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Instructor Biographies

NDPTC's cadre of instructors are of the highest caliber, very well-respected in their fields and disciplines. Many have advanced degrees in science, engineering, planning, and architecture, and years of practical experience as leaders within their field of expertise.

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Gerard Akaka

Mr. Gerard Akaka, an Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, has 20 years of combined experience in Emergency Management (EM) planning and operations, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN), training & exercises, and cybersecurity. Mr. Akaka served in the U.S. Air National Guard from 2001-2013 as an Emergency Manager where he assumed roles as a training instructor, operations manager, and exercise planner. He served on two tours of duty during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom where he implemented emergency management programs and maintained emergency response plans. Mr. Akaka continued to support a wide range of programs and projects within the Department of Defense (DoD) and State governments with Booz Allen Hamilton. He has assumed planning roles to the State of Hawaii Catastrophic Hurricane Readiness Response Plan Initiative, on behalf of the Federal Management Emergency Agency (FEMA). He also assumed extensive roles as an international military partnership engagement planner and a multi-functional exercise planner within the U.S and abroad. Mr. Akaka currently serves as a DoD cybersecurity analyst providing risk assessments for military missions and operations.

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Marcus Landon Aydlett

Marcus Landon Aydlett is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) at the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Guam (WFO). There since June 2010 as a forecaster, he became the WCM in May 2020, serving as the WFO’s liaison to its vast Area of Responsibility which encompasses the western North Pacific islands from Palau to the Marshall Islands, the Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. With a passion for communication and outreach, he engages the region through heavy weather briefs and early warning communications to regional homeland security partners, 3 U.S. Embassies, USAID, and other territorial and national partners. He’s also advanced weather communications on Guam by partnering with Guam’s KUAM-TV to deliver a weekly weather segment on the Monday morning news broadcast and writing a bi-weekly weather column in the local Pacific Daily News. Internationally, Aydlett represents the U.S. as part of the U.S. delegation to the U.N.’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific/World Meteorological Organization’s 14-member nation Typhoon Committee, where he serves as Vice Chair of the Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group.

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David Barker

David Barker has served with the Idaho Falls Police Department since 1992; has been certified to serve as a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) at the Idaho Falls Regional Airport since 2008, and currently serves as IFPD’s Logistics Officer and UAS Team Lead. David has been involved with radio control (R/C) model aircraft and a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) for over 30-years, has served as President of a local R/C aviation club for the past 13-years, and is an instructor for both organizations. In 2010, given his involvement and insight into the R/C hobby, David began researching the developing UAS technology and the relating regulations, specifically as to how the emerging technology might be used in public safety and gave his first presentation about using “drones” to the department heads. David waited (somewhat patiently) for the Department to see the benefit us utilizing UAS technology, and once a program was approved, has worked to build the department's UAS program from scratch. David is a certified instructor by Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), focusing on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), is an FAA certified Remote Pilot with an sUAS rating, is a Technical Expert (TE) with DRONERESPONDERS ( and currently serves as the Administrator of the Idaho Public Safety UAS Council (IPSUASC).

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John Bobel

Currently, Bobel serves as a Public Information Officer with the Division of Emergency Management in Lexington, Kentucky. He handles day-to-day public information duties for the division, including social media outreach. Bobel serves as a member of the ten-county Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) public affairs team which manages education, information and emergency response public information for the CSEPP program. Prior to joining government service, John Bobel worked in broadcast and on-line journalism and public affairs. His career extended through every aspect of news, broadcast station operations, media relations, emergency and conventional public information and social media systems. He was Managing Partner of MediaVentures – a national communications consulting firm. His clients included CNN, Faith and Values Media and Blue Grass Airport. He also served as the Manager of Program Operations for the Massachusetts Corporation for Educational Telecommunications (MCET) where he upgraded program production standards, techniques and overall operations. Bobel was Vice-President and News Director of WKYT-TV, supervising the day-to-day newsgathering efforts and long-term planning for the news department. Prior to WKYT-TV, Bobel was an account executive for McHugh and Hoffman, Inc. As a broadcast news consultant, he has worked with television stations and other broadcasting companies to improve their editorial content, market position and image. Bobel has worked in television newsrooms in Indianapolis, Boston, Baltimore and Denver. He is co-founder of KCOU-FM and founder and President/ CEO of Travelago, a streaming video and information provider to the Internet travel industry. Bobel graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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Thomas Bogart

Thomas Bogart was the Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director of the Lynnfield, MA Fire Department. Thomas served thirty years in the fire service. Bogart graduated from the United States Fire Administration's Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy and received his EFO designation in 2011. He holds the Chief Fire Officer Professional Designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence's Commission on Professional Credentialing. He was chosen to be a Member of the prestigious Institute of Fire Engineers, he is allowed to use the honorific post-nominal subscript of MIFireE. Bogart was also credentialed as Fire Chief by the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission.

Thomas has the following degrees: • Master of Arts- Fire Science and Administration, Anna Maria College • Bachelor of Science- Fire Science Administration, Salem State University • Associate of Science- Fire Protection and Safety Technology, North Shore Community College

Bogart graduated from the Donohue Institute of the University of Massachusetts’ Chief Fire Officer Management Training Program.

Thomas taught and served on the Instructional Staff of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy for over twenty years. He is an Instructor for the U. S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy. He is an Adjunct Faculty member of Bunker Hill Community College, North Shore Community College, and Anna Maria College. He is a former President of the Massachusetts Institute of Fire Department Instructors.

Chief Bogart is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs/Federal Emergency Management Incident Management Response “Go Team” representing FEMA Region I.

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Lenora Borchardt

Lenora G. Borchardt is the owner/founder of EPTEC Inc., an emergency management (EM) consulting firm in Sun Prairie (WI). She first became interested in EM when, as a young child, Hurricane Eloise forced her family to spend several nights in a Niceville (FL) school gymnasium. Ms. Borchardt built an EM career from the bottom-up starting as an EMT and firefighter. She progressed to a position in security/emergency preparedness at Meriter Hospital (WI) while finishing her BA in Geography (Physical Geography-Climatology; People/Environment Interactions) and a certificate in Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ms. Borchardt led Radiological Emergency Preparedness at Wisconsin Emergency Management while completing her MBA and a Graduate Certificate in School Safety from Colorado State University. Ms. Borchardt was also the EM Director of Adams County, WI. In 2003, she opened EPTEC, Inc., which afforded opportunities to work more closely with public and private sector agencies. Ms. Borchardt is experienced in all the mission areas, having participated in response and recovery efforts for several federally-declared disasters. She is a FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) and an accomplished preparedness practitioner who regularly instructs FEMA courses as an Adjunct Instructor at the Emergency Management Institute (MD). She has written numerous state and local-level emergency operations and hazard mitigation plans and regularly works exercises on various topics across the United States and internationally for all levels of public and private agencies. Ms. Borchardt is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Homeland Security/EM Department at Pierce College (WA).

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Phillip Bothwell

Dr. Phillip Bothwell is a meteorologist with over 37 years of experience in the National Weather Service. He worked at the National Severe Storms Laboratory as well as local and regional Weather Service Offices. The last 25 years of his work with the NWS was as Senior Development Meteorologist for the Storm Prediction Center. Phillip developed new computer applications used in forecasting for severe weather, winter weather and fire weather, and periodically conducted training on forecasting techniques. In addition, he worked the SPC forecasting desks. This included issuing forecasts for severe and other hazardous weather across the lower 48 states.

His degrees are from the University of Oklahoma. Before his retirement from the SPC, Phillip’s work included using and evaluating a wide variety of the computer forecast models, satellite and radar systems and numerous other observing systems used by forecasters. He also assisted in incorporating this data into the computer workstations used by the meteorologists. He has been heavily involved with the major lightning observing systems in the U.S. and has developed techniques for the prediction of lightning including authoring and lecturing on articles related to lightning.

Since retiring, Phillip has continued his interest in following daily weather events. He returned part time to the National Severe Storms Laboratory to assist in a study of lightning and satellite data related to severe weather. He also enjoys interacting with students and other instructors in a variety of FEMA classes.

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Ted Buehner

Ted Buehner retired from the National Weather Service (NWS) after a more than 40 year career from 1977 to 2018. His last position for 23 years was as the NWS Seattle Warning Coordination Meteorologist, a key customer liaison position, providing decision support services in working toward enhancing the “end-to-end” forecast and warning system by more closely tying the agency's mission of protecting lives and property, and enhancing the region’s economy, with its partners and customers, such as emergency managers, the media, and the marine community.

Now in retirement, he continues these efforts to make a difference in helping protect his community through various local committees such as the Washington State Emergency Communications Committee (Vice-Chair), and the Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference Committee. He also works with Emergency Management Group – Washington, who supported the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle and Seafair events with pre-event exercises and operating in the EOC in a weather support role.

In addition, he works with the two Everett radio stations doing commute time traffic and weather, sports reporting, and producing weather minute Podcasts. He also volunteers with Snohomish County DEM and is also a licensed amateur radio operator with the Snohomish County ACS. His TornadoTed business permits him to assist other organizations with training, exercises, and other activities.

Ted has a Bachelors of Science degree in Atmospheric Sciences from Oregon State University. Go Beavs!

