Speakers and Panelists



RobertoBarriosPhotoRoberto Barrios
“Resilience is a Relationship: Modernity, Neoliberalism, and Sociality in Disaster Reconstruction”

Roberto E. Barrios is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Since 1999, Dr. Barrios has conducted research on post-disaster community resettlement and reconstruction. He conducted his dissertation research in Choluteca, Honduras, in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch. His work in Honduras explored the cultural assumptions concerning personhood, community, and social wellbeing on the part of national and international aid and governmental organizations assisting disaster-affected families and the ways these assumptions mapped onto the subjectivities, practices, and socially produced spaces of the latter. Following Hurricane Katrina, he conducted an ethnography of disaster recovery planning in New Orleans, looking at the ways New Orleanians of varied socio-economic backgrounds and expert planners conceptualized recovery and urban space. He is currently developing a project on community resettlement programs and the transformation of rural landscapes in the making of neoliberal Mexico. Dr. Barrios received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of New Orleans in 1996 and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Florida in 2004.



CutterSusan Cutter
“Assessing Community Resilience: What Matters and Where Do You Start”

Dr. Susan Cutter is a Carolina Distinguished Professor of Geography at the University of South Carolina and the Director of the University’s Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute. Her primary research interests are in the area of vulnerability science, where she focuses on what makes people and the places they live in vulnerable to extreme events and how this vulnerability is measured, monitored, and assessed.




DavidsonMargaret Davidson
“How Big Should My Water Wings Be”

Margaret Davidson is currently serving as the Acting Director of the NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.

Before joining NOAA, Margaret A. Davidson was executive director of the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium from 1983 to 1995. She also served as special counsel and assistant attorney general for the Louisiana Department of Justice.

An active participant in coastal resource management issues since 1978, Davidson earned her juris doctorate (J.D. degree) in natural resources law from Louisiana State University. She later earned a master’s degree in marine policy and resource economics from the University of Rhode Island.

Davidson holds a faculty appointment at the University of Charleston and serves on the adjunct faculties of Clemson University and the University of South Carolina.

She has served on numerous local, state, and federal committees and has provided leadership for national professional societies. She has focused her professional work on environmentally sustainable aquaculture, mitigation of coastal hazards, and impacts of climate variability on coastal resources. Davidson served as the acting assistant administrator for NOAA’s National Ocean Service from 2000 to 2002.


Bob Gough PhotoBob Gough
“Intertribal COUP Vision for Building Indigenous Sustainability”

Bob Gough grew up fishing, clamming and crabbing along the New Jersey shore in the traditional homelands of his Leni Lenape relations.  He is an attorney with graduate degrees in sociology and cultural ecology with over 35 years experience in tribal cultural and natural resource issues, from protecting traditional wild foods from the impacts of mining to securing hydropower benefits from the Missouri River, and serves as secretary of the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy composed of 15 Tribes in the Northern Great Plains.

As first director of the Rosebud Tribal Utility Commission, Gough participated in WAPA negotiations for tribal allocations of federal hydroelectric power.  He co-chaired the national assessment’s Native Peoples/Native Homelands Climate Change Workshops (NPNH1 & NPNH2) and has participated in the Kyoto Protocol COPs 6 in The Hague and the COPs 6b in Bonn as part of the Indigenous Peoples delegation. He also maintains a private law practice in indigenous rights.

A member of the Western Governors’ Clean and Diversified Energy Advisory Committee, Gough worked with the DOE’s Wind Powering Native America Initiative, and co-directs the Native Wind Powering America supporting tribal interests in building sustainable homeland economies based upon efficiency and renewable energy. The Intertribal COUP plan for tribal wind development across the West was awarded the inaugural World Clean Energy Award for Courage, in Basel, Switzerland and announced at the Clinton Global Initiative.


Verhick PhotoRob Verchick
“When FEMA Heads for the Hills: Climate Retreat, Disaster Recovery, and the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act”

Rob Verchick holds the Gauthier-St. Martin Chair in Environmental Law at Loyola University New Orleans, where he is Faculty Director of the Center for Environmental Law. He is also Senior Fellow in Disaster Resilience Leadership at Tulane University. Professor Verchick recently served in the Obama administration as Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In that role he helped develop climate adaptation policy for the EPA and served on President Obama’s Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force. In the fall of 2012, he researched climate adaptation policies in India as a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, supported by a Fulbright-Nehru Environmental Leadership Award.

Professor Verchick’s writing focuses on environmental regulation, climate change adaptation, and the developing field of disaster law. His work has appeared in many venues, including the California Law Review, the Southern California Law Review, and the environmental law journals at Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley. He is an author of  three books, including, Facing Catastrophe: Environmental Action for a Post-Katrina World (Harvard University Press 2010) which was selected as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association.

Born in Las Vegas with parents and grandparents who worked in the local resorts, Professor Verchick developed an early appreciation for hot climates and long odds. He is married and has three sons.


C_ZevenbergenChris Zevenbergen

Chris Zevenbergen is professor at the Water Engineering Department of UNESCO-IHE and at TuDelft, The Netherlands. He chairs the Flood Resilience Chair Group of UNESCO-IHE. He is also strategic advisor of the Executive Board of the Dura Vermeer Group NV and Member of the Board of the Public Private Innovation Platform Clean Tech Delta (CTD), The Netherlands. He worked as a researcher on various environmental issues related to the building industry, such as environmental impact assessments, product development, emission modeling, testing procedures, building codes and guidelines in the 1980s followed by 20 years international research and consultancy in environmental engineering and water management of urban systems. In the past 15 years he has accumulated extensive national and international experience with integrated approaches to manage floods in urban environments.




