Samantha Danchuk

Dr. Samantha Danchuk
Assistant Director, Environmental Planning & Community Resilience Division
Broward County, FL

Favorite Music

Hair metal and rap. Big fan of Mötley Cruë and Jay Z.


The county experiences natural tidal flooding between the months of September and November, exacerbated by rising sea levels. It needed to prepare for future flooding, but the only sea level data available was from sensors outside the county, such as in Palm Beach and Miami. Accuracy is critical, since an inch above a sea wall can mean millions of dollars of preventable damage. Coastal communities can apply for a permanent installation sensor from the NOAA PORTS program, but it can cost $100k and take years to become operational. Broward needed answers sooner and cheaper.


The county found an affordable product it could install itself, ie, four Wavelet sensors, only a few thousand dollars each, produced by Ayeeka, an Industrial Internet of Things data company. It placed them in Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Everglade, and Hallandale. All data is sent to Broward County offices electronically, limiting the time needed to check if sensors are working.

Lessons Learned

“Always help your audience draw the connections between their interests and your projects. Focus on the solutions and path forward. Take personal responsibility for the environmental impact of your lifestyle, balance accordingly and set an example. Develop local policy as soon as possible to ensure today’s investments survive their anticipated life cycle and meet the vision of a clean energy future.”

Samantha’s Background

From Jupiter, FL, went to UC Berkeley in 2004, where she developed a passion for energy and the environment, doctorate from LSU in 2009 in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Became a coastal engineer and modeler, specifically focused on understanding the damages of oil spills and planning for sea level rise adaptation.

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