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David Bujak

David "Dave" Bujak, CEM, MPA serves as a Senior Planner in emergency management. He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) by the International Association of Emergency Managers. With over 25 years of experience as a professional emergency management practitioner, Dave has served in healthcare (Akron Children's Hospital, University of Rochester Medicine / Strong Memorial Hospital), higher education (University of Rochester, Florida State University), state government (Florida Division of Emergency Management), local government (Confidential IEM Client) and non-governmental organizations (American Red Cross, Samaritan's Purse, Lakeshore Community Church). Dave is considered a subject matter expert in severe weather (hurricanes, floods, wildfires, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, wind storms and winter storms), emergency notification and warning, safety technology and innovation, evacuation and risk sheltering (building, campus and regional), and standards (Emergency Management Accreditation Program and The Joint Commission). Dave is a certified National Weather Service Skywarn Spotter, StormReady supporter, Weather Ready Nation Ambassador, and CoCoRaHS observer. Dave received his graduate certificate in Project Management from Cornell University, Masters of Public Administration from Florida State University and Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Dave has been an active NDPTC instructor since 2016.

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Marc Burdiss

Marc Burdiss CEM MEP M.Ed serves as the President of Preparedness Solutions, Inc. He specializes in helping others prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters every day through exercises and consulting. He routinely meets with local, state, federal, and tribal emergency managers to train, plan, and exercise for emergencies. Marc has earned the International Association of Emergency Manager’s designation as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM). Mr. Burdiss is also recognized as a FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) and has experience designing and facilitating exercises ranging from county, state, and federal level, to military and Major League Baseball exercises. Prior to starting his own consulting company, Marc worked as the Director of Emergency Management for Northern Arizona University. He has served as the Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for Shelby County, Ohio as well as one of eight Field Liaisons for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. Mr. Burdiss has a Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management and Planning and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership.

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Bonnie Canal

Bonnie Canal, MBCP is an internationally recognized leader in both community and business resilience innovations and strategies. This is achieved by engaging the entire business’s entire organization and with a keen focus on the key leadership personnel. Bonnie has over 30 years’ experience the Information Technology Sector with the last 12 specializing in Business Resilience.

Bonnie was inducted into the Order of the Sword & Shield National Honor Society at St. John’s University, New York City for her work in Business Resilience.

Bonnie is the Immediate Past Chair of the Association of Contingency Planners where she served for 6 years. She is a proud native of New Orleans and has experienced what she calls, “The Katrina, Rita, Ike, Gustav, and BP Oil Spill” disasters first hand. She has had to learn how being resilience leaders and businesses to increased performance, achieve stronger relationships, and build mental toughness that we all need in today’s ever increasing busy world.

Rita Castonguay-Hunt

Rita Castonguay-Hunt is head of Regulations and Strategic Partnerships for North America at Wingtra, a Swiss drone manufacturer. Formerly the Chief Instructor and Senior Program Manager at ArgenTech Solutions where she specialized in both manned and unmanned flight operations, safety, and business development. She is a designated FAA Drone Pro for both Maine and New Hampshire and sits on the Board of Directors for the New Hampshire Aviation Users Advisory Board, the Concord Airport (KCON) Advisory Committee, and the Granite State Airport Management Association. Prior to working in the UAS industry, Rita was a commercial pilot flying her favorite Swiss aircraft, the PC-12, and later the aviation planner, pilot and FAA-certified airport safety inspector for the State of New Hampshire. Where she was responsible for the safety inspections of the state’s 23 public-use airports, responded to aviation related accidents as a subject matter expert on behalf of the State Police; and acted as state liaison to both the FAA and NTSB. Rita has a B.S. in Aviation Flight Operations and an MBA from Daniel Webster College. She is a certificated commercial pilot, flight instructor, and certificated part 107 remote pilot. Rita has been instructing the Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Disaster Management course for NDPTC since 2016. Rita lives in New Hampshire in an old farmhouse on a dirt road with her husband and two daughters. She is obsessed with books, gardening, making sourdough bread, and anything with wings.

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Chels Chae

Chels Chae has served in the United States Army for nearly 30 years, culminating his career as the Chief of Staff for Joint Task Force – Homeland Defense. He is a subject matter expert in multinational operations, international negotiations and organizational design and development. Chels has over 12 years of experience working closely with 29 of the 36 countries in the U.S. Pacific Command. He has provided oversight and directed extensive Army Theater Security Cooperation Plans spanning 24 partner nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

As the Chief Executive Officer of Dynamic Planning & Response LLC, his company has provided extensive support in emergency preparedness and management as well as strategic planning to innumerous clients. His company also developed and delivers executive level seminars and workshops that incorporate strategic leadership, design and strategic planning to solve and manage complex problems.

Chels’ education includes a Master of Strategic Studies from U.S. Army War College and a Master of Advanced Military Studies. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in International Relations from the United States Military Academy and received training from the Institute of Design at Stanford University on Design Thinking.

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Glenn Cober

Results-driven management professional with over 25 years of extensive leadership experience in diverse homeland security and anti-terrorism operations including service in the U.S. Army in frontline operations. Experienced in all aspects of security, anti-terrorism, and enforcement initiatives to include identifying, developing, implementing, and maintaining processes to reduce risks and limit exposure to liability in all areas of physical and personal risks for national security. Advised United States Army & Foreign Military Senior Leaders in the defense against weapons of mass destruction in areas such as (WMD) force protection programs and (WMD) elimination. Trained staff to deal with weapons of mass destruction, including the defense against WMD as well as response and decontamination procedures in the case of chemical, biological, radiological events.

As a Defense Contractor/Associate working for Booz Allen Hamilton on a military instillation Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. I am responsible for providing training to deploying U.S military & foreign military personnel on proper movement techniques, mounted and dismounted weapons employment, urban warfare tactics, techniques, procedures; and force protection.

Coordinated and directed C-IED training to over 10,000 US Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines and 5,000 Partner Nation Forces. Represented the Asia Pacific Counter IED Fusion Center at multiple overseas exercise planning conferences as a lead planner and instructor. Provided technical guidance in the planning, researching, and implementing education and training programs. Ensures Training Support Packages (TSPs) and Programs of Instruction (POIs) are in compliance with the IED Defeat integration training strategy.

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Mitch Cooper

Mitch Cooper is a certified Department of Homeland Security Incident Management Instructor. He is currently an adjunct all-hazards instructor for two National Domestic Preparedness Consortium members; The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at the University of Hawaii and the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center at Texas A & M University, Texas Engineering and Extension Service (TEEX). Previously, Mitch was the Program Director for Community Emergency Planning in the Texas Department of Health’s Division of Emergency Preparedness. He developed plan templates for hospitals and special needs facilities and worked with the Texas Legislature to revise rules for disaster plans for special needs facilities in Texas. He was also the agency’s representative to the Governor’s State Emergency Response Team (SERT).

Mitch was also a Texas Division of Emergency Management State/Exercise Training Officer. He conducted classes and exercises for jurisdictions throughout the state of Texas. He completed the FEMA Professional Development Series of courses and was the first training officer to receive a FEMA Master Trainer Certificate, writing the state’s first Terrorism Awareness Course as his practicum. As part of the SERT, Mitch responded to numerous emergencies and disasters both in the Emergency Operations Center and in the field. Following the Oklahoma City bombing, he represented the State of Texas to FEMA Region VI and the Department of Justice on matters concerning statewide terrorism training.

Mitch is a retired veteran of the United States Air Force, serving for 22 years in counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism and is a certified Air Force Master Trainer.

Mitch earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas, a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Instructor/Communications Technology from the Community College of the Air Force.

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Robert Dale

Rob Dale is a meteorologist and emergency manager. After spending over a decade as a TV meteorologist with an emphasis on severe weather coverage, he made the transition to emergency management in 2009. He spent two years in hospital emergency management, and currently works for the Ingham County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as a planner. He also runs a weather alerting system for businesses and public safety agencies called First2Warn, which is used throughout the nation for site-specific weather warnings.

He started the International Association of Emergency Managers Caucus on Climate, Water, and Weather, and chaired that group for over two years.

Rob graduated from Jacksonville State University with a Bachelor’s in Emergency Management, and has a Masters in Emergency & Disaster Management from American Military University. He holds the Michigan Professional Emergency Manager (PEM) designation.

