Lauren Land

Sustainability Coordinator, Louisiana Sea Grant (

PhD (expected 2018), Louisiana State University, Geography & Anthropology
M.S. 2010, Louisiana State University, Oceanography & Coastal Sciences
B.S. 2008, University of Maryland, College Park, Environmental Science & Policy

As the WAVE project manager, Lauren facilitates conversations between LSU, Sea Grant, app development team, commercial fishermen, and local and state agencies to further the operational capabilities of the WAVE app.

Lauren Land has been with Louisiana Sea Grant since March of 2012. She conducts research and outreach to coastal communities related to hazard resilience along the waterfront. She is interested in small-scale community resilience to natural hazards and the implications for state and federal disaster management policies to encourage proactive measures for preparedness. Some of her specific projects include facilitating a Gulf-wide expert committee to develop a qualitative resilience index for Ports along the Gulf Coast and facilitating conversations at the local and state level to establish harbor of refuge sites for commercial fishermen. In 2011, she was a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in the National Sea Grant Office, where she gained an understanding of University Extension as one of the most successful mechanisms to develop knowledge and share information to achieve resilience at various spatial and temporal scales.


Danny Holmes

WAVE Lead Developer
Adjunct Professor of Music Technology and Music Theory, Southern University

Danny Holmes is a composer, sound artist, researcher, software developer, and music educator. Danny holds degrees in classical guitar and electronic music composition, and he is a candidate for the PhD in Experimental Music and Digital Media at Louisiana State University. Danny also serves on the faculty at Southern University in Baton Rouge as an adjunct of music technology and music theory.

Danny has recently presented work at conferences for Texas Music Educator’s Association (TMEA), Southeast Music Librarian Association (SEMLA), Society of Electroacoustic Music in the US (SEAMUS), New Instruments for Musical Expression (NIME), and the Sound and Music Computing and International Computer Music Conferences (SMC/ICMC). His major research areas include mobile music, gesture and performance, and music technology in education.


Marc Aubanel

Director of Digital Media Arts & Engineering, LSU Center for Computation & Technology (CCT)

Marc contributed to programming, development team direction, and GIS research for WAVE. He also facilitated the procurement of CCT server space, equipment, and other resources.

Marc is a preeminent Executive Producer and Media Arts Academic Director with a 20 year background encompassing 5 academic programs and 50 interactive titles for a combined revenue of over one billion dollars. Marc has executive level experience running large global brands and franchises including FIFA Soccer, NHL Hockey, Need for Speed Underground and Def Jam Vendetta for Electronic Arts.  He later co-founded Stage 3 Media in response to an emerging online video marketplace. In under two years he helped raise $3,000,000 and brought Sanctuary to market serving on the board of directors and as interim CEO.

Marc is an inspiring leader established at building, coaching and motivating teams to teach and produce innovative interactive experiences. The act of  making games requires scientific inquiry, curiosity, problem solving and creativity. Games are creeping into all aspects of our lives, yet the industry is still in its infancy. Marc is keen to be part of being a defining part of the future of the interactive industry.


Hal Needham

Program Manager, NOAA Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP) at LSU

PhD 2014, Louisiana State University, Geography
M.S. 2010, Louisiana State University, Geography
B.S. 1997, Pennsylvania State University, Geography

For WAVE, Hal provided historical storm surge and high water marks from the world’s premier storm surge database, SURGEDAT (; historical hourly position and intensity (from Dr. James Elsner and Dr. Thomas Jaffer at Florida State University); historical hurricane size data: area of hurricane force, tropical storm force, wind (from Demuth et al. 2006).

Hal Needham was born and raised in Eastern Pennsylvania. He obtained a BS in Geography from Penn State University in 1997, then worked in the education sector in Morocco and Egypt for several years. From 2002-2008, Hal worked on geography/ climate projects at Penn State University, the University of Alaska, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center, in Boulder, Colorado. Hal moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 2008, where he obtained a master's degree in geography/ climatology at Louisiana State University (LSU) in 2010, and a PhD in 2014. Hal has also been on staff at LSU since 2010, where he has conducted climate research and has been involved with education and outreach projects.

