Gender Influences on Hurricanes

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Kurt, Katelyn
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The Department of English seeks to provide all university students with the skills of effective communication and critical thinking, as well as imparting knowledge of literature, creative writing, linguistics, speech and technical communication to students within and outside of the department.

The Department of English and Speech was formed in 1939 from the merger of the Department of English and the Department of Public Speaking. In 1971 its name changed to the Department of English.

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  • Department of English and Speech (1939-1971)

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Honors Projects and Posters
University Honors Program

The Honors project is potentially the most valuable component of an Honors education. Typically Honors students choose to do their projects in their area of study, but some will pick a topic of interest unrelated to their major.

The Honors Program requires that the project be presented at a poster presentation event. Poster presentations are held each semester. Most students present during their senior year, but may do so earlier if their honors project has been completed.

This site presents project descriptions and selected posters for Honors projects completed since the Fall 2015 semester.


Despite the massive advances in education and technology surrounding hurricane predictability and safety, one aspect has remained the same: the naming process. Since the first documented hurricane in 1494, hurricanes have always been identified by human names. In 2012, The National Academy of Sciences conducted a series of experiments and studies to test the correlation between the perceived gender of a hurricane, based on its given name, and the damage associated with the hurricane. Their findings concluded that feminine-named hurricanes were deadlier and more destructive than masculine-named hurricanes due to the preconceived notion that feminine-names are associated with delicacy and frailness. I will be citing research conducted by the National Academy of Sciences and the University of Notre Dame to show a problem with the current naming process used with hurricanes. This problem, despite the many years of failed change, can be easily fixed with a new identification system. It is vital that rhetors, psychologists, and meteorologists come together to develop a system that will provide unbiased hurricane warning and save innocent lives. The world is in desperate need of a new, non-biased identification system. I argue that experts in the above listed fields of study must collaborate to create an identification system that will create little to no internal bias, and allow individuals to identify a hurricane, evacuate their homes, and make informed safety decisions. Throughout this analysis, I will be identifying the problems surrounding the current naming system, using research conducted by the University of Notre Dame to justify a new system, and suggest a proper identification process that can be implemented throughout the world.