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Teena Deering

Teena Deering is the founder and owner of TeeDeeUAS, LLC; Teena is a retired U.S. Navy pilot with 26 years of manned and unmanned aviation experience. During her time as a Naval aviator she obtained several flight hours and qualified in multiple manned aircraft. Her last duty station on Active Duty was the Director of UAS Operations and Training Officer with Naval Special Warfare in Coronado, CA. During her tour there she qualified as an operator in the ScanEagle UAS and All Environment Capable Variant (AECV) Small Unmanned Aircraft system (sUAS) Puma. After retiring from the Navy, Teena accepted the challenge to start the UAS program for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). She was the UAS Program Lead and Chief Pilot for SDG&E. Teena single-handedly organized all aspects of the program, created all procedures for UAS operations including the standard operating procedures, training standards, safety standards, maintenance standards, inspection, incident procedures, and checklists to operate the UAS safely. She worked meticulously with the FAA for airspace approval and thereby helped SDG&E to become the first utility company in the US to operate a UAS in the National Air Space. She Took their UAS program from conception, through R&D and into the operational stage and is still currently assisting them with their program. TeeDeeUAS, LLC provides consulting services to SDG&E, Kamehameha Schools, Otay Water District, and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and also created the UAS program for Hawaiian Electric company (HECO), Hawaiian Electric Light (HELCO), and Maui Electric (MECO)

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Andrew Doyle

Andrew Doyle, Sr. is a fire and emergency medical services professional with over 20 years of comprehensive emergency response experience. Currently, Andrew is an Emergency Boat Operator assigned to the Special Operations Command of the Baltimore City Fire Department. In plain terms, he operates the fire boats. Andrew has served on the Baltimore City Incident Management Team and represents the Maryland Professional Firefighters (IAFF) on the Maryland Fire Service Personnel Qualifications Board. He is a certified NFPA 1041 Fire Service Instructor, NFPA 1021 Fire Officer 4, NREMT-I, and NFPA 1006 Technical Rescue certifications in Swift Water, Confined Space, Collapse Rescue, Trench Rescue, and Hi-Angle Rescue as well as a US Coast Guard Licensed Boat Captain. Andrew was deployed as part of a Maryland Incident Management Team, with other emergency management professionals from Maryland, to assist Monroe County, FL following Hurricane Irma in 2017. Andrew is blending the rapidly expanding world of social media with emergency management. His knowledge and training in fire, emergency medical services, special operations and public information training make him uniquely qualified to do so. Additionally, Andrew is an independent consultant of Social Media for Government Agencies & Private Industry and an active blogger. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys cheering for Maryland Terps, Washington Caps, Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens. For fun, he plays lacrosse. Last, but not least, he is the proud father of three children, Emily, Andrew, and Jeremy. Follow him on twitter: @doyle0213.

Carolyn Driedger

Carolyn's career began with research on glaciers, principally those on the Cascade Range volcanoes, and later on glacier-related floods and debris flows. Witnessing the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and taking part in the response, set the course for several fascinating scientific projects. It also provided a front-row seat for observation and reflection regarding the role of science in society. As the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory's Outreach Coordinator, Carolyn works in partnership with public officials, emergency planners, media, park interpreters, educators, and the news media to advance the cause of volcano preparedness. Some earlier career choices have informed current work, including several years of teaching in a US public school and a private school in Kathmandu, Nepal, and working for the National Park Service. As CVO's Outreach Coordinator, daily interactions with emergency managers and news media amidst volcanic eruptions, debris flows, and periods of quiescence have given Carolyn a broad base of experience in crisis communication and the general communication needs of partners and the public.

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Donald Drost

Dr. Don Drost recently retired as Professor of Physics at the University of the Virgin Islands. In the mid-90’s, Drost was charged with developing Science 100, a course required of all entering students at UVI. The course is called Hurricanes, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Tsunamis in the Caribbean. He is the author of the textbook and lab manual for the class, published on line for students. One of the goals of the class is to educate citizens about natural hazards common in the Caribbean. Since initiating the course, Drost and other staff at UVI have taught the course to 10,000 students at UVI St. Thomas and UVI St. Croix. Drost is involved in other activities associated with Astronomy at Etelman Observatory funded by NASA EPSCoR, Education Research in Science 100 funded by NSF and investigating the introduction of Creative Problem Solving Thinking Skills in Science 100, also supported by NSF. Dr. Drost continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor at UVI while he and his wife divide their time between Florida, North Carolina and the Virgin Islands. He and his wife spend their spare time on the water and in the water often with their dog Rosie.

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John Ewert

John Ewert is a geologist based at the U.S. Geological Survey-Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS-CVO). The observatory monitors potentially active volcanoes for signs of reawakening, conducts fundamental research on volcanic processes, carries out volcano hazards assessments, and is responsible for issuing warnings related to volcanic eruptions.

John began working with the USGS at Mount St. Helens in 1981, monitoring and researching eruptive activity there as well as working on projects at other Cascade Range volcanoes. In 1986 he was one of the founding members of the ongoing USAID-USGS Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) and worked in VDAP from 1986-2010 responding to volcanic eruption crises and developing volcano monitoring infrastructure around the Pacific Rim. From 2010 to 2015 John served as the Scientist-in-Charge (SIC) of the Cascades Volcano Observatory and has recently returned to work with VDAP and on other volcano hazards projects in the United States. Current work includes publishing an update to the U.S. volcano threat assessment and developing implementation plans for the National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS) which was authorized by Congress in February, 2019.

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Daniel Flynn

Dan Flynn is an Emergency Management Consultant, Federal Responder and Subject Matter Expert. He serves as a Mass Fatality responder and Instructor for Kenyon International. Dan is a former Emergency Manager for Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management in California. He also served as the National Disaster Response Director for Sheep Dog Impact Assistance, a national, not-for-profit disaster response organization, providing teams of current and former military and first responders to national and regional disaster responses. Dan holds the prestigious Master Exercise Practitioner designation through FEMA and is an Instructor for several member agencies of the National Disaster Preparedness Consortium. He is a Subject Matter Expert for the American Nurses’ Association for their National Healthcare Disaster Certification program. He did his Master’s level work in the Sociology of Disasters. Dan started his Emergency Response/Management career nearly 40 years ago with the U.S. Coast Guard, working in Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement and Marine Safety. In civilian life, he has served as a Police Officer, a Sheriff’s Deputy and a firefighter. He served 5 years with FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue team, MO Task Force 1 and 15 years with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ mass fatality team, DMORT VII, serving as an Autopsy Tech, a HAZMAT Specialist and Trainer. Dan was the Emergency Response Team Manager for Recon Solutions. During the 2004-2005 Hurricane seasons, Dan and his team the first “boots on the ground” at nearly a dozen hurricanes, assisting with state, county and local responses along the Gulf and Atlantic coastlines. He has served on the Command and General Staff of several Type 1 disaster responses including tornados, floods, oil spills and large-scale animal disease epidemics. He is a certified Fire Service Instructor, a FEMA NIMS, CERT and HERT Instructor and has delivered over 10,000 hours of training for federal, state, NGO, Healthcare and Private Sector organizations.

Oceana Francis

Oceana Francis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with a joint appointment in Sea Grant College Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM). She is a licensed civil engineer in both Alaska and Hawaii. Her professional engineering work includes built infrastructure projects and extreme environments such as coastal, offshore, and permafrost. Notably, this includes working on many rural infrastructure projects under Senator Ted Stevens’ administration in Alaska; the relocation of villages due to climate change and ocean hazards; and the decommissioning of outdated systems and strategic reconfiguration of new electrification replacements for the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). She has organized two offshore expeditions in the Alaska region and three offshore expeditions in the Hawaii region with the goal of studying local sea wave (SW) conditions. Her most recent Arctic work, includes contributing in optimizing the rheology in sea ice models. In parallel, she has also been involved in studying the oceanic processes in the Hawaii and North Pacific regions, such as projection of the extreme wave climate in the North Pacific Ocean; coastal exposure of the Hawaiian Islands; and assessing vulnerability and risk to ecosystems, built infrastructure and societies and the feasibility of implementing different engineered adaptations. This has led to work on high-visibility projects on coastal hazards for the State of Hawaii and Hawaii’s counties. She is currently serving as editor for American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology.

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Suzanne Frew

Suzanne Frew leads The Frew Group, a certified Woman-Owned Small Business and Woman Business Enterprise, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Suzanne has been helping governments, businesses and community organizations manage risk, build institutional capacity and improve communications for three decades. She has extensive expertise in cultural competency, working with leaders of diverse communities to build culturally and socially inclusive policies, procedures and practices grounded in diversity, equity and inclusion. Suzanne specializes in applying innovative approaches of design thinking, serious gaming, storytelling and cross cultural communications to resilience and recovery planning, training and exercises, and communications outreach and engagement. Suzanne is an international speaker, a keynote, and a prior FEMA IX PIO and Mitigation Marketing, Education and Partnership Development Coordinator. A contributing author to four disaster resilience books and numerous professional articles, she works throughout the U.S., Southeast Asia, Asia Pacific, Caribbean, and Canada. She is a member of the IAEM Diversity Committee, IAEM Technology Caucus, and a founding member of Gender and Disaster Network. She holds a MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology and a BA in Interdisciplinary Public Relations/International Social Welfare.

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Robert Glancy

Robert Glancy was born in the territory of Hawaii, moved a lot growing up in a Navy family, and completed high school in Annapolis, Maryland. He received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and a Master’s degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Wyoming. In early 2017, he retired from NOAA/ National Weather Service with nearly 36 years of experience, having worked as a Satellite meteorologist in Kansas City, forecaster in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Meteorologist in Charge of a Weather Service Office in Providence, Rhode Island, lead forecaster in Denver, Colorado and 22 years as Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) in Denver/ Boulder, Colorado. The WCM position is the primary outreach position at the National Weather Service and he conducted a lot of spotter training, dispatcher training, safety training, and weather awareness training across northeast Colorado. Working as a NDTPC instructor allows him to continue to spread the weather safety message.

