Rebekah Paci-Green

Department Chair and Associate Professor · she/her/hers


Dr. Paci-Green (pronounced "Paw-Chee-Green") is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of the Resilience Institute at Western Washington University. In July 2021, she became Chair of the Environmental Studies Department.

Dr. Paci-Green received her PhD from Cornell University where she combined structural engineering and culture anthropology to study disaster risk. She carried out her research in Istanbul Turkey, where she lived for two years. She studies the physical and social vulnerability and risk perceptions in informally built districts. She used qualitative and quantitative research methods in these settlements to recommended innovative, culturally-attuned methods for decreasing population vulnerability.

Dr. Paci-Green completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at Columbia University’s Earth Institute where she studied hurricane recovery in moderate and low-income neighborhoods of New Orleans. Working with residents, local NGOs and university partners, she has established reliable information on housing damage and reparability in some of the most heavily damaged low-income neighborhoods of the city. This work formed the basis of a community recovery plan for the Ninth Ward,  which Dr. Green and others presented to the New Orleans City Council. This and other advocacy has led to the mayor’s choice to move segments of the low-income, African American neighborhood of the Lower Ninth Ward off of the “depopulation” list and onto the high-priority redevelopment list.

Since coming to Western, Dr. Paci-Green research has focused on working with community-based organizations to develop and implement disaster risk reduction strategies. This work includes developing phone apps in Fiji for family disaster preparedness, collaborating with Save the Children Australia to analyze a global survey of comprehensive school safety policy and practices, and coordinating the development of community-based safer school construction in low and moderate income nations with high hazard exposure. More recently, she spent a year in Nepal volunteering with the National Society for Earthquake Technology, supporting their staff in reflecting on and writing about their community-based, disaster risk reduction work.

She is initiating two new research projects in 2024. The first will be a second global survey of Comprehensive School Safety Policy, conducted with the United Nation's Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Education Sector. The second will be an interdisciplinary research project, funded by the National Science Foundation, and led by the University of Buffalo. The interdisciplinary teams will investigate the combined risk of sea-level rise and earthquake risk on concrete buildings. Dr. Paci-Green will investigate the social acceptance of potential mitigation options that can lower this combined risk. 

Locally, Dr. Paci-Green directs the Resilience Institute to support communities in natural hazards planning. Most recently this work has included developing the Cascadia Subduction Zone scenario for a full-scale multi-jurisdictional (local, state, and federal and British Columbia) response exercise, supporting the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in climate change adaptation planning, and coordinating the 5-year update of the Whatcom County Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan.

At Western Washington University, Dr. Paci-Green teaches courses in human ecology, the Disaster Risk Reduction minor, and advised The Planet publication from 2011-2015. 

To see the multimedia projects of the SMoCS courses and read the course newsletter, see

To read the latest issue of The Planet magazine, visit

*Earlier publications under last name Green


PhD Structural Engineering with minors in Cultural Anthropology and Science&Technology Studies, Cornell University; BS Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Washington

Research Interests

Dr. Paci-Green's research interests include how risk perception shapes social vulnerability and unsafe built environments, comprehensive school safety related to natural hazard risks, vulnerable populations, disaster risk reduction, and community-defined resilience. She is also interested in the media coverage of science and the media-science interface.



Paci-Green, R., Pandey, B., Gryc, H., Ireland, N., Young, M. 2020. Challenges and benefits of community-based safer school construction, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 44.

Paci-Green, R., Varchetta, A., McFarlane, K., Iyer, P., Goyeneche, M. 2020. Comprehensive school safety policy: A global baseline survey, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 44.

Paci-Green, R., Pandey, B. (2018). Best practices in community-based school construction. GADRRRES Research-into-Practice Brief. Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction & Resilience in the Education Sector. ±

Paci-Green, R., Vigneaux, G., Jensen, S., & Petal, M. (2018). Developing and Implementing Comprehensive School Safety Policy. GADRRRES Research-into-Practice Brief. Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction & Resilience in the Education Sector. ±

Paci-Green, R. Miscolta, A., Petal, M. McFarlane, K. (2017). Comprehensive School Safety Policy: Trends in the Asia-Pacific Region, GADDDRES,±

Paci-Green, R. Miscolta, A., Petal, M. (2017). Comprehensive School Safety Policy: Case Studies, GADDDRES, ±

Wardell, D. (videographer), Paci-Green, R. (scriptwriter), McFarlane, K. (2017). Towards Safer School Construction video series and website. Save the Children, Australia with support from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Resilience

Paci-Green, R., Pandey, B. 2016. School Construction as Catalysts for Community Change: Evidence from Safer School Construction Projects in Nepal, International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, Nepal Earthquake special issue, 34(3): 32-54.Paci-Green, R. and Pandey, B. (2015). Towards Safer School Construction: A Community-based Approach, with Save the Children, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, UNESCO, Arup International Development, and Risk RED, Melbourne: Save the Children (93 pages).