Jeff Carney PhotoJeff Carney
“LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio”

Jeffrey Carney is Associate Professor at the LSU School of Architecture and Director of the Coastal Sustainability Studio (CSS). Jeff’s work in Louisiana has centered on trans-disciplinary efforts to plan and design in the dynamic Gulf Coast Environment. Working with a broad range of scientists, engineers, and designers the CSS offers design solutions to the most pressing and complex problems that face Gulf Coast Communities.

Jeff received his BA from Washington University in St. Louis and master’s degrees in both architecture and city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He was recipient of the Branner Travelling Fellowship while at Berkeley which allowed him to study modernist neighborhood form in many parts of the world.

Jeff has significant experience in sustainable large scale planning, urban design and architectural design from projects he was engaged in while working at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill in San Francisco including The Parkmerced neighborhood sustainability masterplan, and the San Francisco Transbay terminal and tower competition, among other large scale works.

Over the course of the first five years of the CSS Jeff has been involved with the development of numerous projects. Recently, Jeff directed the Mayors’ Institute on City Design’s 2013 Southern Regional session. He is currently directing a multiyear project called the Louisiana Resiliency Assistance Program sponsored through HUD.


Brad Case PhotoBrad Case

Brad is the Acting Director of Mitigation for the City of New Orleans.  Created in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Hazard Mitigation Branch of the City’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is responsible for developing and implementing mitigation policy throughout the City of New Orleans.  This includes implementation of the City’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, administration of all FEMA mitigation programs for private property and infrastructure and advancing of the awareness of mitigation concepts and practices for communities and businesses.  The Mitigation Office also represents the City throughout the state and the country to promote and achieve the sustainability and resilience of the City.


Cry You One Photo v2Cry You One

Cry You One is an outdoor performance and online storytelling platform that journeys into the heart of Louisiana’s disappearing wetlands. Pioneered by the New Orleans based companies ArtSpot and Mondo Bizarro, Cry You One celebrates the people and cultures of South Louisiana while turning clear eyes on the crisis of our vanishing coast. The result of nearly eighteen months of research and artistic exploration, Cry You One premiered in fall 2013 as a 2.5 mile theatrical procession using poetry, song, small group interaction and imagined scenarios to educate and inspire audiences to get involved in the movement to save coastal Louisiana.


M_DavisMark Davis

Mark Davis joined the Tulane University Law School as a Senior Research Fellow in January 2007 and is the founding Director of the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy. For the past fourteen years he served as executive director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana where he helped shape programs and policies at the state and federal level to improve the stewardship of the wetlands and waters of coastal Louisiana, one of the world’s greatest coastal and estuarine resources.

Davis has practiced law in Indianapolis, the District of Columbia, and Chicago and has taught at the Indiana University (Indianapolis) School of Business and the IIT-Chicago Kent School of Law in Chicago. He has lectured widely on the topic of water resource management and stewardship and has testified numerous times before Congress on the need for a focused and effective commitment to the viability of coastal Louisiana and other vital natural treasures.


Des Marais Photo 2Eric Des Marais
Presentation from BRW V

Eric Des Marais, MSW, LCSW, is an adjunct faculty and doctoral candidate at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work.  His research examines adaptation within the context of disasters and climate change.  He currently focuses on the resettlement of coastal communities in northern Japan, where he lived for over five years.  Other current research projects include a network analysis of immigrant and refugee service providers in Denver, Colorado and a network analysis of anti-trafficking organizations in Peru.  He also teaches classes on community development, research methods, and program evaluation.





Shannon Dosemagen PhotoShannon Dosemagen
“Grassroots Science Tools for Community Monitoring”

A founder of Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, Shannon is based in New Orleans as President of the organization, overseeing the work of the Public Lab nonprofit. Public Lab is a recipient of an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Institute Challenge, a runner-up for the Ars Electronica Digital Communities prize and a two time Knight Foundation, Knight New Challenge winner.

With a background in community organizing and education, Shannon held positions with the Anthropology and Geography Department at Louisiana State University as a Community Researcher and Ethnographer on a study about the social impacts of the BP oil spill in coastal Louisiana and worked at the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, conducting the first on-the-ground health and economic impact surveying in Louisiana post-spill. Shannon is specifically interested in infusing traditional organizing methods of the environmental sector with new media technologies and tools.

She has an MS in Anthropology and Nonprofit Management and has worked with nonprofits for over fourteen years. She is a 2013 Environmental Leadership Program Fellow, a 2012 Loyola University Institute for Environmental Communications Fellow, a current member of the Public Participation in Scientific Research steering committee (working on developing the Citizen Science Association) and a consultant for the New Orleans Food and Farm Network on developing a toolkit for land access and urban farming.


English_2013Elizabeth English

Dr. Elizabeth C English, Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and formerly with the LSU Hurricane Center and Tulane School of Architecture in Louisiana, works on the development of amphibious foundation systems as a flood mitigation strategy that supports the preservation of traditional housing forms and cultural practices.  Her current focus is on projects in south Louisiana, the Canadian north, Bangladesh and Nicaragua.  She came to flood mitigation from a background of many years of research in the field of wind engineering, specifically in the areas of wind effects on tall buildings and hurricane wind mitigation.