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Christopher Gloninger

Chris Gloninger is the Chief Meteorologist at KCCI-TV in Des Moines. Prior to that he was a meteorologist at NBC 10 Boston and necn. He received his bachelor's degree in Meteorology at Plymouth State University and most recently his master's degree in Emergency Management from Millersville University. Chris received his Certified Broadcast Meteorologist accreditation from the American Meteorological Society. Recently Chris presented a paper, “How to Improve Communication During Times of Severe Weather,” at the AMS annual meeting in New Orleans. Chris is interested in improving communication between first responders, the National Weather Service and television meteorologists in order to better protect the public. Researching his paper, Chris worked extensively with the Wisconsin fire departments. Previously, Chris worked at WISN in Milwaukee, where he won an Emmy for his winter storm coverage and several Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards - one, which also received an Emmy nomination, covered the icebreaker Mackinaw on an 18-hour operation in the Straits of Mackinaw to free a freighter carrying road salt to replenish Milwaukee’s critically depleted supply. He was also sent to cover two EF4 tornados, which hit Washington, Illinois and Rochelle, Illinois. While at WISN, Chris met his wife, Cathy, and was married in Milwaukee just before coming to necn. They live in Norwood. Chris began his career at WHEC in Rochester, New York, where he salso taught Intro to Meteorology at Monroe Community College. Next stop was WTEN in Albany, New York. At WNEM in Saginaw, MI, Chris received an Emmy nomination for his coverage of the 2010 Michigan floods. He was nominated for another EMMY at WRGB in Albany, New York for the weather special, “Irene - One Year Later,” which covered the progress made after the historic flooding in the Schoharie Valley. At that time, Chris used his days off to help the people of Schoharie clean up. During his time at WRGB, Chris covered the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Queens and Staten Island, and broadcast live as the Rockaways were burning.

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Robert Goldhammer

Mr. Goldhammer’s career in emergency operations began in 1969 when he became a volunteer member of the Ithaca, NY Fire Department while attending Cornell University to work on his degree in Meteorology. In 1974, he went to work for Hillsborough County Emergency Medical Services (EMS). He worked with the department in many capacities until his retirement as Assistant Chief of Operations in March 1997.

In November 1994, Bob received his certification as an emergency manager (CEM) from the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Bob received his BS degree in Business Management from the University of South Florida in 1995.

In March 1997, Bob moved to Des Moines, IA to become the emergency management coordinator for Polk County, IA. In July 1999, Bob received his Certified Business Continuity Professional certification from the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII). In July 2002, Bob received his Masters in Teachers in Geosciences from Mississippi State University.

Mr. Goldhammer left his position with Polk County in March 2003 to pursue a variety of opportunities related to emergency preparedness. He is currently a member of the instructor cadre for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center.

Bob served as an IAEM regional president for approximately 10 years. He currently represents the organization on the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Ready Nation program. He is currently a member of the FEMA National Reservist Program; his primary duties are with the Hurricane Liaison Team. He was the co-chair of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Emergency Management Committee from its inception to January 2017.

Bob and his wife Nancy live in Des Moines, IA.

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Monica Gowan

Dr. Monica Gowan is a geologist (MS) and health scientist (PhD), and a subject matter expert in natural hazards, climate change impacts, and disaster resilience. She enjoys sharing her experience from flood, landslide, wildfire, and earthquake disasters in the US and New Zealand, and has trained hundreds of students and professionals in hazard assessment, preparedness planning, disaster risk reduction, and resilience. Monica has participated in full-scale operational and tabletop earthquake exercises, tsunami evacuation planning focus groups, volcanic mudflow warning and communications experiments, pandemic planning, and complex medical emergency simulations. She has served with the Cascadia Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) and is a member of the Minnesota Medical Reserve Corps. Monica has local government experience at Olmsted County, Minnesota, assessing environmental health needs and managing environmental resources projects. She has consulted in the US Pacific Northwest, conducting hazard mitigation planning for federal, state, and local agencies and natural resource and property development. She has been a Faculty Lecturer in Geology and expert witness in natural hazards litigation before Washington Superior Courts. She also coordinated and conducted clinical and epidemiologic research at Mayo Clinic, examining the role of quality of life in resilience to adversity. Monica is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, a former elected Councilor, Geology & Health Division officer, and Geology & Public Policy Committee officer. She is a contributing author to eight public policy position statements and has participated in over 20 Congressional visits addressing natural hazards, climate change, infrastructure, and emergency management policy.

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Mallory Guy

Mallory Nicholls is currently a broadcast meteorologist for News 13 in Orlando in addition to being an instructor for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center. In the past ten years, she has been able to forecast the weather for multiple climates. This includes snow, ice, heat waves, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes from the mountains of Tennessee to the coast of South Carolina and Florida. She most recently covered Hurricane Matthew, which battered the east coast of Florida before moving north and dumping several inches of rain over the Carolinas.

Mallory has a Bachelors of Science in Meteorology from North Carolina State University and is currently obtaining a Masters of Science in Emergency Management from Millersville University. She’s an active member of the American Meteorological Society and holds the Certification for Broadcast Meteorologists.

Follow her on Twitter: @MalloryNicholls

Allison Hardin

Allison Hardin, CFM retired in 2022 after 30 years of progressive levels of service and responsibilities in local governments of coastal South Carolina. Her experience includes regional and urban planning, GIS mapping and coordination, floodplain management, hazard mitigation planning, business operations, emergency services, and planning agency supervision. She has been a longstanding partner in, and supporter of, NOAA's Digital Coast project; chaired both the SC Association for Hazard Mitigation and state Arc GIS users group; and nationally, served four years as a Coastal Issues co-chair for the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) and six years in leadership (including chairmanship) in the American Planning Association's (APA) Hazard Mitigation/Disaster Recovery Division. During her years of volunteer leadership, she and her teams received multiple awards, including APA Divisions Council Achievement Awards in Communications Efforts (2019) and Best Practices (2020), the Louthain Award from ASFPM, an SC Planning Advocacy award, and Public Service Employee of the Year from the City of Myrtle Beach. Allison celebrates 20 years as a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) in 2023, and currently works freelance.

Bruce Houghton

Bruce Houghton is the Gordon MacDonald Professor in Volcanology at University of Hawaii at Manoa, the Hawaiian State Volcanologist, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He is the Science Director at the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center and the lead developer for AWR-233, the "Volcanic Crises" awareness course. He trained at University of Auckland, University of Otago, and Ruhr-Universitat Bochum. Bruce has published over 200 research papers in international journals and was an editor of the Encyclopaedia of Volcanoes in 2000 and 2015. His recent research has expanded to include interdisciplinary studies of tsunami and volcanic disasters funded by the Human and Social Dynamics and Hazards SEES initiatives in NSF.

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Dennis Hwang

Dennis Hwang is Faculty at the University of Hawai'i Sea Grant College Program where he authored several books including the Hawai'i Coastal Hazard Mitigation Guidebook, which is used in the land use process in Hawai'i. After Hurricane Katrina, he helped produce the Louisiana Coastal Hazard Mitigation Guidebook for the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and FEMA. He was also the lead author for the Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards which was produced in Hawai'i, and has been modified with other Sea Grant Programs for Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Delaware, Massachusetts, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Guam. Dennis participated with the FEMA Building Science Branch in assessing damage from Hurricane Harvey for the Mitigation Assessment Team "MAT" Report. He currently is working on the 4th Edition of the Homeowner's Handbook, which has a climate change component. In addition, he is tasked with putting a Communication & Education Outreach Plan for hazard preparation for the Hawaii State Legislature. Dennis has his Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Rochester, Master of Science in Geology & Geophysics from the University of Hawai'i and Jurist Doctorate from the University of Houston, where he concentrated in land use and property law. He is a member of the State of Hawaii Earthquake and Tsunami Advisory Committee, Hawai'i State Bar Association, and is a Court appointed arbitrator.

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David Imy

David Imy's 33 year career in the National Weather Service (NWS) included working at five different National Weather Service. This included being in a forecaster position at North Little Rock, AR; the Warning Preparedness Meteorologist at Jackson, MS; , NEXRAD Training Instructor at Norman, OK; Supervisor Denver, CO and a Supervisor at the Storm Prediction Center. A few of the major tasks included forecasting at all locations, training severe weather spotters and providing safety talks for various schools, hospitals, etc., as well as developing and teaching a 4 week NWS in-residence Doppler radar course. The last 15 years of his NWS career were spent at the Storm Prediction Center supervising 22 forecasters, working 25% rotating shifts and issuing severe thunderstorm and tornado watches, mesoscale discussions, severe convective and fire weather outlooks for the contiguous states. David retired from the NWS on Dec 31, 2011. Since that time, David has been teaching meteorology classes, involved with scientific research projects and also an expert witness for weather-related court cases.

