The Historical Museum of Southern Florida
The Greater Miami Chapter of the AMS present
"Nature’s Fury: South Florida Hurricanes"

A Panel Discussion
C. Douglas Bass Office of Emergency Management
Max Mayfield WPLG-TV
Jaime Rhome National Hurricane Center
Shirley Murillo AOML/Hurricane Research Division
Neal Dorst
AOML/Hurricane Research Division

December 13, 2007 at 6:30 pm.

Historical Museum of Southern Florida
101 West Flagler St
Miami, FL 33130

Museum website

A panel discussion on the impact of storms on various aspects of life in South Florida.

Shirley Murillo is a Miami native and works as a research meteorologist at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory's Hurricane Research Division. She has worked there since 1993, first as a student intern from the MAST Academy, then as full time employee after her graduation from Florida State. She is currently working on her Master's degree through the University of Hawaii. Her current area of study is on the wind field structure of land-falling hurricanes and she acts as a liaison between the Hurricane Research Division and NHC in transitioning research results into operational tools. She also participates in HRD's annual Hurricane Field Program, flying missions into and around hurricanes on NOAA's P-3 and GIV aircraft as a mission scientist.
She is also engaged in numerous outreach activities; chairing the American Meteorological Society's Board on Women and Minorities, sitting on its national scholarship review committee and its education symposium, and mentoring students through the National Geographic's JASON program. Beside her published scientific papers, she has been featured in the Historical Museum of Southern Florida's Water Stories exhibit, the Sally Ride Science Club newsletter, and Glamour magazine.

Jaime Rhome is a native of North Carolina and received both a Bachelor's and Master's degree from North Carolina State University. He is currently a hurricane specialist at NHC, where he has worked since 1999. Prior to this he worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Climate Office of North Carolina. His present areas of study include the effects of vertical wind shear and dry air on hurricane growth, improving forecasts, and on public perceptions of hurricane watches and warnings. Jamie is active in outreach programs, giving talks on hurricanes to private groups, granting media interviews, and participating in panel discussions.

Douglas Bass is Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for Miami-Dade County. A North Carolina native, he received his Mater's Degree from NC State, is a graduate of FEMA's Executive Development Institute, and is a Certified Emergency Manager. He has had over 20 years experience in developing, planning, and implementing all phases of emergency management while serving as Emergency Manager for Faifax Co., VA, Onslow Co. NC, and Raleigh-Wake Co., NC. He has also served as a law enforcement officer.

Max Mayfield is currently the hurricane expert at WPLG-TV in Miami. Prior to that he was the Emmy-award winning Director of the National Hurricane Center, and has worked there as a hurricane specialist and forecaster since 1972.
A native of Oklahoma, he was granted a Bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma and a master's from Florida State. He joined the National Weather Service after having served as an officer in the United States Air Force. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, a winner of the Dept. of Commerce Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals, was ABC's Person of the Week after Hurricane Katrina, and has a Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service from the Federal Government.

Meeting minutes Dec. 13, 2007
6:45 PM
A panel discussion was organized and hosted by the Historical Museum of Southern Florida on the topic of "Nature's Fury : South Florida Hurricanes". Despite the rains from the outskirts of Tropical Storm Olga, and it being a weekday evening, 40 hearty souls from the general public and the local AMS chapter turned out, some from as far away as Deerfield, to hear the speakers relate south Florida's hurricane history. The audience ranged from new residents with no hurricane experience to native Miamians who survived the storms of the 1940s.

The panel consisted of:

and was moderated by Neal Dorst, president of the Greater Miami chapter of the AMS. Beginning at 6:45 pm, each speaker gave a brief overview of their jobs and their perspective on the hurricane problems faced by south Floridians. The floor was then opened up for numerous questions from an engaged audience and the meeting lasted for an hour and a half. A wide range of topics were covered, from the different advantages of various shutter types, the responsibilities of government scientists versus media reporters, to hurricane modification. Several conversations continued after the meeting was adjourned.

The Greater Miami chapter of the AMS wishes to thank Jorge Zamanillo and Molli Songco of the Historical Museum of Southern Florida for their efforts organizing this discussion.

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