She is the founder and director of the Buoyant Foundation Project, a not-for-profit organization based in Louisiana that is a leader in the development of amphibious technologies for affordable housing and for retrofitting existing homes.  She is also the founder and organizer of the Building Resilience Workshops in New Orleans.  Both of these projects promote strategies that work WITH water to enhance community resilience, and both encourage the use of redundant forms of flood mitigation to diffuse the concentration of risk that leads to catastrophe in the wake of the inevitable failure of a single-line-of-defense system.   Dr. English is a member of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association (NHMA), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Association of State Flood Plain Managers (ASFPM), the NHMA Climate Change Adaptation Committee, the ASCE Multi-Hazard Mitigation Committee, the ASFPM Non-Structural Floodproofing Committee and the University of Waterloo Water Institute.

Dr. English’s experience in education, practice, teaching and research is in both the fields of Architecture and Civil Engineering.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University, a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Master of Science and PhD degrees in Architectural Theory from the University of Pennsylvania.


“Sci-TEK: Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Geospatial Data for Mapping Local Priorities”

Michelle Esposito has worked at The University of New Orleans-Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology (UNO-CHART) as a Sociologist since 2006, first as a graduate student, then as a consultant and now as a full-time research associate. Her first project at centered on two Katrina ravaged Orleans neighborhoods. The study focused on residents’ deciding factors for returning or relocating, and included geo-spatial analysis to determine which census tracts would be repopulated and which would struggle. Esposito also worked to develop a tool for measuring the Other Social Effects (OSE’s) of flood plain disasters for the US Army Corps of Engineers. Her work on the Sci-TEK project helped develop a methodology for incorporating Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of coastal residents into coastal restoration decision making. The project team modeled TEK and was able to build maps representing which restoration methods to implement and under which bio-physical conditions the local experts recommend building them. Esposito also worked to evaluate and reform the Stafford Act, which dictates federal response to disasters. For this project, her work focused specifically on mental health policy and case management. Esposito is also an adjunct at the University of New Orleans where she teaches Social Research Methods, Social Statistics, Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems and Environmental Sociology.


Farris PhotoMonica Farris

Dr. Monica Farris is an Associate Professor-Research and the Director of the Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology (CHART) at The University of New Orleans (UNO).  She earned her MA degree from Louisiana State University and PhD degree from the University of New Orleans, both in Political Science, the latter with a public administration/public policy specialization.  Her current applied research includes the examination of local repetitive flood loss data to assist communities in the identification of appropriate mitigation strategies and education and outreach focusing on disaster resilience.  She currently serves as principal investigator for the UNO Disaster Resistant University Project.  Dr. Farris has published on the subject of building internal capacity for disaster resilience and has presented multiple times on hazard risk reduction and disaster planning.  She is also recognized as a Certified Floodplain Manager by the Association of State Floodplain Managers.


Patty Ferguson PhotoPatty Ferguson-Bohnee
Presentation from BRW V

Professor Ferguson-Bohnee is the Director of the Indian Legal Clinic, Faculty Director of the Indian Legal Program, and Clinical Professor of Law, at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

Professor Ferguson-Bohnee has substantial experience in Indian law, election law and voting rights, and status clarification for tribes.  She has assisted in complex voting rights litigation on behalf of tribes, and has drafted amicus briefs to the United States Supreme Court for tribal clients with respect to voting rights issues.  She serves as the Native Vote Election Protection Coordinator for the State of Arizona and has testified before Congress regarding Indian voting issues.  Professor Ferguson-Bohnee has also testified before the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the Louisiana State Legislature regarding tribal recognition.  She successfully assisted four bayou tribes in obtaining recognition from the State of Louisiana.  More recently, she has been involved in advocating for the rights of unrecognized tribes in response to environmental disasters.

Professor Ferguson-Bohnee received her Bachelors degree with Honors in Native American Studies with an Emphasis in Policy and Law from Stanford University and her Juris Doctorate from Columbia University School of Law with a certificate in Foreign and Comparative Law.

Professor Ferguson-Bohnee is a member of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe.


Jonathan Foret PhotoJonathan Foret

As a native of Chauvin, Jonathan Foret grew up in a culture-rich environment from working on shrimp boats as a young boy to speaking Louisiana French to his grandmother.  He graduated from South Terrebonne High School and received his bachelor’s degree in English from Nicholls State University.  He taught English at Grand Caillou Middle and later in Brooklyn, New York before he joined the Peace Corps.

He served in the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific for two years where he taught English as a second language, served as community development coordinator and taught the Tongans how to use a Louisiana cast net.  He returned to the States to work for several nonprofit organizations before leaving again to take a position with a disabled people’s organization in Bangladesh.  This work led him to work for the United Nations in the Asia Pacific region where he did monitoring and evaluation visits in several countries in the area.

Upon completion of this work he returned to the United States to receive his master’s in Public Administration from the University of New Orleans.  He is proud to be working with the board of directors for the Wetlands Discovery Center to move the organization’s vision forward.


Cherri Foytlin PhotoCherri Foytlin

Cherri Foytlin is a freelance journalist, author, advocate, speaker and mother of six, who lives in South Louisiana – an area inundated with industrial pollution. She is the author of “Spill It! The Truth About the Deep Water Horizon Oil Rig Explosion,” and regularly contributes to www.BridgetheGulfProject.org, the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and several local newspapers. In the Spring of 2011, she walked to Washington D.C. from New Orleans (1,243 miles) to call for action to stop the BP Deep Water Drilling Disaster, and has been a constant voice speaking out for the health and ecosystem of Gulf Coast communities in countless forms of media. As an advocate for climate justice, she has participated in numerous actions and events across the nation and in the UK. In addition, she is a co-founder of The Mother’s Project – Gulf Coast and Idle No More Gulf Coast.