Daniel Iradi

Mr. Dan Iradi is an Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, serving as a Senior Emergency Preparedness Specialist since 2012. He currently supports the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Emergency Communications Division (ECD). While supporting CISA, Mr. Iradi spearheaded a major update to the Emergency Communications Governance Guide for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Officials. Mr. Iradi also provided subject matter expertise for the 2019 National Emergency Communications Plan update. Prior to joining Booz Allen Hamilton, Mr. Iradi worked at the American Red Cross for 10 years in a variety of roles, including the Red Cross Liaison to FEMA Region II. Mr. Iradi supported disaster response operations following Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, Ike, Irene, and Lee. While supporting FEMA Region I for Booz Allen Hamilton, Mr. Iradi helped initiate response activities after the Boston Marathon bombing. Mr. Iradi holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Juris Doctorate from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, focusing on American politics and public policy.

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Diane Kacmarik

Diane is a broadcast meteorologist at a 24-hour local news and weather TV station in Tampa Bay. Her job also includes forecasting for several radio stations and two newspapers. She has over 25 years of experience forecasting severe and tropical weather. Diane regularly gives talks to adult groups and schools about hurricanes.

Diane started her meteorological career at Penn State University, PA, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology. Her first job as a meteorologist was at Air Science Consultants in Bridgeville, PA where she did radio forecasts for cities in the U.S. and Canada and wrote forecasts for several large newspapers. At the same time, Diane's did weekend weather in Steubenville, OH. Then Diane spent a couple years at WATE in Knoxville TN. She became the Chief Meteorologist at Lexington, Kentucky's WLEX. Then she was at WDAF-TV in Kansas City, MO, before coming to the Tampa Bay area as a meteorologist for WTSP. Diane has been part of the Bay News 9's Weather Experts team since 2004, and has been covering all of the tropical storms and hurricanes that have impacted Florida since 2000.

Diane is a member of the American Meteorological Society, holding its Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal, and a member of the National Weather Association.

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Bryan Karrick

Bryan grew up in the southern suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota, and traveled an hour and a half southwest to Mankato State University to follow his dream of working with weather and the sciences. During his junior year, he turned that lifelong dream into a reality by accepting the weekend weather position at local CBS affiliate KEYC-TV. He spent 12 years as the morning meteorologist at KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa. Not only was he a storm-chaser tracking numerous tornadoes during his tenure, but he was also given a chance to work with KCCI’s sister stations in New Orleans Orlando helping with hurricane coverage, including Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne during the busy 2004 hurricane season. In 2010, Bryan returned to his hometown, where he was part of a team of meteorologists who launched the national weather channel WeatherNation TV. Karrick’s weather experience and continuing education earned him the National Weather Association’s (NWA) Seal of Approval, and he was honored to be named NWA Broadcaster of the Year in 2009. Bryan remains active in the NWA and is currently serving on the organization's board. He also holds the American Meteorological Society’s CBM Seal of Approval. Karrick was honored to be named “Best Weathercaster” by the Florida Associated Press in 2017, 2018, and 2020. He is certified in Tornado Awareness, Hurricane Awareness, Flooding Hazards & Awareness, and Coastal Hazards by the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center.

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Earle Kealoha

Earle Kealoha retired as a captain with the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) after more than 30 years of service including four years as an original member of their Hazardous Materials Response Team and five years working in their Occupational Safety and Health Office.

Earle completed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s initial “All Hazards Incident Management Team (AHIMT)” course and position specific training for Logistics, Public Information Officer (PIO), and Safety Officer as well. From 2006-2010, Earle served as one of the HFD’s “Back-up PIOs”. During the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperative held in Honolulu in 2011, Earle served as a member of the HFD’s AHIMT as its Incident Safety Officer.

Earle has completed courses conducted by other National Domestic Preparedness Consortium organizations. They include the Center for Domestic Preparedness WMD Incident Command Course in 2000; Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings Technical Operations Course conducted by the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (2003); WMD Radiological/Nuclear Course for Hazardous Materials Technicians conducted by what is now known as the Center for Radiological Training or CTOS (2005); and the Advanced Incident Management/Unified Command course conducted by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (2008).

He received an associate of science in Fire Science from HCC in 1985, a bachelor of science in Public Administration from UH West Oahu in 1987 and a Masters in Public Administration from University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2006. Earle completed the National Fire Academy’s rigorous four-year Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program and received his EFO designation from the in May 2010.

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Alisha King

Alisha King is an internationally certified emergency manager, nationally recognized disaster technologist, and an award winning educator with a passion for building resilient communities. Ms. King has built her career on a foundation of operational sciences, including work in cybersecurity and critical infrastructure, bioterrorism response planning, emergency medicine, and humanitarian field deployments. In addition to her full-time job, Alisha serves as an instructor for the US Department of Homeland Security, as an advisory board member to the Homeland Security Center of Excellence, and as a volunteer technologist with a regional social services non-profit. Some of her professional contributions include: • White House Office of Science and Technology Policy - Contributor • White House Disaster Innovation Initiative - Contributor • US Department of Homeland Security, Congressional Advisory Committee - Member • International Association of Emergency Managers, Emerging Technology Caucus - Founder • International Association of Emergency Managers, Public Awareness Award - Recipient • Seattle Police Department, Technology-Enabled Control Clinic - Co-Founder & Instructor

John Kirby

Mr. Kirby is a senior public safety operations specialist, providing leadership and guidance for an array of public safety enhancements required by local, state, federal, and tribal agencies. He has been serving in the homeland security sector for more than eight years, and has 43 years of field and management experience in law enforcement, firefighting, emergency medical services, emergency communications, and emergency management areas. His experience includes disaster response to pipeline ruptures, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Mr. Kirby is a subject matter expert assisting clients and consultants primarily on projects that support the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Kenneth Kondo

Ken "Disaster Guy" Kondo, APIO, MEP has over 30 years of experience in community & media relations, event planning and market research with Los Angeles County Probation, Mental Health & Chief Executive Office, Office of Emergency Management, Major League Baseball, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Harlem Globetrotters, 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, California Angels and 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Has planned, coordinated and conducted more than 200 preparedness seminars, trainings & exercises partnering with seniors, persons with disabilities access functional needs. In 2016, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) presented him with America's Prepareathon in Action Honorable Mention Award and Los Angeles County Quality & Productivity Commissioners' Teamwork Award. In 2017, Business & Industry Council for Emergency Planning & Preparedness honored Mr. Kondo with its Award of Excellence. In 2018, inducted into Great ShakeOut Hall of Fame. A graduate of FEMA Emergency Management Institute's Master Exercise Practitioner Program in addition earned California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, California Standardized Training Institute (CSTI) Emergency Management and Public Information Officer (PIO) Specialist certificates and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Position Credentialing Standard Type 3 as PIO. Mr. Kondo is also certified training instructor with FEMA, Cal OES CSTI and National Disaster Preparedness Training Center for EOC operations, Incident Command System 300 & 400, Crisis Communications, PIO and new technology.

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Laura Kong

Dr. Kong has been the Director of the International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC) since 2001. As Director, she oversees the Center that supports the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in its efforts to deploy tsunami warning and mitigation systems globally, and that works directly with the 46-nation Intergovernmental Co-ordination Group for the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/PTWS) to strengthen international and national tsunami warnings and preparedness.

Since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Dr. Kong has been active in advising countries around the world on how to build robust and sustainable tsunami mitigation systems. Dr. Kong also serves as the Hawaii State Tsunami Advisor. She is the former Chair of the Hawaii State Earthquake Advisory Committee, and a member of the Hawaii State Hazard Mitigation Forum. Previously, she was with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, the University of Hawaii's Hawaii Institute of Geophysics, the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, and the University of Tokyo's Earthquake Research Institute. She was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, is a graduate of Brown University and received her doctorate in Seismology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1990.

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Emily Kukulies

Emily Kukulies is an educator. She is a Tenured Professor at the University of Hawaii – Honolulu Community College. She holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration, as well as an MBA from Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii. She will soon be completing her Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a focus in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. She is a 2018 University of Hawaii Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Medal winner. Ms. Kukulies is also a community leader. She is very active in disaster community in the state and across the United States. Emily Kukulies is a Senior Responder with the American Red Cross and is active in responding hands-on to local and national (U.S.) disasters. She serves as the Community Engagement and Partnerships Lead for with the American Red Cross for Hawaii. She is also the Chairperson of the Hawaii VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and National VOAD Chairperson for US Islands and Alaska Committee.

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Margaret Mangan

Margaret Mangan is the Scientist-in-Charge of California Volcano Observatory, one of the five USGS observatories responsible for issuing timely volcano hazard warnings in the US. Margaret joined the USGS in 1983, moving from her initial posting at USGS headquarters outside Washington D.C. to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in 1990, and then in 1998, to the USGS Menlo Park California campus.

As Scientist-in-Charge, Margaret manages a staff of 50 scientists and technicians, leads the monitoring efforts at eight threatening volcanoes, and works with emergency management authorities at all levels of government. She is a Course Developer and Instructor for the Federal Emergency Management Agency Volcano Crisis Awareness training in California. She has responded to numerous volcanic eruptions and disturbances in Hawaii, Alaska, California, and the Caribbean.

Margaret holds a PhD in volcanology from Johns Hopkins University. Throughout her career, she has conducted field, laboratory, and theoretical studies to determine conditions that trigger volcanic eruptions and control eruption intensity. She has published numerous research articles in prominent scientific journals. She is former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, and is an elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America.

