Dr. Rebekah Paci-Green


Environmental Studies

Associate Professor

(360) 650-2707


AH206, MS9085

Office Hours:

Spring 2019: Wednesdays 2:30-4:00pm, Fridays 9:00-10:30am, or by appt. Use calendly.com/rpgreen

Dr. Paci-Green (pronounced "Pah-chee") is Director of the Resilience Institute at Western Washington University. She received her PhD from Cornell University where she combined structural engineering and anthropology to study physical and social vulnerability and risk perceptions in informal districts of Istanbul, Turkey. She used qualitative and quantitative research methods in these settlements to recommended innovative, culturally-appropriate methods for decreasing population vulnerability.

Dr. Paci-Green completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at Columbia University’s Earth Institute where she studied hurricane recovery in low-income neighborhoods of New Orleans. Working with residents, local NGOs and university partners, she has established reliable information on housing damage and reparability in some of the most heavily damaged low-income neighborhoods of the city. This work formed the basis of a community recovery plan which Dr. Green and others presented to the New Orleans City Council. This and other advocacy has led to the mayor’s choice to move segments of the low-income, African American neighborhood of the Lower Ninth Ward off of the “depopulation” list and onto the high-priority redevelopment list.

She has worked with community-based organizations in Turkey, India, Nepal and Central Asia to develop and implement disaster risk reduction education material. Specifically, she coordinated a project with the American Red Cross and the Disaster Preparedness Education Program to develop local non-structural mitigation guidelines for home and office seismic risk reduction in Turkey. This work involved participatory action research with Turkish engineers, entrepreneurs, handymen and residents and resulted in a training program for residents and local trade school students. In Turkey, she also coordinated the development of public education material to teach basic principles of seismic resistant construction. Working with academic and governmental representatives in Central Asia, Dr. Paci-Green also helped coordinate the development of guidelines for seismic resistant adobe construction and comprehensive school safety assessments.

Dr. Paci-Green has worked with humanitarian organizations and development partners to formalize guidance for safer school construction in hazard-prone environments using a community-based approach. She recently assessed school safety following the April 2015 Nepal Earthquake and is advising stakeholders on education sector reconstruction.

At Western Washington University, Dr. Paci-Green teaches courses in human ecology, the Disaster Risk Reduction minor, and advised The Planet publication from 2011-2015. She is currently co-teaching an experimental interdisciplinary course on the science and management of contaminated sites with toxicology professor Ruth Sofield.

To look at student reviews of state mitigation plans, done as part of Dr. Paci-Green's Natural Hazards Planning course, visit https://sites.google.com/site/envs372nathazplanning/.

To see the multimedia projects of the SMoCS courses and read the course newsletter, see http://faculty.wwu.edu/harperr3/SMoCS.shtml.

To read the latest issue of The Planet magazine, visit http://issuu.com/wwu_planet/docs/planet_44.

*Earlier publications under last name Green

Research Interests

Dr. Paci-Green's research interests include how risk perception shapes social vulnerability and unsafe built environments, comprehensive school safety to natural hazard risks, vulnerable populations, disaster risk reduction, and community-defined resilience. She is also interested in the media coverage of science and the media-science interface.



Paci-Green, R., Pandey, B. 2016. School Construction as Catalysts for Community Change: Evidence from Safer School Construction Projects in Nepal, International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, Nepal Earthquake special issue, 34(3): 32-54.Paci-Green, R. and Pandey, B. (2015). Towards Safer School Construction: A Community-based Approach, with Save the Children, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, UNESCO, Arup International Development, and Risk RED, Melbourne: Save the Children (93 pages). https://www.gfdrr.org/sites/huxleyprod7x1106.wwu.edu/files/publication/45179_towardssaferschoolconstruction2015_0.pdf

Paci-Green, R., Berardi, G. 2015. Does the global food system have an Achilles heel? The potential for regional food systems to support resilience in regional disasters, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 5:685-698. DOI: 10.1007/s13412-015-0342-9.

Green, R. 2014. Resilient Campuses: Leveraging Resources among Small and Medium-Sized Institutions of Higher Education, Journal of Emergency Management, 12(1): 21-30.

Hammond, B., Berardi, G., and Green, R. 2013. Resilience in agriculture: Small and medium-sized farms in northwest Washington state, Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 37: 316-339.

Miles, S., Green, R. and Svekla, W. 2012. Institutional Capacity for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction in Informal Settlements of Guatemala City, Disasters,36(3):365-381.