Honore PhotoGen. Russell Honore

Lieutenant General Honoré is a native of Lakeland, Louisiana.  He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture upon graduation from Southern University and A&M College in 1971.  He holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources from Troy State University as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Southern University and A&M College, an Honorary Doctorate in Laws from Stillman College, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Virginia State University, Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Stillman College, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Loyola University, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Virginia State University & an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Meharry Medical College.

Prior to his command of Joint Task Force-Katrina – leading the Department of Defense response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana – General Honoré served in a variety of command and staff positions which focused on Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense. As Vice Director for Operations, J-3, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., and, as the Commander, Standing Joint Force Headquarters-Homeland Security, United States Northern Command, General Honoré’s focus was Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense. For four of the past six hurricane seasons, he supported the Department of Defense planning and response for Hurricanes Floyd in 1999; Lilli and Isidore in 2002 (both hit the Gulf Coast); Isabel in 2003; and Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in 2004. General Honoré also planned and supported the United States military response to the devastating flooding which swept Venezuela 1999 and Mozambique in 2000. As Vice Director for Operations, he led the Defense Department’s planning and preparation for the anticipated Y2K Millennium anomaly. As Commander of SJFHQ-HLS under NORTHCOM direction, he planned and oversaw the military response to the Space Shuttle Columbia Tragedy and the DC Sniper Shootings. Additionally, General Honoré participated in three TOPOFF (Top Officials) exercises as well as the United Endeavor series of Homeland Defense exercises.

Among his assignments are Commanding General, First Army; Commanding General, SJFHQ-HLS, U.S. Northern Command; Commanding General, 2d Infantry Division, Korea; Deputy Commanding General/Assistant Commandant, United States Army Infantry Center and School, Fort Benning, Georgia; and the Assistant Division Commander, Maneuver/Support, 1st Calvary Division, Fort Hood, Texas.  He has also served as the Brigade Commander, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia; Senior Mechanized Observer/Controller, “Scorpion 07,” National Training Center (25 rotations); and Commander, 4th Battalion, 16th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Germany.

General Honoré’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Distinguished Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (two Bronze Service Stars), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (one Bronze Service Star) the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon (4), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi), the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. Qualification badges include the Expert Infantry Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Joint Staff Identification Badge.

General Honoré retired on February 29, 2008, following 37 years of active service with the United States Army.  He continues to speak and consult nationally on Building a Culture of Preparedness.



Pamela Jenkins is a Research Professor of Sociology and faculty in the Women’s Studies Program at the University of New Orleans.  She is a founding faculty member of UNO’s Center for Hazard Assessment, Response and Technology (CHART). Before Katrina, her research interests were diverse but focused on how communities respond to a variety of problems. Her research interests post Katrina include documenting the response to Katrina as part of a national research team on Hurricane Katrina evacuees. She has published on first responders, faith-based communities’ response to the storm, and the experiences of elderly during and after Katrina. Throughout her career, she has evaluated a number of national and local efforts focused on community sustainability. At a community level, she is involved in several projects that work directly with best practice for violence prevention including domestic and community violence.



A_JohnsonArthur Johnson

Arthur was born in the Nation’s Capital, but his roots are in New Orleans and date back to visits with his grandmother who lived in the Lower Ninth Ward on Fostall Street. He grew up in Washington, DC, and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from The George Washington University and the University of the District of Columbia, respectively. He relocated to New Orleans in 1999 where he has established himself as an accomplished fundraising professional and non-profit leader with a number of educational institutions and non-profit organizations. This has included work with Tulane and Xavier Universities and the New Orleans Public Schools. More recently, he has served as Regional Vice President for Major Gifts with the American Heart Association, Director for the Office of Development for Episcopal Community Services of Louisiana, and Chief Development Officer for Operation Reach. As CSED’s Executive Director, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization and works closely with staff and volunteers to advance CSED’s key initiatives focused on Food Security, the Natural Environment and the Built Environment.



S_LaskaShirley Laska

Shirley Laska is an environmental/hazards and community sociology specialist.  She is Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of New Orleans and Founding Director Emerita of the UNO Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology (UNO-CHART), a center that strives to support the resiliency of communities facing environmental challenges.  Committed to the creation and application of applied social science methods that can support the self-efficacy and accomplishment of resilient, sustainable, just communities, Shirley concentrates her applied research efforts on Louisiana coastal communities, both small and large.  The fate of these communities stands as an example, in light of their experience with natural and technological hazards, of the likely fate of many communities worldwide in a future with climate change, energy extraction activities and the general mistreatment of the environment.  Recently she co-founded with Kristina Peterson the Lowlander Center, a non-profit organization committed to resiliency research, education and activism for coastal communities affected by sea level rise.