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Paul Manson

Paul Manson is a researcher with Portland State University's Center for Public Service (CPS). His research focuses on increasing the effectiveness of public involvement in thinking about life after a disaster event, and how communities can plan for an uncertain future. Recent research efforts include applied community planning workshops and public opinion surveys on disaster recovery planning. Paul also develops demographic and spatial tools for disaster response. Paul is also a PhD candidate at Portland State. His dissertation research is focused on the multi-year Oregon Territorial Sea Plan update – a marine spatial planning effort to resolve conflicts among many ocean users via a technologically mediate participatory GIS system. His applied work includes the development of coastal viewshed assessment protocols and tools to support communities participating in marine spatial planning. Paul is an Oregon Sea Grant Fellow and a NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Fellow. Paul started his work in emergency preparedness in the Civil Air Patrol in Alaska and continues to be engaged in his own community supporting preparedness.

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Eric Matusak

Eric Matusak began volunteering at the age of 15 with the City of Long Beach Search & Rescue team, which he continues to this day. Eric was hired full-time by the City of Long Beach’s Harbor Department where he served as a Harbor Patrol Officer for two years. Eric moved on to the City of Long Beach Police Department as a patrol officer in the City’s West Patrol Division. During this time, he was awarded the Department’s Meritorious Award for Heroism. Officer Matusak then transferred to the Field Support Division where he worked as a member of the Event Planning Section and was responsible for the emergency management responsibilities of the department. Eric promoted to sergeant in 2015 and eventually took an assignment in the Downtown Entertainment District where he was responsible for coordinating and supervising the activity of a specialized unit of police personnel. Duties included supervising full-time staff, managing an overtime budget of approximately 1.15 million dollars in the Downtown Entertainment District, being a point of contact for the convention center, local hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and bars related to enforcement. In January 2021, Eric was promoted to Police Lieutenant. He currently serves as a patrol watch commander where he manages the resources of the department on a shift covering the 52 square miles and nearly 500,000 residents in the City of Long Beach. Lieutenant Matusak is currently an Incident Command System instructor and serves as an Incident Commander on the City of Long Beach’s All-Hazard Incident Management Team.

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Maureen McCann

Maureen McCann knew she wanted to be a broadcast meteorologist since the age of 4 when Hurricane Gloria blew through her New England hometown. So, it's fitting that Maureen has landed in Florida, since it was a hurricane that sparked her interest in weather in the first place. Maureen is currently the weekday morning meteorologist at News 13 in Orlando, the 24-hour station serving Central Florida. Her TV career has taken her around the country to experience a wide range of weather patterns starting in Bangor, Maine, followed by stations in Syracuse, NY, Austin TX, and Denver, CO. It was in Denver that her storm chase adventures with the late Tim Samaras and his research group TWISTEX transformed into a special which was honored with an Emmy Award and a Colorado Broadcasters Association award. An active member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), Maureen holds both the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and Certified Consulting Meteorologist seals. She serves as the AMS Commissioner on Professional Affairs. The National Weather Association has also awarded her with their Television Seal of Approval. Originally from Arlington, Massachusetts, Maureen graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Atmospheric Science and has earned a Master's of Emergency and Crisis Management from the University of Central Florida with a focus on geographic information systems.

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Dennis McGowen

Dennis McGowen began his law enforcement career in May of 1981 with the Del City Police Department where he served as a Patrolman with two years in the K-9 Division. In 1985, Dennis joined the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission and retired in 2020 as Special Agent in Charge of the Oklahoma City Enforcement District which encompasses 27 Oklahoma Counties. His duties have included internal affairs, organized crime, tornado and disaster response, training and public speaking appearances. Dennis has completed over 3,837 hours of advanced law enforcement training including: Death Investigation Academy, Criminal Intelligence Officer Academy, Criminal Investigation Academy, Critical Incident Stress Management, Suicide Prevention, Anti-Terrorism, Human Trafficking, Management & Leadership, Emergency Management, Weather Pattern Identification & Hazards and the OK-First weather data interpretation certification. Dennis earned his B.A. in Criminal Justice with a Forensic Science minor from the University of Central Oklahoma. He holds a CLEET Advanced Law Enforcement certificate and has been certified to instruct: Law Enforcement Driver Training (LEDT), FEMA Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), OSHA Blood Borne Pathogens, National Safety Council Alive@25 Teen Driving Course, Question, Prevent, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper, Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention, Police Suicide Awareness, Below 100 (line of duty death prevention) and ICISF Critical Incident Stress Management. Dennis has served as an Adjunct Instructor for the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education & Training (CLEET), the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA) National Training Academy and a Lead Instructor at the OSU-OKC Precision Driving Training Center.

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angela michaels

Angela Michaels is the former County Engineer and Floodplain Manger for Ada County, Idaho. In that capacity she was exposed to the regulatory and administrative side of flooding, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as well as FEMA flood risk map revision process. Additionally, she chaired the Steering Committee tasked with updating the Ada Emergency Management’s multi hazard mitigation plan. In her roll she joined a flood fight in her own community, seeing flood flows matching record highs as far back as 1983. She has firsthand experience with facing the threat of flooding and knows how critical preparedness is for our communities and our country. Most recently she volunteered for post-fire cleanup on the Camp Fire in Northern California.

Angela’s current focus is educating, specializing in learning based adult education, developing and delivering training as a SME in the floodplain management and emergency management fields.

Angela has a BS from Oregon State University. She is licensed Professional Engineer in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. She’s a Certified Floodplain Manager with extensive experience in hydrology and hydraulics analysis. She is also a Certified Profession in Erosion and Sediment Control. Angela spends her spare time mountain biking, fly fishing, and traveling the world participating on volunteer design teams in developing countries.

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Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) who has worked as an emergency management professional in the Seattle area since 2006. She served as the contract EM coordinator for south King County for 5 years and as the Emergency Manager for the City of Auburn for 9 years. Her 30 years of public service includes 12 years as a public safety dispatcher and 9 years as a search and rescue volunteer. Sarah has been an adjunct faculty member at various colleges and universities since 2002. She currently teaches undergraduate courses at Pierce College and graduate courses at Georgetown University. Sarah works with a number of FEMA training partners to deliver courses across the country on topics including social media, economic recovery, situational awareness, and CERT, as well as teaching in the National Basic, Advanced, and Executive Emergency Management Academies. Sarah is active in the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), currently as President of Region 10 and immediate past-Chair of the Emerging Technology Committee. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree in Emergency Management, is a graduate of the National Emergency Management Basic, Advanced, and Executive Academies, and is currently working on her PhD dissertation. Sarah is also certified in cybersecurity management and business continuity and holds a graduate certificate in Information Security and Assurance. A native of Oregon, Sarah has lived in Washington State since 1997 with her husband and various cats. You can find her on Twitter @scba.

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Bronlea Mishler

Bronlea Mishler is a public relations and communications professional who currently runs Bronlea M Consulting. Prior to her consulting work, Bronlea spent more than a decade as a communications director and crisis communications expert for city and county governments in Washington state. Her skills include coordinating public outreach efforts for departments and elected offices; training staff in media relations, communications and social media best practices; management and content creation for multiple social media accounts; and crisis communications. Bronlea's experience in crisis communication includes managing social media and public outreach during the March 2014 Oso landslide, coordinating communications for the 2014 Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting and the 2016 Cascade Mall shooting, organizing the JIC and managing communications for the 2016 Break Free protests in Anacortes, assisting with PIO coordination during a 2016 officer-involved shooting in Mount Vernon, and serving as the lead spokesperson and social media manager for several weather-related and jurisdictional emergencies in Skagit & Snohomish counties. Her past experience includes work as a communications coordinator for Skagit County, communications director for the city of Marysville, and deputy director of communications for Snohomish County. She also worked for the Washington State Department of Transportation managing the popular @wsdot_traffic Twitter account, and began her professional career as a local newspaper reporter. Bronlea lives on a small farm in Washington with cats, chickens horses, goats, sheep and a one-eyed Border Collie. Connect with her online: or @bronleamishler on Twitter.

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Ben Murata

Mr. Murata has over 20 years of experience in disaster management and Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) in the local and state arenas. He has supported disaster management and HA/DR efforts in support of U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), the State of Hawaii as a Booz Allen Hamilton (Booz Allen) employee, and as a member of the Hawaii National Guard (HING). He supported USPACOM HA/DR efforts as part of a Joint Interagency Coordinating Group planning cell and numerous National Guard Domestic Operations efforts within the State of Hawaii as a National Guardsman. As a National Guardsman, he also served as the USPACOM J572 Deputy Branch Chief, leading HD, Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA), and Pandemic Influenza, Infectious Disease and Biological Considerations and Foreign Humanitarian Assistance planning and represented the branch during operational efforts. Also as a National Guardsman, Mr. Murata served as a counter drug officer and liaison to USPACOM Joint Interagency Task Force – West and the JIACG-CT. As an employee of Booz Allen, Mr. Murata provided direct support to the USPACOM J572 and the Joint Task Force Homeland Defense for HD and DSCA planning and execution efforts. Mr. Murata is currently supporting the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) Futures Division as an experimentation integrator and planner. He previously supported the USARPAC Asia-Pacific Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Fusion Center as a counter improvised threat and explosive ordnance device (EOD) planner.

