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Media Resources: Experts on Hurricanes and Other Extreme Weather

As the East Coast recovers from Isaias and the peak of hurricane season approaches, NIST would like to support your coverage of this year’s extreme weather. The engineers, meteorologists, and social scientists below have expertise in areas ranging from windstorm characterization to structural engineering to community resilience. 

NIST Experts


Scott Weaver is director of the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP), a NIST-led, interagency effort to reduce loss of life and property from windstorms. Weaver is a climate scientist and meteorologist with expertise in measuring and predicting extreme weather — including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and drought — and their connection to larger scale climate phenomena. He is also a member of the NIST team that is conducting a multi-year study of Hurricane Maria’s impacts on Puerto Rico.

Email: scott.weaver [at] (scott[dot]weaver[at]nist[dot]gov)

Maria Dillard

Maria Dillard is the acting director of the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) — a NIST statutory program focused on post-disaster investigations — and is leading a study focused on the impacts and recovery of school and hospital organizations in Puerto Rico following  Hurricane Maria. Trained in sociology, she has significant experience studying how communities respond to hazards, and the social dimensions of disaster.

Email: maria.dillard [at] (maria[dot]dillard[at]nist[dot]gov)

Therese McAllister

Terri McAllister is the leader of NIST’s Community Resilience Group, which seeks to improve the resilience and long-term recovery of communities to hazards such as hurricanes and floods. She has expertise in structural reliability, risk assessment, and failure analysis of buildings and infrastructure and conducted studies of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and the WTC disaster.

Email: therese.mcallister [at] (therese[dot]mcallister[at]nist[dot]gov)

Long Phan is the leader of NIST’s Structures Group, which provides tools to reduce the vulnerability of buildings and infrastructure to extreme hazards. Phan is trained in civil engineering and has led studies of structural damage caused by hurricanes and tornadoes across the nation. 

Email: long.phan [at] (long[dot]phan[at]nist[dot]gov)


Judith Mitrani-Reiser is associate chief of NIST’s Materials and Structural Systems Division. Mitrani-Reiser has expertise in the seismic safety of healthcare facilities and community resilience. She manages and provides oversight on NIST’s building failure investigations and also leads a study of how damaged buildings and infrastructure influenced injuries and deaths occurring during Hurricane Maria’s foray through Puerto Rico.

Email: judith.mitrani-reiser [at] (judith[dot]mitrani-reiser[at]nist[dot]gov)

If you'd like help connecting with the experts listed above, you can contact jonathan.griffin [at] (Jonathan Griffin) in the NIST Public Affairs Office.

Created August 4, 2020, Updated August 10, 2020