John LopezJohn Lopez
“The Origin and Future of Louisiana’s Crisis of Vulnerability”

Dr. John Lopez is a coastal scientist who is LPBF’s Executive Director and Director of the Coastal Sustainability Program.  He has multi-disciplinary training in Geology, Engineering, and Biological Sciences and has handled project assignments for CWPPRA while working for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Dr. Lopez developed the Multiple Lines of Defense Strategy, which integrates flood protection and coastal restoration. He has chaired the Lake Pontchartrain Artificial Reef Working Group that has constructed nine reefs in Lake Pontchartrain from 2000 to 2009; the artificial reefs have been shown to increase fish population and biodiversity in the lake. Dr. Lopez received the Conservationist of the Year Award in 2008 from the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and the Coastal Zone 05 Conference Award from NOAA.


Nicole Love PhotoNicole Love
“Gulf of Mexico Coastal Resilience: A Decision Support Tool for Restoration and Coastal Hazards”

Nicole Love is the Coastal Restoration and Resilience Project Manager for the Louisiana Chapter of the Nature Conservancy based in Baton Rouge, LA.  Her primary role at TNC is to advance utilization of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Resilience Decision Support Tool in the Gulf Region through stakeholder engagement and training. Before starting with TNC in September 2012, Nicole worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on watershed issues in Northeast Florida.






Telley Madina PhotoTelley Madina

Born and raised in New Orleans Telley Savalas Madina is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans and is pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of New Orleans.  During and immediately following Hurricane Katrina Telley  worked as a Business Service Representative and Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison for the City of New Orleans focused on issues of small business recovery, contracting and policy equity within coastal Louisiana.

Having served as Executive Director of the Louisiana Oystermen Association following the BP Oil Disaster, Telley has traveled to Washington, D.C. 27 times advocating for minority fishing communities across the Gulf of Mexico within governmental agencies, Congressional and Senate offices.  Currently Telley serves at the Gulf Coast Policy Officer for Oxfam America, an International Non-Governmental Organization, concerned with sustainability of impoverished people, communities of color and women in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.  As a lobbyist in Baton Rouge, Telley monitors issues of flood insurance rates, coastal development projects and workforce development training from Calcasieu to St. Tammany Parish.

Telley is a volunteer coach with New Orleans Recreation Department and an avid political consultant participating in Federal, State and Local elections.  As the South Eastern Regional Director for the Young Democrats of LA he has advocated for increase of minority and women participation in early voting over the last two elections cycles.  Telley is a graduate of Vice-President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, Loyola Institute of Politics and Congressional Black Caucus Political Boot Camp.  He is the recipient of the Esprit De Fraternite’ Award of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Gambit’s 2013 40 Under 40 People to watch in Greater New Orleans.

Telley is the son of Mardi Gras seamstress and a deceased foreman for Sewerage and Water Board.  He is married with two kids, Telley Jr. and Lacey and one on the way.


Julie Koppel Maldonado PhotoJulie Koppel Maldonado
“Relocation and Obstacles Panel”

Julie Koppel Maldonado is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C. Her doctoral research focuses on three tribal communities in coastal Louisiana who are experiencing the impacts of rapid environmental change. She has worked with a displaced Ogoni community in South and West Africa, consulted for the World Bank and the Global Gender and Climate Alliance. Julie recently completed a consultancy for the United Nations Development Programme on post-disaster needs assessments. She currently works on engagement activities and issues related to indigenous peoples and climate change for the U.S. National Climate Assessment. Julie’s research interests include collaborative, community-based research and applied anthropology.




Camille Manning-Broome PhotoCamille Manning-Broome

Bringing a combination of experience in both social and hard sciences, Camille Manning-Broome oversees multi-disciplinary statewide planning efforts that provide grant funding, technical assistance and model tools to communities across Louisiana. She has spearheaded and directed cross-institutional projects such as the Louisiana Land Use Toolkit, Coastal Best Practices Manual, and other statewide initiatives. She has also worked on planning efforts at the local scale with over 15 communities across the state.

Prior to working at CPEX, Manning-Broome worked at the Shaw Group where she assisted in the development of the first Comprehensive Master Plan for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.  Prior to Shaw, she was part of the management in FEMA’s Louisiana Speaks process overseeing the development of 26 Parish recovery plans, now being implemented across the state.

Manning-Broome is a frequent presenter at universities and conferences, has received various awards, and was a guest and participant on Congressional delegation trips to the Netherlands and Japan to study water and disaster management, both led by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. A native of Baton Rouge, she earned her Bachelor’s degree and M.S. in Environmental Sciences at LSU. Manning-Broome is partial owner of Renovate Urban Properties, a company that purchases blighted apartment complexes for renovation.  This work has resulted in the rejuvenation and increase in property value in Mid-City, Baton Rouge.


Douglas Meffert PhotoDoug Meffert

Doug is a vice president of the National Audubon Society and executive director of Audubon Louisiana.  In his role, Doug leads Audubon Louisiana’s programming which includes large scale coastal and Gulf of Mexico restoration, state coastal master plan implementation, state-of-the-art hydrodynamic applied research, bottomland hardwood conservation in central and northern Louisiana, and chapter activist engagement as part of Audubon’s Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign.  In addition, he leads the management of the Paul J. Rainey Sanctuary, Audubon’s oldest and largest sanctuary and he stewards the protection of Louisiana’s 23 Important Bird Areas in coordination with Audubon’s Mississippi Flyway and Gulf Initiative programs. More recently, Doug has expanded Louisiana’s work to include international collaborations including ongoing work in conserving critical mangrove habitats in Panama Bay, Panama, given Louisiana’s linkages to this critical place for multiple flyways.  Doug is also a faculty associate at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy based in Cambridge, MA.