Berardi, G., Green, R. and Hammond, B. 2011. Stability, sustainability, and catastrophe: Applying resilience thinking to U.S. agriculture. Human Ecology Review, 18(2):115-125.

Green, R. and Miles, S. 2011. Social Impacts of the 12 January 2010 Haiti Earthquake. Earthquake Spectra, 27 (S1): S447-S462.

Franco, G., Green, R., Khazai, B., Smyth, A., and Deodatis, G. 2010. Field Damage Survey of New Orleans Homes in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Natural Hazards Review, 11 (1): 7-18.

Reardon, K., Green, R., Bates, K., and Keily, R. (2009). Overcoming the Challenges of Post-Disaster Planning in New Orleans: Lessons from the ACORN Housing/University Collaborative. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 28 (3): 391-400.

Green, R. (2008). Unauthorized Development and Seismic Hazard Vulnerability: A Study of Squatters and Engineers in Istanbul, Turkey Disasters, 32 (3): 358-376.

Green, R., Bates, L., Smyth, A. (2007). Impediments to Recovery in New Orleans' Upper and Lower Ninth Ward One Year After Hurricane Katrina, Disasters, 31 (4): 311-335.

Green, R. (2007). Response to Building Community Resilience through Education: School Safety as a Route to a Culture of Prevention, Regional Development Dialogue, 28 (2): 33-34.

Petal, M., Tüzün, C., U., C., and Green, R. (2004). "Teaching Structural Hazards Awareness:  New Partnerships for Preparedness and Community Response." Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, 2 (2): 155-171.


Paci-Green, R., Pandey, B., Friedman, R. (2015). Safer Schools, Resilient Communities: A Comparative Assessment of School Safety after the 2015 Nepal (Gorkha) Earthquake. Risk RED. http://riskred.wix.com/riskrednepal#!reports/c1qbl

Paci-Green, R. and Pandey, B. (2015). Towards Safer School Construction: A Community-based Approach, with Save the Children, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, UNESCO, Arup International Development, and Risk RED, Melbourne: Save the Children. https://www.gfdrr.org/sites/huxleyprod7x1106.wwu.edudefault/files/publication/45179_towardssaferschoolconstruction2015_0.pdf

Green, R., Boles, N.*, and Black, T.* (2015). Cascadia rising: Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) catastrophic earthquake and tsunami exercise scenario document, a Resilience Institute report for FEMA Region 10 Preparedness Division, Lynnwood, Washington.

Green, R., & Petal, M. (2010). Disaster and Emergency Preparedness: Activity Guide for K to 6th Grade Teachers. Washington, D.C.: International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group. http://toolkit.ineesite.org/toolkit/INEEcms/uploads/1057/Disaster_Emerg_Preparedness_K-6.pdf

Petal, M. & Green, R. (2010). Disaster and Emergency Preparedness: Guidance for Schools. Washington, D.C.: International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group. http://www.preventionweb.net/english/professional/trainings-events/edu-materials/v.php?id=13989


Alexander, D. Bhatia, S., Benouar, D., Bothara, J., Cardona, O. Dixit, A., Green, R., Gupta, M., Kandel, R., Kelman, I., Monk, T., Pandey, B., Petal, M., Sanduvac, Z., Shaw, R., Wisner, B. (2015). School seismic safety – case studies, Encyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering, Article ID 398245, Chapter ID 406. Beer, M., Patelli, E., Koughioumtzoglou, I., Au, I., eds., Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Publications, DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-36197-5_406-1.

Bates, L., and Green, R. (2009). Housing Recovery in the Ninth Ward: Disparities in Policy, Process, and Prospects. Race, Place, and Environmental Justice after Hurricane Katrina. R. Bullard, ed., Westview Press, Boulder, CO, 229-245.

Green, R. (2008) Unauthorized Construction, Housing Policy and Hazard Vulnerability in Rapid Growth Cities. Hazards and the Built Environment: Attaining Built-in Resilience, L. Bosher, ed., Taylor & Francis Books, London, 218-237.

Petal, M., Green, R., Kelman, I., Shaw, R., Dixit, A., Gupta, M. and Sharma, A. (2008) Disaster Risk Reduction and Community-Based Construction. Hazards and the Built Environment: Attaining Built-In Resilience, L. Bosher, ed., Taylor & Francis, London, 191-217.


A full list of publications and reports can be found in my CV. 


PhD Structural Engineering with minors in Cultural Anthropology and Science&Technology Studies, Cornell University; BS Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Washington