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Cultural Center

Call for Panelists

Hofstra Cultural Center

presents a symposium

Long Island Hurricanes on the 80th Anniversary of the 1938 Storm: Past, Present, and Future

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Long Island Hurricanes

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the 1938 "Long Island Express" hurricane, and look ahead to the future, this interdisciplinary symposium proposes to recount the many impactful tropical cyclones that have affected Long Island over the years, assess our current forecasting and hazard communication techniques, and discuss future planning for resilience to these extreme events. We seek participation from a range of experts in broad topic areas, including climatology, meteorology, sustainability, geography, communication, and history.

Download Call for Panelists PDF

The unnamed 1938 hurricane — nicknamed the "Long Island Express" due to its fast forward motion and initial landfall in Suffolk County — brought abrupt and untold devastation to the northeastern United States, particularly Long Island's East End. Despite that storm, and several subsequent New York hurricane landfalls in the following decades, the recent experience of Sandy underscores our vulnerability to the impacts of tropical cyclones, particularly storm surges and coastal flooding. Thus, we first seek to examine in greater detail the hurricane of 1938, establishing it as a worst-case scenario when considering Long Island natural disasters. Then, we will investigate our current knowledge of hurricane forecasting, having made great strides since 1938, but still lacking in certain areas, particularly in communicating storm-related information to stakeholders. Last, we will discuss how future planning and sustainable development must consider future tropical cyclone impacts, keeping in mind lessons learned from past events.

Along with a keynote speaker (TBA), we plan to hold three panels on the following themes:

  • PAST
    • Climatology and meteorology of past Long Island tropical cyclones, including the 1938 hurricane, Sandy, and other notable storms.
  • PRESENT
    • An assessment of how we predict tropical cyclones and communicate potential hazards and uncertainty to the public. Although not directly affecting Long Island, storms through the Atlantic this year (Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria) made 2017 one of the deadliest storm seasons in more than a century.
  • FUTURE
    • Incorporating tropical cyclone risk into planning for Long Island's sustainable future.

We invite interested panelists to submit a 250-word proposal on how they could contribute to one of the above panels, and a one-page curriculum vitae to the symposium director, Dr. Jase Bernhardt, at jase.bernhardt@hofstra.edu.

The deadline for submission of proposals is March 30, 2018.

Include the applicant's name and email address.

Symposium Director:
Jase Bernhardt, PhD
Department of Geology, Environment and Sustainability
Hofstra University