CCU scientists honored for flood relief

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A team of scientists at Coastal Carolina University recently received the Swamp Fox “Patriot Award” for exceptional service during a state natural disaster from the South Carolina State Guard for their contribution to flood relief efforts.
Shaowu Bao, Len Pietrafesa, Bryan Keller and Paul Gayes of CCU’s School of Coastal and Marine Systems Science (SCMSS) were recognized at a ceremony at the South Carolina State Armory in Columbia on Nov. 7 for providing technical assistance to state emergency management personnel during last month’s flood event.

The team created computation and numerical data and offered advice and assistance to the S.C. Military Department and its emergency management agency during the period of the flood, Oct. 3 to 14. Members of this team are also responsible for CCU’s Hurricane Genesis & Outlook (HUGO) Project, a hurricane model system established in 2013.

Recognized at the event were Len Pietrafesa, a Burroughs & Chapin Scholar on the SCMSS faculty and former chair of the NOAA Science Advisory Board; Shaowu Bao, a computational, deterministic numerical modeler specializing in meteorology and oceanography on the SCMSS faculty; CCU alumnus Bryan Keller, now a Ph.D. student at Florida State University; and Paul Gayes, longtime CCU professor and director of SCMSS.

The commander of the South Carolina State Guard, Brig. Gen. Thomas Mullikin, who also serves as a research professor in the SCMSS, says that these scholars’ contributions “assisted in mitigating the negative impact on our state through their expert and timely counsel. Their analysis was used to allow our state to predict water flow and move resources to protect families across South Carolina. Simply stated, they were brilliant, diligent patriots who volunteered to bring their significant resources to meet challenges associated with the 1,000 year flood.”