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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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Photo of Mangan, Margaret

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.

Photo of Manson, Paul

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.

Photo of Marquez, Julianna

Julianna Marquez

Juli Marquez is an award-winning broadcast meteorologist at Spectrum Bay News 9 in Tampa Bay. She works the morning show which begins every weekday at 4:59 a.m.

When she's not busy forecasting the weather, she participates in hurricane expos and gives talks to local schools and community groups about weather safety and preparedness.

A Chicago native, Juli graduated with honors from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in communications and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society. Juli earned her meteorology certification from Mississippi State University and is a member of the American Meteorological Society. She was one of the first dozen women to earn the AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal.

Juli's career began at WTVO-TV in Rockford, Illinois. She also worked at KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska for three years before joining Bay News 9 in 2002. She has covered snowstorms and tornadoes in the Midwest and tropical storms and hurricanes in Florida.

Juli has been recognized for her coverage of severe weather in Tampa Bay. This includes several Associated Press awards for tornado coverage and an Associated Press award for a children’s weather education special. She has also been nominated for two Emmy awards for severe weather coverage in Tampa Bay.

Irvin Mason

Irvin R. Mason, Sr. is currently the Training Coordinator for the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA), where he was worked since 2000. Mr. Mason is responsible for coordinating and conducting exercises to test the readiness of the territories’ emergency operations centers and other government agencies territorially throughout the year. He also initiates training to increase preparedness in all aspects of emergency management and homeland security. He is a certified trainer for CERT, HAZMAT, WMD, and Tsunami Preparedness. Mr. Mason is also the sitting Chairman of the Board of Directors for St. Thomas Rescue, an all volunteer service, that consist of members that are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians, First Responders, First Aiders certified in CPR, extrication, search and rescue and all related areas of rescue to include dive rescue.

Photo of Matusak, Eric

Eric Matusak

Eric Matusak began his public safety career at the age of 15 as a volunteer with the City of Long Beach Search & Rescue team, a volunteer job that 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, focusing on homeland security and business continuity in the Port of Long Beach, the second busiest sea port in the United States. Eric then moved on to the City of Long Beach Police Department where he is currently a Police Officer. Eric worked patrol primarily in the City’s West Patrol Division. During his time on patrol he was awarded the Department’s Meritorious Award for Heroism for actions taken while responding to a man with a gun call.

Officer Matusak then transferred to the Field Support Division where he is currently a member of the Event Planning Section. Eric prepares event action plans for these events which range from small community parades to the IZOD Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. He is also responsible for much of the emergency management responsibilities of the department. Officer participates in city and county wide committees to increase the Police Department’s preparedness for a disaster.

Officer Matusak is currently the primary Incident Command System instructor for the city of Long Beach. He currently serves as a Planning Section Chief on the City of Long Beach’s All Hazard Incident Management Team and is one of the team’s project managers.

Photo of McCann, Maureen

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, overseeing the society's certification programs. 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. She is currently enrolled in a Masters of Science program at University of Central Florida focusing on geographic information systems and emergency management.

Photo of McGowen, Dennis

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 is currently the 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 Awarenes, 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.

Photo of michaels, angela

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.

Photo of Miller, Sarah

Sarah Miller

Sarah K. Miller is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) who currently serves as the Emergency Management Coordinator for the 16 cities, one tribe, and one island of south King County, Washington. Previously, she was the Emergency Manager for the City of Auburn, Washington 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. She also works with a number of FEMA training partners to deliver courses across the country on topics including social media, whole community, 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, immediate past-Chair of the Emerging Technology Committee, and as a member of the Global Communications Work Group. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree in Emergency Management, is a graduate of the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy, and has completed doctoral work in homeland security, terrorism, and public policy. 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.

Photo of Mishler, Bronlea

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 local 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 work 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 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 as a local newspaper reporter. Bronlea lives on a small farm in Washington with many cats, chickens horses, goats and a one-eyed Border Collie. Connect with her online: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bronlea or @bronleamishler on Twitter.

Photo of Murata, Ben

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.