Newswise — Florida State University's nationally ranked academic programs and faculty include highly respected experts who can comment on a wide range of seasonal and topical concerns.

Check out their perspectives on the film industry and social responsibility; travel trends and gas prices; environmental law and eroding beaches; oceanography, astronomy and lightning; food safety and hot-weather exercise; mid- and late-life fitness; the impact of daycare on language development; and the next outbreak of West Nile Virus.

AT THE MOVIES, IN THE LIBRARY

THE MOVIE MADE ME DO IT

*Frank Patterson, dean, School of Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts ("The Film School"):

Patterson can discuss filmmakers' social responsibility and the impact of movies on society. He has over 20 years of experience as a writer, director and producer of motion pictures. Patterson served as president of The Los Angeles Film School in Hollywood and taught film for 15 years at University of Texas, Baylor University and Chapman University.

HARRY POTTER MANIA

*Eliza T. Dresang, professor of information studies:

Harry Potter, the fictional protagonist of a popular series of children's books by J.K. Rowling, is making his third appearance on the big screen this summer. Dresang, a Harry Potter fan and an expert on children's literature, can discuss the enduring appeal of the books and movies as the characters grow older and the storyline takes a darker and scarier turn.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: THE ECONOMY VS. GAS PRICES, TRAVEL TRENDS

STICKER SHOCK AT THE PUMP

*Mark Isaac, Quinn Eminent Scholar and professor of economics:

Isaac has worked on issues in energy regulation for more than 25 years. He is available to talk about sky-high gas prices and energy markets.

TO TRAVEL OR NOT TO TRAVEL

*Robert Bosselman, professor of hospitality administration and director of Dedman School of Hospitality:

Bosselman is an expert on the tourism and hospitality industry and can provide analysis of the travel season and effects of global events on tourism. He is recognized as one of the most influential authors in hospitality management education and was editor of the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.

THE ENVIRONMENT: EARTH, SEA, SKY

LAWS OF THE LAND

*J.B. Ruhl, professor of property law:

Ruhl is a nationally-recognized expert in property law, endangered species protection, regulation of wetlands, ecosystem management, environmental impact analysis, and environmental and natural resources law. He co-authored the casebook, "The Law of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management" and award-winning article, "Farms, Their Environmental Harms, and Environmental Law."

*Donna R. Christie, professor of law, associate dean for international programs:

Christie is nationally known for her work in the area of ocean and coastal/beach management and has co-authored leading books in the field, including "Ocean Law in a Nutshell."

WHERE'S THE BEACH?

*Joseph Donoghue, associate professor of geology:

Are Florida's beaches eroding? Donoghue, an expert on the potential impact of global warming on sea level, can discuss his current research on the future of Florida's coastlines. He's investigating the possible effects of abrupt change in sea level - several meters within decades - on coastal environments.

WHY THE DOLPHINS DIED

*Douglas Nowacek, assistant professor of oceanography:

Last winter's unprecedented number of dolphin deaths along the Florida Panhandle coast elevated the need to know more about the marine mammals. This summer Nowacek will survey, study, photograph and acoustically record dolphins in the Panhandle waters. The project runs from late June though August, with more intensive research planned for the next few years.

LOOK, UP IN THE SKY

*Vasken Hagopian, Lannutti Professor of Physics:

Hagopian can talk about seasonal and upcoming astronomy happenings like the comets Linear and Neat, which should be visible with binoculars through late June, and the spacecraft Cassini, launched in 1997, which is scheduled to reach Saturn and begin orbiting the planet on July 1. LIGHTNING STRIKES -- OFTEN

* J. Anthony Stallins, assistant professor of geography:

While everyone knows how much havoc a hurricane or tornado can wreak, in the South it's lightning that causes the most property damage. Stallins studied weather-related claims in Georgia from 1996 to 2000 and found that lightning comprised 53 percent of a total 37,093 weather-related claims for property damage amounting to $22.9 million in losses.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE: KIDS' STUFF; FOOD, FITNESS AND SUN SAFETY; BITING BUGS

NOISY DAYCARE MAY IMPACT LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT -- AND DON'T DROP THEM OFF WITHOUT HATS AND SUNSCREEN

*Christine Readdick, associate professor of family and child sciences:

Coco Readdick teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in child development and early education and has worked with children and their families from Alaska to Florida for over 30 years. She can talk about her current research on noise in childcare settings and its effects on language development and her study on parents' inconsistent use of protective clothing and sunscreen on preschoolers at daycare. FINDING MAD COW DISEASE BEFORE WE BUY THE BEEF

*Yun-Hwa Peggy Hsieh, professor and Tyner Lecturer of nutrition, food and exercise sciences:                                                         

Hsieh's research interests include the development of reliable and rapid methods which ensure food safety and quality, to prevent the spread of Mad Cow Disease and to protect consumers by discouraging illegal meat adulteration. Hsieh's lab has developed commercial immunoassay kits that detect banned animal tissues in animal feeds. She holds seven patented and patent-pending technologies. EXERCISE VS. HOT WEATHER, ATHLETICS VS. NUTRITION

*Emily Haymes, professor of exercise science, department of nutrition, food and exercise sciences:

An exercise physiologist, Haymes' research includes responses to exercise in warm weather, irondepletion in athletes, nutrition and performance, and physical activity and chronic disease prevention.

LADIES, START YOUR PEDOMETERS

*Lynn Panton, assistant professor of exercIse science, department of nutrition, food and exercise sciences:   

Panton's current research focuses on postmenopausal women and their midlife weight gains/shifts to the midriff area, where fat is most detrimental to metabolic factors that contribute to diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. Panton has shown that just 2,000 extra steps daily for three months can measurably reduce tummy fat and its associated heath risks.      CLOTHING VS. THINGS THAT HURT      

*Rinn Cloud, department chair and professor of textiles and consumer sciences:

Cloud's research focuses on textile product performance, including clothing as a protective barrier against occupational chemical exposure and to maximize comfort in high heat conditions.

MOSQUITOS BITE!

*Robert Brooks, M.D., associate dean for health affairs:

Brooks is board certified in infectious disease and was Florida Secretary of Health when West Nile was first detected in Florida, the first state at that time to pick up on the outbreak. He co-authored an article in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene on the first West Nile Virus transmission season in Florida. He can also address a wide range of public health/infectious disease issues.