I’m an Assistant Professor at York University in their Disaster and Emergency Management program, where my work focuses on wildfire. I run the CEMPPR Lab (Collaboration on Emergency Management, Policy, and Preparedness Research), where we pursue four lines of research:
(1) How responders, emergency managers, and the public make high-stakes decisions under uncertainty
(2) How to improve training and the development of expertise among responders, managers, and the public
(3) Disaster and emergency policy, and how it can help make a safer Canada + globe
(4) How to improve research and evaluation methods in the field of disaster and emergency management
My training is in Science & Technology Studies and qualitative methods, although my work is quite interdisciplinary. My core research these days is on wildfire policy in Canada: How does fire management differ province to province; how do management organizations ‘know’ fire (and the things they need to protect); and how might we balance conflicting pressures from the public, industry, and government? At CEMPPR, we also apply these themes to other case studies, including aviation safety, Emergency Medical Services, and catastrophic flooding. I’ve also worked on fisheries management, boundary organizations, and citizen science (I have a small book on that).
I teach classes on qualitative methods (including surveys, interviews, and research design), science policy, and science and society. Most notably, I organize and teach an annual 8-day bootcamp for graduate students from across Canada (called Science Outside the Lab), which runs in Ottawa & Montréal each May.
Most importantly, I think academic research is best when co-developed and closely tied to practice in the field. I welcome inquiries from emergency managers, the media, and members of the public about prospective collaborations or requests for expertise. I particularly love working with practitioners to help improve the rigour of their program evaluation, and to help conduct research or literature reviews on their behalf to support their work.