A.J. Faas is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, the Organizational Studies Program and a member of the Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center. His research addresses disasters and environmental crises, with attention to cooperation, reciprocity and mutual aid; postcolonialism and the anthropology of the state; humanitarianism; and displacement and resettlement. Faas’s research includes an ongoing longitudinal study of disaster recovery and resettlement in the Ecuadorian highlands; a collaborative study of COVID-19 and the cumulative effects of successive disasters; and participatory action research projects on disaster preparedness, vulnerability and community-based leadership in San José, California. He holds a doctorate degree in anthropology from the University of South Florida.
Frances Edwards is Deputy Director of the National Transportation Security Center at the Mineta Transportation Institute. She is a professor emeritus of political science and former director of the Master of Public Administration program. Her research focuses on issues related to seismic safety, emergency management, homeland security, continuity of operations for government and businesses and global supply chain security. She holds a doctoral degree in public administration from New York University. She was also a certified emergency services manager with 20+ years of experience as Director of Emergency Services in San Jose and Irvine, CA.