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Mapping the Zone: Improving Flood Map Accuracy
Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), ASFPM, and the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association.
Karen L. Schuckman is an instructor in geography at the Pennsylvania State University, where she teaches remote sensing and geospatial technology in the online GIS programs offered by the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute. She is also a consultant to URS Corporation in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where she provides expert knowledge in remote sensing and photogrammetry—including floodplain mapping, disaster response and preparedness, critical infrastructure, and transportation—to engineering practice groups. As the Geospatial Technology Leader at URS from 2005 to 2006, Ms. Schuckman supported response, recovery, and mitigation projects for FEMA following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. Prior to that, she spent 10 years at the EarthData Group, where she held several positions including geospatial applications director for EarthData Solutions; senior vice president of EarthData Technologies; and president and general manager of EarthData International of North Carolina. Notable projects led by Ms. Schuckman for EarthData include lidar acquisition for the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program, numerous transportation mapping projects for state transportation departments, and technology demonstration projects for NOAA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Department of Transportation. Prior to joining the private sector, Ms. Schuckman worked for the USGS National Mapping Division, in Menlo Park, California. She is the immediate past president of the ASPRS, vice chair of the NOAA Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing, and a member of the NRC Committee on Floodplain Mapping Technologies. Ms. Schuckman has a B.S. in meteorology and a certificate in GIS from the Pennsylvania State University, and is an ASPRS-certified photogrammetrist and a licensed professional land surveyor.
Y. Peter Sheng has been a professor of coastal and oceanographic engineering at the University of Florida since 1986, where he studies coastal hazards and physical and biogeochemical processes in coastal, estuarine, riverine, and lake waters. He received his Ph.D. in engineering and fluid and thermal sciences from Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Sheng’s main research interests include storm surges, coastal waves, current-wave interaction, bottom boundary layer dynamics, turbulent transport processes, hurricane wind and land interaction, inundation processes, cyberinfrastructure, and numerical modeling and forecasting. One of the models developed by Dr. Sheng, CH3D (Curvilinear-Grid Hydrodynamics in 3D)-Storm Surge Modeling System (SSMS), can be used to simulate and forecast hurricane-induced storm surge, wave, and coastal inundation and has been applied to simulate and forecast the storm surge and inundation in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the Chesapeake Bay since 2003. From 1998 to 2003, he worked with Pinellas County, Florida, and FEMA to review and update the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for the county using this model. Dr. Sheng is a current member of the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association, the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System, and the NRC Committee on New Orleans Regional Hurricane Protection System.
Juan B. Valdes is a professor and department head of the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and a professor in the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona. He joined the faculty in 1997 after serving on the faculty of Texas A&M University and Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Venezuela. He is a registered professional engineer in Texas. Dr. Valdes received his Ph.D. in water resources from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests include stochastic and deterministic hydrology; flood forecasting; analysis, synthesis, and sampling of hydrologic processes; mathematical modeling of natural resources systems; modeling of space-time precipitation; environmental risk assessment; and stochastic modeling of environmental processes. He is on the executive committee of SAHRA, where he coordinates international research efforts, particularly on drought characterization and forecasting and water resources management in transboundary basins. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and ASCE, and serves on the board of directors of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, the scientific advisory committee of the Inter American Institute for Global Change Research, and on panels and advisory boards for AGU, NOAA, and NASA.