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Cheryl Nelson

Cheryl Nelson is the Founder & Owner of Prepare with Cher, LLC and has two decades of experience in front of the camera as a lifestyle TV host, spokesperson, meteorologist and natural disaster preparedness expert. She specializes in preparing the public for all types of weather and natural disasters, while ensuring they are prepared to travel, no matter what Mother Nature has in the forecast. Highly respected in her field, Ms. Nelson has appeared on TV networks such as BBC World News, Fox News Channel, CNBC, The Weather Channel and The AccuWeather Network and she currently hosts the weekday lifestyle TV show, Coast Live on CBS in Norfolk, Virginia. She also hosted the TV special Get Ready America: The National Hurricane Survival Test which aired in fifty television markets in the United States. Her successful satellite media tours on severe weather/hurricane preparedness and the lifesaving importance of disaster preparedness kits are seen by millions of people nationwide. A broadcast meteorologist certified by the American Meteorological Society, Ms. Nelson helps save lives by teaching the public how to prepare for hurricanes, wild fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, winter storms and extreme heat - with a focus on family and pet preparedness. Working tirelessly to educate on severe weather safety, she is affiliated with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration as an ambassador for Weather-Ready Nation. Ms. Nelson is also a FEMA-certified instructor for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) where she teaches courses on Flooding, Hurricane, Tornado and Winter Weather Preparedness. A graduate of Penn State University, Ms. Nelson holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology with an emphasis in Communications. Ms. Nelson serves on the American Meteorological Society Broadcast Board as member and co-chair of the AMS Broadcast Conference in 2020. Follow Ms. Nelson on social media @CherylNelsonTV and on her website, .

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Kyle Nelson

Kyle Nelson is a meteorologist and emergency management professional based in Aspen, Colorado with experience in Local, State and Federal agency response to weather disasters. He is a 911 Dispatcher and Emergency Management Consultant for Pitkin County, Winter X Games Coordinator and Mountain Weather Forecaster at Buttermilk Mountain, and Planning Section Chief for the Pitkin County and Northwest Colorado Type 3 Incident Management Teams. In addition to his academics in Meteorology, Kyle has complementing skills in community and emergency planning, digital media engagement and monitoring, and large-venue event planning and operations. He has planned, facilitated and evaluated virtual and functional exercises from local planning workshops to full-scale airport triennial exercises. Kyle brings unrivaled enthusiasm and passion to the classroom, and delivers a rich and engaging vision for communicating effectively with communities, and understanding weather and climate hazards that threaten them. Follow him on Twitter: @WxKyleNelson

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Steven Oglesby, M.E.P.

Steven serves as a Senior Emergency Management Specialist at a facility on the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation in east Tennessee.. His responsibilities include writing and reviewing emergency plans and procedures and exercise design and conduct. Steven’s emergency services career started in 1974 as a volunteer rescue squad member. Since 1999, when Steve became a full time emergency manager, he has been involved in hundreds of responses to include active participation in 28 Presidentially Declared Disasters. He has served in a variety of incident command positions, to include Incident Commander of a 37 agency hazardous materials response. He is a Master Exercise Practitioner, certified Emergency Management Institute instructor for multiple courses including the NIMS ICS All-Hazards Position Specific Training Program, and Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP). Steven’s emergency management career followed his 20-plus years as an award winning television journalist. During this time he served as a general assignment reporter, investigative reporter, freelance network correspondent, assignment editor, news director and promotion-marketing director.

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Philip Parr

LPP Consulting delivers real-world solutions throughout all phases of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Cycles. The company’s principal, Philip E. Parr, has nearly 40 years of local and national level experience leading federal and local teams at our Nation’s largest disasters. Mr. Parr is a retired, 25-year veteran, Chief Officer of the New York City Fire Department, where he served as a Fire and Emergency Ground Commander and as a Deputy Director at the New York City Office of Emergency Management. Following his retirement from the FDNY, Chief Parr was selected as a Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO). The FCO is designated to lead the Federal Response to an emergency and or disaster declared by the President of the United States. During his 11-year FCO tenure, Mr. Parr led national teams at nearly 40 disasters across 19 states and U.S. territories. Included in Mr. Parr’s FCO experience, he was designated as the FCO for both Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee (NYS), and Deputy FCO for Hurricane Sandy (NYS), and Deputy FCO for Hurricane Katrina (Tx).

As head of LPP Consulting, Mr. Parr leads with the same strength, drive, ethos, experience and commitment as he did during his public service career. His company’s experience includes developing Homeland Security training and exercise programs, security awareness training, and other preparedness activities. LPP Consulting also creates, develops and provides training and mentorship for Fire Department Company and Chief Officer Professionals throughout the United States.

Dawson Primes

Dawson Primes is currently serving in his 16th year as Director of the Tangipahoa Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management through 11 Presidential Declarations. He took a non-existing department in Parish Government to operating an emergency management agency that is recognized throughout the state. Serves on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association, currently as Past President for the 2nd time. Dawson is the Regional Director Representative to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security. Emergency Management and Emergency Operations Center Management Instructor for Integrated Readiness Solutions. Prior to this position, he was appointed by Governor Kathleen Blanco to serve the LRA Louisiana Recovery Authority as the Governmental Liaison for the FEMA contractors developing the Long-Term Community Recovery Plan post-Katrina. He has been serving his country in the Louisiana Army National Guard for the past 27 years. Served on the Military Engagement Team charged with educating the Haitian National Government on Emergency Management and EOC Operations. Has deployed twice in support of Operation Enduring freedom, 1st to Afghanistan where he was awarded the Bronze Star and a Combat Action Badge and most recently to Kuwait.

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James Purpura

Jim knew he wanted to be a Meteorologist from the age of 12, when a tornado struck his community in the Chicago area. Jim had a 32+ year career in the Federal Government, almost all of it in the National Weather Service (NWS). Jim worked as a Forecaster in Chicago, and was the first Warning Coordination Meteorologist in the NWS in Norman, OK in the 90' charge of the weather warning program in the most active severe weather office in the US. Jim was awarded a Gold Medal, the Commerce Department’s highest honor, for his work in developing warning systems in Oklahoma. He worked as Director of the Corpus Christi, Texas NWS in hurricane country, and worked on the west coast as the Director of the San Diego NWS. After retiring from the NWS, Jim was recognized by the American Meteorological Society as a Certified Consulting Meteorologist. Jim now works in litigation support to the legal community, and has enjoyed a variety of teaching positions. He has worked on weather based risk-reduction activities for the US State Department/USAID, The World Bank, the World Meteorological Organization, and the Hydrologic Research Center. Jim has taught classes in South Africa, Egypt, and China. In 2017 and 2018 the US State Department named Jim the special Meteorological Advisor to the Government of Myanmar, and he lived in Myanmar parts of both years.

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Lillian Ramírez-Durand

Lillian Ramírez-Durand have been a research associate for Sea Grant Puerto Rico since 2003. Within its main projects are Coastal Community Development and Climate Extension. From 2005 to 2010 through a Collaborative Agreement between Sea Grant Puerto Rico and the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research she was also the Coastal Training Program Coordinator. As the Coastal Communities Development and Climate Extension Specialist in Sea Grant PR she provides extension services related to smart growth and resiliency to coastal communities in the archipelago of Puerto Rico. She is in charge of the implementation of the Center of Education on Environmental and Climate Change of Sea Grant Puerto Rico (CenECCA), which provides educational services for high schools students in the areas of climate change and coastal ecosystems.

In 2016 the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center and Sea Grant Puerto Rico signed a MOU joined by a common mission to improve preparedness, relief and recovery of communities affected by disasters. Since that she is charge to work together in the spirit of cooperation and open communication, consistent with law, with the primary goal of improving education and training to reduce the impacts of disasters. She became a certified instructor for the courses AWR-310 and AWR-347 for NDPTC. She is responsible for the coordination of professional development and capacity building training activities related to climate change, resilience, adaptation and mitigation. And she is currently providing these courses in Spanish.

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Scott Reuter

Scott is an NDPTC subject matter expert for social media and disasters and NDPTC course instructor, and a FEMA DCSP Digital Communications Specialist reservist. He’s active in the #SMEM (Social Media in Emergency Management) and #VOST (Virtual Operations Support Team) initiatives, ia proud to have worked with his local CERT Team and ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) group, and is past president of Oregon VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster). Scott has also served on the IAEM Emerging Technology Committee, the Virtual Emergency Management Association board, the DHS “Virtual Social Media Working Group” and is team lead for the Oregon VOST.

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Jeff Rubin

Jeff Rubin was the emergency manager for Oregon’s largest fire district from 2001-2019. He has been involved in science, hazards, and health preparedness at local, state, and national levels, including the Mount Hood Regional Coordination Plan, Oregon Resilience Plan, and Oregon’s Crisis Care Guidelines. In a prior life, he was with Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services, where he was cross-trained as a field medic and call-taker/dispatcher. At ATCEMS he also served as Hazardous Materials Captain and Swiftwater Rescue Instructor in the Special Operations Section, working in hospital preparedness and mass casualty, hazmat, and WMD planning, training, and response. He was a volunteer Fire/EMS/Rescue responder and company officer with Travis County (TX) ESD#4 for 13 years, and has consulted in safety and emergency preparedness since the 90s. Jeff has a BS in Geology & Geophysics from Yale and an MA and PhD in Geological Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a research scientist and later Assistant Dean for Environmental Health & Safety. He has presented at national and international conferences, and has published in and provided peer review for geological, medical, safety, and emergency management journals. Jeff serves on the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, is a Fellow and elected Councilor for the Geological Society of America, and teaches for the Oregon Tech/OHSU EMS Program. He is particularly proud to have taught Incident Command for Geologists and Geology for Incident Commanders to separate audiences in the same month.

