These experts from the UW-Madison faculty and staff have agreed to comment on breaking news, ongoing developments and trends in their areas of expertise. If you need help arranging interviews, email University Communications.
Experts on today’s news…
Jason Fletcher on: Lowered drinking age and risky behaviors
As the debate about drinking age and public policy continues, Jason Fletcher, a professor of public affairs and sociology, can discuss his study examining the effects of lowered drinking age on binge drinking, drug use, and other risky behaviors.
Kathleen Culver on: Kavanaugh hearings and sexual assault allegation
Kathleen Culver, an expert in journalism and media ethics, can comment on the sexual assault allegation against SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the media's role in surfacing the identity of his accusor, Christine Blasey Ford, and what to expect next.
Sarah Griffin on: Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina Friday morning, bringing with it record rainfall and powerful storm surges. Griffin is a member of the Tropical Cyclone team at UW–Madison's Center for Cooperative Meteorological Satellite Studies and Space Science and Engineering Center. She and colleagues Chris Velden and Derrick Herndon can discuss the storm. They have tracked it since it emerged from the African coast last week and many of the satellite-based products used nationwide to track Florence have come from CIMSS/SSEC. Velden says: "The sat-based tools are extremely useful in monitoring the storm and its behavior, but also some of the datasets and information are being assimilated into numerical models that provide critical objective prediction guidance to the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center." Engineering professor Giri Venkataramanan, can address Hurricane Florence’s potential repercussions for the energy infrastructure in the southeastern United States. Venkataramanan has developed small-scale distributed electric systems (microgrids) for use in disaster relief or low-resource settings, and can can offer insight on the grid’s vulnerability to major disruptions like hurricanes. Storm reserach in prgress in the lab of engineering professor Daniel Wright will help establish a new hurricane categorization system based on intensity of rainfall akin to the Category 1 through 5 designation assigned to hurricanes based on wind speed.
Richard Keller on: Natural disaster death tolls
Keller can discuss how officials arrive at mortality estimates in the aftermath of natural disasters, and the role response to the disaster can play in the death toll.
Dr. Doug Jorenby on: Vaping among teenagers
Dr. Doug Jorenby, an expert on smoking and tobacco cessation, can discuss the announcement by the Food and Drug Administration to take major new enforcement actions aimed at reducing the sales and marketing of electronic cigarettes to teenagers. "We must do more to stem what I see as an epidemic of use of e-cigs among teens, and deeply disturbing trends that show no sign of abating," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said. "The FDA won't tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine."
Timothy Smeeding on: 2017 Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage report
Timothy Smeeding, an expert on poverty, can discuss the 2017 Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage report released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Median household income rose to $61,400 in 2017, up 1.8% from a year earlier. The increase continues a streak of strong income growth that began in 2015 during President Barack Obama's second term. Median income grew 3.2% in 2016 and 5.2% the year before.
Susan Paskewitz on: Wisconsin flooding and mosquitoes
As regions of Wisconsin struggle with flooding, entomologist Susan Paskewitz can discuss the risks of mosquito-borne disease with increased standing water late in the season.