Press Releases

Dr. Sam Brody and Dr. Larry Weber join the Water Institute of the Gulf as Senior Fellows

BATON ROUGE, La. (May 26, 2021)

Nationally recognized experts in disaster recovery, coastal systems and hydraulic engineering, Dr. Sam Brody and Dr. Larry Weber, have joined The Water Institute of the Gulf as Senior Fellows. Through this newly established Senior Fellows Program, the Institute will deepen collaborative relationships with esteemed scientists, researchers, planners and engineers from across the country and around the world.

Brody and Weber will remain in their current posts at Texas A&M and the University of Iowa, respectively, but as Senior Fellows at the Institute they will work closely with the Water Institute team on projects, initiatives and will provide mentoring to younger researchers.

“We are thrilled to welcome such brilliant and collaborative colleagues to the Water Institute family,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, Water Institute president and CEO. “Sam and Larry bring a powerful combination of flood risk, resilience, hydroscience and engineering expertise to our growing team. Perhaps most importantly, Sam and Larry embody the Institute’s commitment to collaborative research, and we look forward to working with and learning from them.”

Brody, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert in coastal systems, disaster recovery and resilience planning is now a Senior Fellow for Flood Risk and Resilience Planning. Brody comes to the Water Institute from his position at Texas A&M University at Galveston as Director of Center for Texas Beaches and Shores and Director of the Institute for a Disaster Resilient Texas. The Institute for a Disaster Resilient Texas uses a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to deliver research on disaster risk reduction, support state agencies with data analytics and decision-making tools and generate evidence-based solutions that help Texas communities become more resilient.

Brody received his bachelor’s degree in environmental studies/anthropology from Bowdoin College, master’s degree from University of Michigan in natural resources policy and planning and his Ph.D. from North Carolina Chapel Hill in city and regional planning. He was a founding fellow of the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disaster (SSPEED) Center Conference at Rice University in Houston, a fellow of the Texas A&M University Institute for Science Technology, and Public Policy (ISTPP) and a fellow at the Kinder Institute at Rice University.

“The Seniors Fellows program furthers the Institute’s unique role integrating science into to decision-making. Ready access to titans in their perspective worlds of research, with deep experience in integration across disciplines, enables the Institute to continue supporting communities to live safely with water,” said Alyssa Dausman, senior vice president and chief scientist at the Water Institute. “We’re very excited that Sam and Larry are the first to join and look forward to the program growing through opportunities to partner and collaborate with esteemed scientists.”

Weber, Ph.D., Edwin B. Green Chair in Hydraulics and professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The University of Iowa, joins the Water Institute as a Senior Fellow for Hydroscience and Engineering. Throughout his career, and as the former director of the IIHR-Hydrosciene & Engineering at The University of Iowa, Weber has a long history of working on the flood control, large river restoration, modeling of hydraulic structures and linking large-scale watershed models to flood response and resiliency.

Weber received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from The University of Iowa and his master’s and Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from The University of Iowa. He is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research.

As co-founder of the Iowa Flood Center and the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, Weber has led a number of large-scale initiatives focused on flood resiliency and water quality. As a vision for a more resilient Iowa, Weber leads the $96.9 million Iowa Watershed Approach Project funded by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development aimed at reducing flooding during heavy rainfall, improving water quality and increasing community resiliency. This approach has garnered attention from states across the U.S. interested in combating the adverse effects of climate change on water resources.

“The work Larry and Sam have done, and continue to pursue, helps make communities safer and more resilient,” said Hugh Roberts, senior vice president and chief operating officer at the Water Institute. “Continuing our work with these two collaborative and truly innovative thinkers around issues of water management is an exciting opportunity for the Water Institute team.”

About The Water Institute of the Gulf

The Water Institute of the Gulf is an independent, non-profit, applied research institution advancing science and developing integrated methods to solve complex environmental and societal challenges. We believe in and strive for more resilient and equitable communities, sustainable environments, and thriving economies. For more information, visit