Paci-Green, R., Berardi, G. 2015. Does the global food system have an Achilles heel? The potential for regional food systems to support resilience in regional disasters, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 5:685-698. DOI: 10.1007/s13412-015-0342-9.

Green, R. 2014. Resilient Campuses: Leveraging Resources among Small and Medium-Sized Institutions of Higher Education, Journal of Emergency Management, 12(1): 21-30.

Hammond, B., Berardi, G., and Green, R. 2013. Resilience in agriculture: Small and medium-sized farms in northwest Washington state, Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 37: 316-339.

Miles, S., Green, R. and Svekla, W. 2012. Institutional Capacity for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction in Informal Settlements of Guatemala City, Disasters,36(3):365-381.

Berardi, G., Green, R. and Hammond, B. 2011. Stability, sustainability, and catastrophe: Applying resilience thinking to U.S. agriculture. Human Ecology Review, 18(2):115-125.

Green, R. and Miles, S. 2011. Social Impacts of the 12 January 2010 Haiti Earthquake. Earthquake Spectra, 27 (S1): S447-S462.

Franco, G., Green, R., Khazai, B., Smyth, A., and Deodatis, G. 2010. Field Damage Survey of New Orleans Homes in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Natural Hazards Review, 11 (1): 7-18.

Reardon, K., Green, R., Bates, K., and Keily, R. (2009). Overcoming the Challenges of Post-Disaster Planning in New Orleans: Lessons from the ACORN Housing/University Collaborative. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 28 (3): 391-400.

Green, R. (2008). Unauthorized Development and Seismic Hazard Vulnerability: A Study of Squatters and Engineers in Istanbul, Turkey Disasters, 32 (3): 358-376.

Green, R., Bates, L., Smyth, A. (2007). Impediments to Recovery in New Orleans' Upper and Lower Ninth Ward One Year After Hurricane Katrina, Disasters, 31 (4): 311-335.



Paci-Green, R., Pandey, B., Friedman, R. (2015). Safer Schools, Resilient Communities: A Comparative Assessment of School Safety after the 2015 Nepal (Gorkha) Earthquake. Risk RED.

Paci-Green, R. and Pandey, B. (2015). Towards Safer School Construction: A Community-based Approach, with Save the Children, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, UNESCO, Arup International Development, and Risk RED, Melbourne: Save the Children.

Green, R., Boles, N.*, and Black, T.* (2015). Cascadia rising: Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) catastrophic earthquake and tsunami exercise scenario document, a Resilience Institute report for FEMA Region 10 Preparedness Division, Lynnwood, Washington.

Green, R., & Petal, M. (2010). Disaster and Emergency Preparedness: Activity Guide for K to 6th Grade Teachers. Washington, D.C.: International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group.

Petal, M. & Green, R. (2010). Disaster and Emergency Preparedness: Guidance for Schools. Washington, D.C.: International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group.


Alexander, D. Bhatia, S., Benouar, D., Bothara, J., Cardona, O. Dixit, A., Green, R., Gupta, M., Kandel, R., Kelman, I., Monk, T., Pandey, B., Petal, M., Sanduvac, Z., Shaw, R., Wisner, B. (2015). School seismic safety – case studies, Encyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering, Article ID 398245, Chapter ID 406. Beer, M., Patelli, E., Koughioumtzoglou, I., Au, I., eds., Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Publications, DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-36197-5_406-1.

Bates, L., and Green, R. (2009). Housing Recovery in the Ninth Ward: Disparities in Policy, Process, and Prospects. Race, Place, and Environmental Justice after Hurricane Katrina. R. Bullard, ed., Westview Press, Boulder, CO, 229-245.

Green, R. (2008) Unauthorized Construction, Housing Policy and Hazard Vulnerability in Rapid Growth Cities. Hazards and the Built Environment: Attaining Built-in Resilience, L. Bosher, ed., Taylor & Francis Books, London, 218-237.

Petal, M., Green, R., Kelman, I., Shaw, R., Dixit, A., Gupta, M. and Sharma, A. (2008) Disaster Risk Reduction and Community-Based Construction. Hazards and the Built Environment: Attaining Built-In Resilience, L. Bosher, ed., Taylor & Francis, London, 191-217.


A full list of publications and reports can be found in my CV.