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Andrew Rumbach

Andrew Rumbach is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Colorado Denver. He holds a doctorate and a master's degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. For the past 13 years his research and professional practice has centered on household and community risk and resilience to natural hazards and climate change, in the United States, India, and the Pacific. His current research is focused on land-use planning for hazard mitigation and planning for the recovery of affordable housing post-disaster, and the protection of historic resources from natural hazards.

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John Scala

Dr. Scala is a certified consulting meteorologist providing expert opinions in criminal and civil litigation on topics ranging from motor vehicle accidents and personal injury to illumination issues, visibility and storm-related damage. He served as The Weather Channel’s Meteorological Training Coordinator and first on-camera Storm Analyst, and more recently as a broadcast meteorologist with WGAL-TV8, the local NBC affiliate in central Pennsylvania. Dr. Scala held a tenure track appointment at Millersville University of Pennsylvania where he also served as the Associate Director of Millersville’s Center for Disaster Research and Education.

Dr. Scala holds a B.S. degree in Biology and Geology from the University of Rochester, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia. Dr. Scala began his professional career at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where he focused on the observation, and numerical modeling of storms.

Dr. Scala serves on the Steering Committee of the Central PA Integrated Weather Impacts Team and on the Weather Advisory Council of the Event Safety Alliance. He maintains a close working relationship with the National Weather Service by collaborating on research projects to improve operational forecasting and assisting with surveys of tornado and severe storm damage.

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Mary Schoenfeldt

Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt, is an Emergency Management Professional who has spent her career with people around the world. She works with schools, government, businesses, tribal leaders and communities. She responded to high profile communities such as Littleton Colorado, New Orleans, Haiti and Newtown Connecticut. She traveled to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to work with the school and community. She stayed when her assignment was over to study the impact of a community crisis on Emergency Management and the community as a whole.

She values all stakeholders.. young, old, educated, uneducated, professional, lay person. She was recognized by the International Association of Emergency Managers for her emergency preparedness campaign, Who Depends On You? She developed a model of volunteer/professional integration for a large city festival and parade that resulted in a collaborative Incident Command System that acted as a recruiting event for CERT programs and added a sophisticated element of training to all… professional and non professional participants.

She has held various positions within activated EOC’s … Deputy EOC Coordinator, Communications Coordinator, Public Information Officer, Section Chief, Mental Health Coordinator, and Recovery Director.

Her work has won awards from the International Association of Emergency Managers, she was inducted into the HALL OF FAME of the International Network of Women in Emergency Management, was honored by The International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and is Board President of the Disaster Mental Health agency, Green Cross Academy of Traumatology. Mary volunteers with humanitarian organizations and is active in her Rotary club where she earned the Service Above Self award for not only local but also international projects.

Amy Schwalber

Valued leader with 28 years of experience in military operations and interagency (IA) coordination with an emphasis on project and emergency management (EM) as well as planning and exercises. 18 years AK-specific Guard, EM and DoD experience. IA expert, accomplished EM professional, Exercise planner, Joint Staff Officer, Commander and Command Pilot in multiple aircraft. Exceptional managerial abilities, diverse high-level liaison skill and proven leadership; experienced facilitating relationships among diverse organizations - mediating interpersonal conflict as well as interagency disputes. Operational expertise from Squadron to Joint Task Force level, planning experience at 11th AF HQ & Alaskan Command, exercise and policy-building at AK National Guard HQ.

Tafiaina Suani

Tafi is an Associate in Booz Allen Hamilton’s International Management Team and supports the Global Threat Mitigation Program. He currently serves as the Deputy Program Manager for the client delivery team supporting U.S. Army Pacific, Asia Pacific Counter Improvised Threat Fusion Center. He is also the Contractor Training Lead responsible for four Joint Service Home Station Training Teams located across Alaska and Hawaii and forward deployed to Korea in support of U.S. Forces Korea. Prior to his current role, Tafi was the lead for an Explosive Ordnance Disposal training team responsible for training the only U.S. Army EOD Battalion outside of the Continental United States. He provided mentorship to young EOD technicians to assist with developing skills critical to the safe mitigation of explosive and chemical hazards. His team’s exceptional support and creativity in scenario designs and custom threat devices for the annual USARPAC EOD Team of the Year resulted in back to back first place honors at the annual Department of the Army EOD TOY competition. Tafi helped develop the Army’s first Intermediate Tactical Site Exploitation Course under the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization and led a Mobile Training Team in support of unit rotations at Combat Training Centers in CONUS and Europe. Tafi leveraged his experience as an EOD technician to inform curriculum development and constantly tailor scenarios for deploying warfighters. Tafi served six years in the U.S. Air Force as an EOD technician and also spent several years supporting U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects for explosive hazards remediation.

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Kevin Sur

Kevin T. Sur is the Director of Communications / Public Information Officer (PIO) for the State of Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and in the External Affairs Cadre at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA) in Washington, DC. Kevin was awarded the Ohio American College of Emergency Physicians’ EMS Star of Life Award for his deployment with the State of Ohio Task Force to Louisiana’s Lower 9th ward during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina/Rita in St. Bernard Parish. Kevin served in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during Hurricane Sandy, 2016 World Series, 2017/2018 NBA Finals, and 2016 Republican National Convention. In September 2017, Kevin was deployed with FEMA for the Hurricane Irma response as the PIO responsible for the entire Florida Keys leading FEMA’s External Affairs for Branch 5 and then Hurricane Maria response/recovery as the FEMA PIO responsible for the US Virgin Islands. In 2019, Kevin was deployed as the primary PIO and acting FEMA External Affairs Officer covering the State of Nebraska for the flooding response and statewide recovery operations. In 2020-2021, Kevin was deployed as the FEMA PIO and Joint Information Center Manager to FEMA Region-1 covering Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont for all COVID Operations and Federal COVID vaccination efforts. And again in 2021 as the Joint Information Center Manager for the response/recovery for New York for Hurricane Ida. In 2014, Kevin was invited to the White House for the Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative and has been named Cleveland’s Top 10 Most Interesting Tweeps on Twitter from WKYC / MetroMix (NBC affiliate). Additionally, he has received numerous awards including Fire Officer of the Year and a Unit Citation award for Excellence in EMS care.

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Tab Troxler

Mr. Tab Troxler is an accomplished Homeland Security and Emergency Management professional with experience in both the public and private sector. As a former Emergency Services and Security Manager for the Dow Chemical Company, Mr. Troxler was responsible for the overall emergency management and response program for the site’s 2000 acre petrochemical manufacturing complex in Hahnville LA. In addition to his duties and responsibilities at the site, Mr. Troxler was a member of the Dow Gulf-Coast Hurricane team, as well as, the Global Exercise and Plans Team. Mr. Troxler’s international assignments included responding as the Incident Commander for the Dow Soma Site in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Previously, he served as the St. Charles Parish Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness where he lead the parish's response and recovery to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. As a former Senior Instructor with Louisiana State University’s, National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, Academy of Counter-terrorist Education, he has been on several development teams for national training programs in Computer Aided Management of Emergency Operations, Response to Weapons of Mass Destruction Cargo, Readiness: Training Identification Preparedness Training, and Food Management. He’s developed and facilitated several large scale exercises internationally and domestically on behalf Louisiana State University. He currently is the elected parish Assessor in St. Charles Parish Louisiana. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University New Orleans, LA.

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Steve Wood

Steve Wood is retired after 30 years in the fire service rising to a command staff position. Responsible for the command and control of a wide variety of all-risk incidents from initial action incident command to various functions in the Emergency Operation Center. He has extensive experience as a supervisor and manager in fire, rescue, emergency medical systems, emergency management, and special operations (Urban Search & Rescue, Swift Water Rescue, Air Operations and Hazardous Materials). A member of the California FIRESCOPE High Rise Working Committee along with various other local state and federal committees and working groups. Steve is a graduate from the Unites States Fire Administration’s Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program at the National Fire Academy at Emmitsburg, Maryland. Steve has earned a Master’s of Science in Emergency Services Administration – Bachelor of Science in Occupational Studies both from California State University at Long Beach – Associates of Arts Degree Business Management from Glendale, California Community College. Steve served as the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) Program Manager for the City of Glendale, California, coordinating citywide, county, state and federal response and preplanning for chemical, radiological, nuclear, explosive, or biological terrorism incidents. Development and co-authored the first California Professional Firefighters Joint Apprenticeship Committee (CFF-JAC) – Terrorism Consequence Management Course, in addition to planning, implementing, coordinating and evaluating a variety of chemical-biological-nuclear-radiological-explosive response tabletop and functional exercises.