G_MendozaGrasshopper Mendoza

Grasshopper Mendoza is a real estate broker with NAI/Latter & Blum, Inc. where she emphasizes green building and sustainable development in the commercial sector. She Co-Chairs the Horizon Initiative’s Water Management Committee and serves as a program manager for the award-winning Greater New Orleans Foundation/Idea Village Water Challenge business development competition. She is a Fellow of the Loyola Institute for Environmental Communication and of the Puentas Public Leaders Fellowship. Grasshopper earned a degree in International Business from San Francisco State University, and studied for three semesters at Mexico’s ITESM University. She has happily called New Orleans her home since 2003.




Meraux FoundationMeraux Foundation




David Muth PhotoDavid Muth

David Muth is a New Orleans native who has spent a lifetime in the Mississippi River delta and on the Louisiana coast, studying its geology, ecology, plants, wildlife, history and culture. He took his degree in history at University of New Orleans and became professionally interested in the connection between culture and environment in the context of the delta. He worked for 30 years with the National Park Service at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in south Louisiana, eventually managing its natural and cultural resource programs. At the beginning of 2011, he joined the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign as the Louisiana State Director of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).

The campaign is a joint effort among NWF, Environmental Defense Fund and the National Audubon Society, along with local partners like the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, and the Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, to bring about comprehensive, systemic restoration of the Mississippi River delta. They are working to find and seek consensus and national support for an ecologically sound and sustainable program to restore the flow of the Mississippi River to its dying delta, and to do so in a way that preserves the communities and culture of coastal Louisiana to the maximum extent possible.


A_NaquinChief Albert Naquin

Chief Albert P. Naquin is a retired Federal employee from the Department of Interior/Mineral Management Service (MMS).  He was an oil field safety inspector in the Gulf of Mexico for MMS and for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Colorado and New Mexico.  Albert P. Naquin is the chief of the community of Isle de Jean Charles and of the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, Inc.  He has been the chief since 1997.  He is the 5th chief of Isle de Jean Charles since the community started developing in the early 1800’s.  He is very proud to be the chief of a community of wonderful people and to follow the footsteps of the great leaders before him.  The first three chiefs saw Isle de Jean Charles grow from nothing to a beautiful community.  Now as chief, Albert is watching the community that was so beautiful when he was growing up wash away, because of salt-water intrusion.

Albert really didn’t claim or want to be an Indian until 1995, because of what he went through as a child and the way people talked about Indians.  In 1995 Thomas Dardar and Albert had a long talk after a Pow-Wow about Indians and Albert also read Dee Brown’s book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.  From then on Albert has been a true Indian and now chief.


Tim Osborn PhotoTim Osborn
“Action and Reaction: Moving to Pro Activity and Resilience”

Tim Osborn is the manager for the Eastern Gulf, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey.  He held previous positions with NOAA National Marine Fisheries, NOAA Headquarters.  Prior to joining NOAA, Osborn gave 4 years of Service as a Staffer in the U.S. Senate working on Natural Resources, Energy and Appropriations Issues.

Osborn is a graduate of Louisiana State University, with a Masters in Marine Sciences and Masters in Public Administration. He earned an Undergraduate Degree at Florida State University.






David Perkes PhotoDavid Perkes

David Perkes is a licensed architect and Professor for Mississippi State University.  He is the founding director of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, a professional outreach program of the College of Architecture, Art + Design. The design studio was established in Biloxi, Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina and is providing planning, landscape and architectural design support to many Gulf Coast communities and non-profit organizations.  The design studio has assisted in the renovation of hundreds of damaged homes and over two hundred new house projects in Biloxi and other communities.  The Biloxi house projects were awarded an Honor Citation from the Gulf States Region AIA in 2007, a Terner Award for Innovative Housing and a Mississippi AIA Honor Citation in 2009.  The Bayou Auguste restoration project received a Mississippi AIA Honor Citation in 2012.  Before creating the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, David was the director of the Jackson Community Design Center and taught in the School of Architecture’s fifth year program in Jackson, Mississippi.  David has a Master of Environmental Design degree from Yale School of Architecture, a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Utah, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Utah State University.  In 2004 David was awarded a Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.  David is part of a four person national team to receive the 2011 Latrobe Prize from the American Institute of Architects.  The prize supported research in Public Interest Practices in Architecture.  Gulf Coast Community Design Studio is currently part of one of ten teams selected by HUD to participate in “Rebuild By Design,” which is a program to identify resilient design strategies for communities affected by Hurricane Sandy.


K_PetersonKristina Peterson

Kristina J. Peterson acts as a research assistant for the Center for Hazards Assessment, Response & Technology, in conjunction with completing a doctorate in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of New Orleans.  She is also a pastor at the Bayou Blue Presbyterian Church in Louisiana and a member of the international steering committee for the Gender and Disaster Network.

Ms. Peterson holds a BA in Ethnic Studies, an MDiv in History and Ethnic studies, and an STM in Ethics. She has previously acted as executive director of the Interfaith Consortium, before becoming an interim associate with Synod Executive for Racial and Community Justice for the Synod of the Trinity PC.  Preceding her involvement with CHART-UNO, she served as a community disaster consultant with the Presbyterian Church.  She also helped FEMA incorporate the non-profit and religious sector into their development of Project Impact (PI).  She has taught classes on vulnerability reduction for marginalized communities at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute’s Family and Community Protection program.  For the past five years, Peterson has worked intimately with traditional and indigenous coastal communities in Louisiana.


