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NDPTC Third Thursday

Posted on June 15, 2023

June 2023

Please join us for NDPTC's June 2023 Third Thursday. To register, go to

Dave Marasco – 1st Speaker

  • David Marasco is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. He holds a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cal Poly, and he was the Reischauer Graduate Fellow of Japanese Studies at UC San Diego.
  • He currently works at the NDPTC, where he has collaborated with his colleagues on projects concerning hazard mitigation, transportation safety, and homelessness.
  • Today, Dave will be sharing the importance of the Rapid Integrated Damage Assessment on The 2021 Marshall Fire that took place in Boulder County, Colorado.

Elizabeth Pickett and Nani Barretto – 2nd & 3rd Speakers

  • The Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization is led by Co-Executive Directors Elizabeth Pickett and Nani Barretto. 
  • Elizabeth has been working with HWMO since 2008 where she works with staff and partners from across Hawaii and the Pacific region to implement wildfire mitigation, planning and educational projects.
  • She earned a Masters of Environmental Science degree from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Nani began her public service in Zambia while volunteering for the Peace Corps.
  • She earned her Masters of Health Science from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Bachelors in Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology from Emory. 
  • They will be sharing about their organization’s initiatives in wildfire mitigation and how these efforts have led to community resilience.

Vasya Tremsin and Michael Buckwald – 3rd & 4th Speakers

  • Torch Sensors incorporates technology, renewable energy, and artificial intelligence. 
  • Vasya Tremsin and Michael Buckwald are Co-Founders of Torch Sensors.
    • Vasya developed this groundbreaking concept while still in high school.
    • This idea won him first place at Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair.  In his honor, an asteroid was named after him.
    • Vasya is a Cum Laude graduate of UC Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania.  He also holds degrees in Computer Science and Economics.
    • Before coming to Torch Sensors, Michael was the CEO of Leap Motion, a hand-tracking sensor technology where he led the startup to become valued at $300 million with over 100 employees.
    • Michael’s entrepreneurship expertise has been recognized in Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and Forbes’ 30 under 30 – Technology list.
  • Vasya and Michael will provide us with insight into Torch Sensor technology and how it can help those living or working in areas prone to wildfire risk.