Our Team

 

Faculty 

Dr. Rebekah Paci-Green, Director and Associate Professor

Dr. Rebekah Paci-Green is assistant professor of Environmental Studies at Western Washington University where she teaches courses in natural hazards planning and disaster risk reduction. She has a background in structural engineering and cultural anthropology. At Western Washington University, she directs the Resilience Institute, where she oversees projects aimed at reducing disasters and enhancing community resilience. Recent projects have included writing the exercise document for Cascadia Rising and developing a plan for regional, coordinated earthquake risk communication. Outside the university, she is also co-director of Risk RED, an NGO devoted to advocacy for disaster risk reduction in the education sector that sits on the UNISDR Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector. In partnership with Save the Children-Australia, UNSECO, Arup, and GFDRR, she has worked with experts and practitioners worldwide to develop global guidelines for community-based approaches to school construction in hazard-prone regions and to assess education sector policies for disaster risk reduction globally. She has also collaborated in the development and piloting of digital apps that assist local, regional and national actors in assessing comprehensive school safety and selecting appropriate interventions. 

 

 

Jonah Stinson, Adjunct Faculty and Project-Based Research Associate

Jonah Stinson is a physical geographer with an affinity for linking an understanding of landscape patterns and processes with improved sustainability and community resilience. In recent years, Jonah has focused on natural hazards and the use of geoinformatics in disaster risk management and ecological risk analysis. Jonah received his masters in Geography from WWU in 2009 and currently works as a Research Associate with The Resilience Institute and The Institute of Environmental Toxicology. In addition, he holds an adjunct faculty position in the Department of Environmental Studies where he teaches Physical Geography and the History and Theory of Emergency Management. He is currently the Emergency Management specialist for the Bellingham Public School District. 

 

 

Research Associates, Assistants and Interns 

Sukhdeep Randawa, Project-Based Research Associate

Sukhdeep K Randhawa is a disaster management professional, she holds a master’s degree in Disaster and risk management from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India. She has previously worked on the emergency response, post disaster recovery, preparedness planning and community mobilization. Her education and professional work has given her the first-hand experience of working in disaster situations. It is this experience that has shaped her thinking about the realities and hardships of these situations. Passionate about working with the community she understands that any planning that has to successful needs to evolve through the process of community participation. She has previous experience of working in an inter-agency setups and knows the importance of the same. Sukhdeep currently resides in Bellingham WA, and has moved from India to the states about a year ago where she has done most of her work.

 

2016-2017  Micah VanZant and Heidi Gottschall  

2015-16 Pamela Melton, Andrea Brudnicki, Ryan DeNoyer, Leah Carlson, Ivy Meadows

2013-2014 Julian Theburge, Tyler Black, Karissa Smith

2012-2013 Jonny Kemp, Pamela Griswold, Nora Jagielo​

 

Recent Graduates

Anthony Vendetti
After graduating from the DREP program, Anthony spent three years in AmeriCorps working in multiple capacities including wilderness firefighting, emergency planning, and small business resilience. Upon completion of his third year, Anthony moved to New Orleans where he obtained his M.S. in Disaster Resilience Leadership from Tulane University. While in New Orleans, He was also a member of the Executive Leadership Committee for Evacuteer, an organization created to recruit, train, and facilitate the volunteer manpower behind large-scale evacuations. Anthony is now based in Seattle, WA where he works as an emergency management consultant for Integrated Solutions Consulting.
 

Sarah (Oishi) LaVelle
After Sarah graduated from Huxley she worked as an independent GIS contractor, joined AmeriCorps to work with the City of Everett Office of Emergency Management (OEM), and then supported FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division as a contractor in their Region X office. After working with FEMA, she returned to Everett OEM and is now the Emergency Planning and Operations Coordinator. Sarah manages and maintains the City’s Emergency Operations Center and engages the City departments and their external partners in planning for disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.
 

Pam Griswold
The summer after graduation, Pam was hired by the King County Office of Emergency Management (KCOEM) as an AmeriCorps Assistant. She spent the next 10 months building a strong portfolio of hands-on emergency management experience while living off of a modest monthly stipend. When her AmeriCorps term was up, she was hired on full-time as KCOEM's Training and Exercise Coordinator. During her time at the county, she worked with emergency management partners in local, county, state, tribal and federal governments to plan for a large-scale earthquake exercise occurring in June 2016. In the fall of 2015, she began working with the City of Bellevue Office of Emergency Management on training for their Emergency Operations Center. Pam finds joy in working with others to create more resilient communities and is excited about bringing her skills to the city level.

 

Jonathan Loewus-Deitch

Jonathan was part of the first batch of 2009 graduates from the Disaster Reduction and Emergency Planning (DREP) track and an intern during the early days of the Resilience Institute. The skills he gained in GIS, survey design, data collection and analysis and technical writing gave him a foundation to develop a career at American Red Cross National Headquarters as a an information and data management professional. At Red Cross he built out disaster readiness and capacity development initiatives, foundational disaster program guidance and handbooks, and pushed the Red Cross disaster program toward improved data analysis and data sharing. He also worked on several major disasters: Hurricane Sandy, tornado events, and the 2015 Nepal earthquake. He has since left the Red Cross to take a position as Knowledge and Information Management Officer for Global Fund for Children.

Chantal Wikstrom

After graduating from Huxley in 2013 Chantal traveled to Zambia to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in the agriculture and forestry program. She worked with smallholder farmers in identifying and implementing solutions affecting household income, food security, deforestation, health and community-wide development. She has also been partnering with the U.S. Forest Service’s International Program to develop and implement a community-based reforestation project. In 2016, she extended her service to work on the Global Climate Change Initiative with USAID’s Feed the Future program.