Rosina Philippe PhotoRosina Philippe

Rosina Philippe is a lifetime resident of coastal Louisiana, a Community leader and member of the Atakapa-Ishak/Cawasha tribe.  She is an advocate for preservation of traditional cultural practices, and the ecosystems that support these practices. For many years Rosina has partnered with leaders from other communities, along with faith-based and non-profit organizations, to work for sustainability of rural communities and traditional family fishers. Her work focuses on racial justice, economic sustainability, and coastal restoration/preservation.



Chris Pulaski PhotoChris Pulaski
“Land Use and Development Patterns in Terrebonne Parish”

Chris Pulaski is the Senior Planner and Zoning Administrator for Terrebonne Parish.  In 2009, Chris became actively involved in the issues facing South Louisiana’s coast while working for the National Wildlife Federation’s Mississippi River Delta Restoration campaign.  Mr. Pulaski has practiced landscape architecture worldwide for nearly 20 years and has been involved in a broad range of projects from community planning in mountain regions dealing with storm water runoff and erosion control to beach and island resort design which dealt with a variety of coastal concerns.  He received his BLA from Louisiana State University in 1996 and now lives in Houma with his wife, Melissa Larke Pulaski, and their three boys.   His favorite movies are the original Star Wars, Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski.




Brenda Dardar Robichaux PhotoBrenda Dardar Robichaux

Brenda Dardar-Robichaux was elected Principal Chief of the 17,000 member United Houma Nation in 1997 and served in this position for 13 years.

She stared the UHN Relief Fund and established a relief center where thousands of community members were served after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Times Picayune has named Brenda a New Orleans’ 10 Heroes of the Storm.

Brenda and her husband Dr. Mike established a new medical practice providing free medical evaluations and treatment helping those experiencing severe health problems as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. She testified twice before Congress on the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. Her work has been sited in National Geographic Special Report The Spill –  “I Am the Ocean” campaign.

Brenda represented the United States at Courage to Lead, global summit on human rights for women leaders in Geneva, Switzerland.  The French Government, making her the first Houma Medal Chief of the Nation in over 200 years, presented Brenda a medal. The Ms Foundation for Women recognized Brenda with the Woman of Vision Award.

The Tides Foundation honored Brenda with the Jane Bagley Lehman Award for the impact of her activism and ongoing commitment to Gulf Coast communities.


C_SarthouCyn Sarthou

Cynthia (Cyn) M. Sarthou has been Executive Director of the Gulf Restoration Network (GRN), headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana since 1995. The GRN is a diverse network committed to uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the resources of the Gulf Region. The GRN works to coordinate build the capacity of grassroots groups across the Gulf, and pursues regional campaigns on priority issues that include: (1) monitoring and advocacy in the aftermath of the BP Oil Disaster; (2) water pollution, most particularly nitrogen pollution causing the Dead Zone; and (3) increasing resilience of coastal communities through application of a multiple coastal lines of defense approach.

Cyn received her B.A. from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, her law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1983 and her Masters of Law in Law and Marine Affairs from the University of Washington in 1992.   She has received the River Hero Award for her work to stop the Yazoo Backwater Pumps Project in Mississippi, the Hero of the Seas Award for her years of advocacy for the marine resources of the Gulf, and the Brock Evans Award for Endangered Species Protection.


Pat Skinner PhotoPat Skinner

Pat Skinner is a Disaster Recovery and Mitigation Specialist with the LSU AgCenter Cooperative Extension. She began working with Extension during an HMGP-funded Amite River Basin project to elevate homes with their slabs, and continues to develop disaster recovery and mitigation educational materials. She advocates better risk education for people who live and work in levee-protected areas and areas that will see increased hazards through climate change and sea level rise. She authored the “Levees” article for PERI’s 2006 Yearbook. Since fall 2013 she has been helping Louisiana understand and adapt to the 2012 NFIP reforms.

Pat is a member of the Louisiana Floodplain Management Association, co-chaired the ASFPM Floodproofing and Retrofitting Committee for 15 years, and is past chair and current web manager for the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN).  Her programs are delivered primarily through interagency networking, the LaHouse Resource Center, and several LSU AgCenter websites, including the “Rebuilding” section of LSUAgCenter.com (a.k.a. The Road Home’s rebuilding information resource for Katrina/Rita recovery). Her interactive mapping site for flood and wind hazards (http://floodmaps.lsuagcenter.com) is heavily used by both public and private sectors.

Pat’s BS and MS degrees are in Biochemistry and Zoology (Genetics), respectively, both conferred by LSU-Baton Rouge.


Rebecca Snedeker PhotoRebecca Snedeker
Selection from Unfathomable City

Rebecca Snedeker is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and writer whose work supports human rights and creative expression in her native New Orleans. Most recently, she collaborated with Rebecca Solnit and a host of contributing cartographers, writers, visual artists, and researchers to create Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas (University of California Press), a book of 22 imaginative maps and essays. Snedeker has produced several feature documentaries that take place in New Orleans, including By Invitation Only (PBS), Witness: Katrina (National Geographic Channel), and Land of Opportunity (ARTE). She is a member of the 40-year-old filmmaker-owned distribution company New Day Films and has served on the boards of the New Orleans Film Society and Patois: New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival. She is a recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.



