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Dr. Sam Brody

Dr. Sam Brody
Center Director
Bldg. 3029, Office 366
Phone: (409) 740-4939
Fax: (409) 740-4429

Dr. William J. Merrell
Bld# 3029, Office 395
Phone: (409) 740-4732
Fax: (409) 740-4429

Dr. Wes Highfield

Dr. Wes Highfield
Associate Director for Research
Bldg. 3029, Office 364
Phone: (409) 740-4726
Fax: (409) 740-4754

Colonel Len Waterworth
Associate Director for Outreach
Bldg. 3007, Office 222
Phone: (409) 741-4397
Fax: (409) 741-4014

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Research Scientists      

Dr. Yoonjeong Lee
Assistant Research Scientist


Yoon is a postdoctoral research associate in the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores at Texas A&M University Galveston. Her research focuses on urban flooding, flood risk reduction and mitigation strategies, environmental policy, and urban resilience. She also works on NSF PIRE Flood Risk Reduction Program as the coordinator of the research education component of the project, which involves organizing and implementing student research abroad program.

She holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Sciences from Texas A&M University, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and a B.A. in Urban Administration from University of Seoul, Korea.

Antonia Sebastian, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Scientist


Antonia is an Associate Research Scientist within the Department of Marine Sciences at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Her research focuses on the influence of urbanization and climate change on the evolution of flood hazard and risk in urban systems and methods for evaluating flood adaptation strategies under non-stationary human and environmental conditions. She is also a research mentor within the NSF PIRE Flood Risk Reduction Program.

Antonia holds a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Rice University. Her dissertation was entitled: Quantifying Flood Hazard and Risk in Highly Urbanized Coastal Watersheds and focused on compound flooding in coastal environments. Previously, Antonia was a NAF/Fulbright Fellow in Flood Management in the Department of Hydraulic Engineering at Delft University of Technology (DUT) (2014-2015) and held a postdoctoral position focused on climate adaptation within the EU Horizon2020 Project, BRIGAID, at DUT (2016-2017).

Russell Blessing
Assistant Research Scientist


As a researcher within the field of Land Use and Environmental Planning, Russell seeks to understand how coastal cities can become more resilient to man-made and natural hazards. To do so, he firmly believes that cities must develop in congruence with larger ecological processes so as to preserve vital ecosystem services. His current research under Dr. Samuel Brody at the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores focuses on the conservation and protection of Texas' coastline through innovative research in cooperation with government and private sector agencies.

Kirana Pandian
Research Assistant
Doctoral Student

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Postdoctoral Researchers      

Kayode Atoba
Postdoctoral Research Associate


Kayode O. Atoba is a Doctoral candidate in the Urban and Regional Science program at Texas A&M University, College Station. He holds a B.S in Urban and Regional Planning form Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria and a M.S in Geographic Information Systems from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX.

His PhD research under Dr. Sam Brody is on fostering regional resilience through evaluation of current hazard mitigation techniques. He proposes that hazard mitigation should be implemented in ways that will reduce residual effect on the vulnerable, and promote large-scaled inter-jurisdictional collaboration among communities.

William Mobley
Postdoctoral Research Associate


William Mobley is a PhD candidate in the Urban and Regional Science program at Texas A&M University.  He is a Research Assistant at the Center for Texas beaches and Shores. His research interests focus on the interactions of development with coastal and inland hazards. Recently William has been working on the Texas Coastal Atlas, ensuring data and research is easily accessible. He has a Masters in Urban Planning from University Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a BS in Geography from University Wisconsin-La Crosse.

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Research Associates      

Laura Stearns
Research Associate

Ryan Eddings
Research Associate

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Assistant Researchers      

Jayton Rainey
Graduate Assistant Researcher


Jayton Rainey is a PhD student in the Urban and Regional Science program at Texas A&M University.  He is a Hagler Institute for Advanced Study HEEP Fellow and a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores. His research interests focus on environmental factors affecting coastal populations and the interactions of development with coastal and inland hazards. Recently, Jayton has been working with Dr. Gerald Galloway, regarded as the top flood-management expert in the United States, and Texas A&M University at Galveston faculty to identify the causes and costs associated with increased flooding events in areas traditionally not considered vulnerable. He has a Masters in Marine Resource Management from Texas A&M University at Galveston, and a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University.

Jaimlyn Sypniewski
Graduate Assistant Researcher


Jaimlyn Sypniewski is currently a Masters student at Texas A&M University studying the effects of sounds walls on residential flooding. She is also a writer for the Commission to Rebuild Texas, a report commissioned by the Governor to oversee the recovery of Texas after the devastation created by Hurricane Harvey. She has also assisted on research for the GLO comparing the current insurance premiums to the predicted premiums after the installation of the Ike Dike.

She has extensive experience working for environmental consulting companies, such as ERM. As a consultant she has conducted intensive field work collecting water, air, and soil samples for chemical analysis using complex equipment. She has Gathered habitat suitability criteria for the Susitna-Watana Dam Project in Alaska and monitored the rate of shoreline erosion extensively along the Alaska coast. Jaimlyn has used GIS to model
watersheds, determine land changes over time using LandSat Imagery, compute changes in NDVI and track changes in shoreline erosion.

Previously, she has also worked for both the USGS and Fish and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. As well as traveling to Costa Rica to study tropical ecosystems and marine biology.

Apart for rigorous field work, Jaimlyn has also drafted EBS and EA reports for State and Federal site remediation compliance in addition writing Resource Report Documents for FERC Regulations, and has gained proficiency in ERIDAS Imagine and ArcGIS software. 

Nicholas Diaz
Graduate Research Assistant
Master of Marine Resource Management

Nicholas Diaz (Nick) is a Masters student in the Marine Resource Management Program at Texas A&M University at Galveston. He has become a Graduate Assistant Researcher for the
CTBS through the 2018 NSF-PIRE Coastal Flood Risk Reduction Travel Program. Nick's research involves using UASs (drones) to monitor and model coastal communities and oceanographic processes.
Past projects involving the use of the drone include monitoring erosional hotspots and beach nourishments along the Galveston Island shoreline. His current research involves deriving first floor elevations
(FFEs) within residential communities located in Galveston using UAS-based data. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Nick was always a Sea Aggie as he has also received his BS in Ocean and Coastal Resources (OCRE) at Texas A&M University at Galveston.

Elizabeth Schneider
Research Assistant

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Former Researchers      

Helen Walters
Md Yousuf Reja

Vera Abou Shakra
Heather Deforges
Morgan Wilson
Jake Emmert
Sequoia Riley
Jennifer Feagins
Carland Holstead
Amie Hufton
Himanshu Grover
Dustin Henry
Sri Harsha
Sarah Norman
Mary Trevino
Kevin Crosby
Joshua Gunn
Hee Ju Kim
Tak Makino
Patrick Doty 
Alexandra Stiles 
Nick Souza
Logan Harrell
Lindsay Doremus

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Administrative Management      

Sherry Parker
Business Administrator
Phone: 409-741-4331

Cherie Coffman
Senior Administrative Coordinator

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