Hal's research has mostly focused on data-driven analysis of storm surge hazards. He led a team of staff and students to create SURGEDAT, the world's most comprehensive storm surge database, which provides more than 8,000 high water marks in the U.S. since 1880. Hal has used these data to investigate how hurricanes generate storm surges and to better understand the vulnerability of coastal locations to surge inundations. He is involved in regional flood protection projects and is helping several coastal communities prepare for future coastal flooding events.


Alexa Andrews

Project Manager, Center for Business Preparedness at Stephenson Disaster Management Institute (SDMI)

Alexa provided expertise from SDMI as it pertains to disasters and preparedness for development of the app, specifically hurricane preparedness for the fishing industry during WAVE development.

Alexa “Lexie” Andrews is the Project Manager for the Center for Business Preparedness (CBP), in which she oversees the direction of the Center.  As CBP Manager, Lexie coordinates and conducts all projects involving outreach and collaboration with businesses in regards to preparedness and business continuity planning.  In addition, she contributes to additional SDMI projects including work with state agencies and other university initiatives.  Prior to joining SDMI, Lexie gained experience in the field of emergency management and preparedness in the private industry as well as at the local government level. As a Hazard Mitigation Specialist for IEM, Inc., Lexie served as a technical writer for the development of numerous hazard mitigation-related proposals. As the Task Lead for the Small Rental Property Program (SRPP) for IEM, Inc., Lexie managed the Long Term Compliance and Monitoring Team (LTC&M). Under the Community Development Block Grant, the SRPP funded small rental property owners whose properties were damaged during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  As Chief of Operation and All Hazards Planner for the East Baton Rouge Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (EBR OHSEP), Lexie was responsible for maintaining and revising the Emergency Operations Plan, including Continuity of Operations plans and Standard Operating Guidelines. She applied for, managed, and tracked state and federal grant opportunities and directed the Local Emergency Planning Committee and their meetings. Also, Lexie served as a liaison between representatives for the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and outside agency officials. Lexie’s experience with the EBR OHSEP includes the long-term emergency activation of the EOC for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Lexie is a native of Baton Rouge and holds a Master of Science degree in Geography from the LSU School of Geography and Anthropology, with a concentration in climatology. She conducted her thesis research in climatology, focusing on hurricane and tropical storm return periods in the Caribbean region. Lexie also received her undergraduate degree from LSU, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Geography with a Minor in Spanish.


Ben Taylor

WAVE Programming and Design

Ben Taylor is an interdisciplinary artist and creative coder who specializes in web art, web audio, and networked performance practices. He has presented his research nationally and internationally at festivals and conferences including the New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference, Pixilerations New Media Festival, Web Audio Conference, and Leaders in Software and Art.

Ben received an M.F.A. In Electronic Music & Recording Media from Mills College and is a doctoral candidate in Experimental Music & Digital Media at LSU. When not making art with the web, Ben is developer and CTO at, a creative audio app company, and teaches programming at Goucher College Digital Arts.


Zak Berkowitz

WAVE Programming and Design

Zak Berkowitz is a composer, percussionist, and music technologist currently pursuing his PhD in Experimental Music & Digital Media at Louisiana State University. He received a Master of Music in Music Technology from Georgia Southern University and a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from New Mexico State University.

Zak’s work has been presented internationally at festivals and conferences including the Linux Audio Conference, ICMC, Channel Noise at Georgia Southern University, the New Mexico State University Contemporary Arts Festival, LaTex, Root Signals, and SEAMUS.


Timothy Shertzer

WAVE Programming and Design

Timothy Shertzer contributed to the WAVE project as part of the LA-SiGMA Research Experience for High School Students (REHSS) program. He is a member of the Class of 2016 at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts. Upon graduation, he hopes to continue to gain more computer science knowledge and learn how to utilize it in as many different applications as possible.