at East Carolina University (ECU) and she is Co-Director of ECU's Natural Resources and the Environment Research Cluster. She received her B.A. from Mary Washington College, her M.S. from Oklahoma State University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. Her academic record includes eleven books and edited monographs, over 80 research papers and proceedings, a dozen book chapters, and 40 grants for research, from federal, state, and private sources. Her research has documented the effects of flooding on property values, perceptions of risk and responses to warnings, sources and management options for water pollution, and the vulnerability of communities. Her recent work centers on the efficacy of the National Weather Service products for various audiences.

Reception before seminar at 3:00 PM

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