B_ThomasBoo Thomas

Well versed in local community planning activities, Thomas has led neighborhood redevelopment efforts in Baton Rouge since obtaining her Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from LSU. As the former head of Plan Baton Rouge and the Mid-City Redevelopment Alliance, Thomas has been an advocate for smart growth in Louisiana throughout her career.  After Katrina, she led CPEX in facilitating the Louisiana Speaks recovery process, the largest planning effort ever undertaken in Louisiana. The process resulted in the Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan, a comprehensive plan created through the participation of over 27,000 South Louisiana residents.

In recognition of her contributions to Louisiana, Thomas has been honored by the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, the Baton Rouge Business Report, LSU and the Louisiana Architecture Foundation. In 2009, Thomas and CPEX were awarded the Olmsted Medal by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for “incredible leadership and set the standard for bringing community members and leaders together to work toward a shared vision for future growth and development.”


Jeff Thomas PhotoJeff Thomas

Jeffrey Thomas is a New Orleans attorney with over 15 years of law and policy experience focused on environmental protection, economic development, disaster recovery, renewable energy, and increasing public participation in government.  As principal of Thomas Strategies, LLC, Jeffrey helps facilitate public-private financing and policy solutions to spur resilient and sustainable community and economic development.

Jeffrey recently coordinated the New Orleans Citizen Sewer, Water & Drainage System Reform Task Force, which was created at the request of the City of New Orleans to recommend existing opportunities to improve the City’s water and flood protection systems, including means for reducing polluting runoff and reducing subsidence by safely absorbing more storm water within public spaces.

Jeffrey’s local experience also includes service as in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as Special Assistant to the New Orleans Office of Recovery & Development Administration, in which he supervised post-disaster policy development aimed at blight reduction, neighborhood commercial revitalization, and sustainable public infrastructure investment.

Jeffrey’s community efforts have been recognized with several honors, including the New Orleans CityBusiness Magazine’s Leadership in Law Award, and designation among Gambit Magazine’s “Forty Under Forty” in the New Orleans region,

Jeffrey is a 2001 graduate of Tulane Law School.


Derk van Ree PhotoDerk van Ree

Derk van Ree is senior specialist currently with the Department of Scenario and Policy Analysis from Deltares, The Netherlands. He holds a Master’s Degree in Geohydrology from the Free Reformed University in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). He is senior specialist in the environmental field related to soil and groundwater issues including environmental impact assessment and sustainable development of the subsurface. He is expert member of the National Environmental Impact Assessment Committee in The Netherlands. He is actively involved in a number of European networks and research projects in the field of soil- and groundwater.

He is the European project coordinator for the EU Seventh Framework Programme research project FloodProBE on technologies for the cost-effective Flood Protection of the Built Environment, a project in which 14 partners from 7 different European Member States perform cooperative research in the field of flood risk management. He is member of the local organizing committee for the international FLOODrisk2012-conference in Rotterdam (NL) held in November 2012 and the coming FLOODrisk2016-conference that is organized in Lyon (France).

He is currently developing an EU-project proposal on setting up a Community of Practice for flood risk management under the EU HORIZON2020 research program.


Monique Verdin

Monique Verdin is a native daughter of southeast Louisiana.  Her intimate documentation of the Mississippi River Deltas’ indigenous Houma nation exposes the complex interconnectedness of environment, economics, culture, climate and change. Monique is the subject/co-writer/co-producer of the documentary My Louisiana Love (2012). Her photographs and words are included in the Unfathomable City : A New Orleans Atlas (2013); she is a current collaborator and performer of Cry You One (2014).


D_WaggonerDavid Waggonner

David Waggonner is principal of Waggonner & Ball Architects, a New Orleans- based architecture and planning fi rm.  Subsequent to Hurricane Katrina, Waggonner & Ball developed the Recovery Framework for St. Bernard Parish. With the support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the American Planning Association, Mr. Waggonner has continued the effort to define more intelligently the planning and redevelopment problem that the New Orleans region presents.  A series of Dutch Dialogues has been initiated, to inform the people in the urbanized lower Mississippi River Delta about ways to integrate infrastructure, visible and invisible, with surface, ground, and water to live safely and beneficially in south Louisiana.

Waggonner received his undergraduate education at Duke University, and a Master of Architecture from Yale University.  Mr. Waggonner has served as principal-in-charge of multiple award-winning architectural projects in education, ecclesiastical, office, hotel, retail, renovation and restoration categories.


Jeff Williams PhotoJeff Williams

Mr. Jeff Williams is Senior Manager of Climate Consulting at Entergy where he plays an important role helping Entergy manage climate risks and develop strategy to build resilient communities. Mr. Williams has been a strong advocate for taking proactive, responsible action to manage climate risks.

Jeff worked on Entergy’s “Building a Resilient Gulf Coast” study which provides the first comprehensive analysis of climate risks and adaptation economics along the US Gulf Coast.

Jeff collaborated with Americas Wetland Foundation to conduct 11 “Blue Ribbon Resilient Community Leadership Forums” across the Gulf Coast to reach out to stakeholders in coastal communities, identify vulnerabilities, and educate them on risk mitigation options to preserve and protect prosperity, safety and quality of life.

Jeff helped organize two “Climate Resilience Technical Conferences” with Entergy’s coastal customers to better understand where they felt vulnerable, what they’ve done to become more resilient and how Entergy can prioritize it’s investments to compliment what they’ve done and together reduce economic losses from climate impacts

Jeff is currently serving on the U.S. Department of Interior’s newly formed “Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science” and on EPA’s National Environmental Justice Committee’s  Industrialized Waterfront  Communities Resilience Working Group.

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