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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 Parr, Philip

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.

Photo of Peterson, Michelle

Michelle Peterson

Dr. Michelle Peterson is an Associate Professor in the College of Science and Mathematics at the University of the Virgin Islands. She is the lead on the St. Croix campus for SCI 100: Hurricanes, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Tsunamis in the Caribbean. This course, required for most first year students, examines these disasters from the perspectives of multiple scientific disciplines, encompassing how each occurs to their impacts on ecosystems and human infrastructure. Over the course of Peterson’s 19 year involvement with the class, she has developed and refined both lecture and laboratory materials; her current focus is collaboration across campuses to introduce a service learning component to the course. She has a passion for linking science to students’ everyday lives and has also been engaging in education research. Peterson is certified to teach both Hurricane Awareness and Tsunami Awareness. When she is not at UVI, she is often out on the water sailing and racing.

Photo of Petty, Ervin

Ervin Petty

Ervin Petty is a retired Emergency Management Specialist II from the State of Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS&EM). There, he served as the State Tsunami Program Manager for over 10 years and was the appointed State EM representative to the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP) Coordinating Committee and was also a member of the NTHMP Mitigation and Education (MES) and Warning Coordination Subcommittees (WCS). At DHS&EM from 2001-2015, he was a shift supervisor in the State Emergency Operations Center, responded to several Alaska disasters with FEMA, and served as the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan coordinator. He traveled Alaska’s extensive coastline from SE Alaska to the Aleutian chain presenting tsunami readiness training in numerous communities. Ervin served over twenty-three years as a Pararescueman in the USAF where he was a combat aircrew Instructor and Evaluator on both fixed and rotor wing aircraft. Following his Air Force career, he spent six years with an Alaska Survival and Safety company as a lead instructor teaching global survival techniques to numerous Federal, State, local agencies and private industry.

Dawson Primes

Dawson Primes is currently serving in his 13th year as Director of the Tangipahoa Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness through 7 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.