Project Participants

EMHS/CDRP Faculty and Staff

CDRP and EMHS provided four faculty and several staff members to this project.  In addition to the Spring 2014 Applied Emergency Management Studio, data and insight gathered on this project will contribute to the ongoing development of other EMHS courses, including Planning and Policy, Foundations of Emergency Management and International Comparative Emergency Management.

David F. Merrick – Lead Instructor and Project Manager

David F. Merrick is the Director of CDRP and the Deputy Director of EMHS. He developed and oversees CDRP’s Disaster Incident Research Team (DIRT), which deploys to disaster impact areas to perform field research on disaster and emergency management. Mr. Merrick oversees all research conducted at CDRP and EMHS, and teaches Foundations of Emergency Management, Disaster Systems, and Emergency Management Planning and Policy.

The Applied Emergency Management Studio was developed by Mr. Merrick in partnership with Mr. McDaniel and is an academic extension of the DIRT concept.  Mr. Merrick holds a Masters of Science Degree in Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Logistics from the Florida Institute of Technology as well as a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University.

Rob McDaniel – Co-Instructor

Rob McDaniel is currently a Faculty Researcher and Senior Fellow at CDRP. He has extensive operational experience in emergency management and serves as an instructor and the Internship Coordinator for EMHS.  He currently teaches Leadership and Communication, Hurricane Policy, and various special topics courses.

Mr. McDaniel’s concept of the Applied EM Studio began in Spring 2013 with a limited course on Exercise Design, and grew into the current iteration.  Rob is a graduate of Florida State University, and holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy. He provides operations, planning, training and exercise expertise in emergency management on local, state, federal and non-profit agency projects.

Audrey Heffron Casserleigh – Faculty

Dr. Audrey Heffron Casserleigh is the Director of the EMHS and has overseen the tremendous growth of the program in the past five years. She is currently focused on increasing exchanges between FSU and international programs to the benefit of students and faculty.  She teaches Introduction to Terrorism, Advanced Topics in Terrorism, International Terrorism Policy, Leadership and Communication, and Public Health and Emergency Management.

Dr. Casserleigh has extensive pre- and post-disaster outreach experience at the state and federal level, and this capability was crucial to student success on Ile a Vache.

Jarrett Broder – Faculty

Jarrett Broder is the Deputy Director of CDRP and a Research Fellow at EMHS and is one of CDRP’s Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) subject matter experts. He managed one of two flight operations teams on Ile a Vache.

Mr. Broder holds a Master of Science in Information Systems from Florida State University and has ten years of experience in state and federal emergency management exercise programs and emergency management technical assistance.

Applied Emergency Management Studio Researchers

EMHS and CDRP faculty were assisted in this project by a variety of researchers. These students applied to work for CDRP on this project and were carefully screened and selected; ten were chosen to participate.  Seven of these were master’s students and the remaining three were in the last semesters of their undergraduate studies.

Researchers participating in AEMS 2014 were:

Dirk Danley received his Bachelors degree from FSU in Geography and was completing his Masters in Urban and Regional Planning.

Harrison DuBosar was finishing his Masters in Public Administration and will be starting law school at FSU in the Fall of 2014.

Robert Duggleby was completing his Masters in International Affairs and was accepted into FEMA Corps.

Abigail Ewbank was a senior in the honors program finishing her Bachelors in Political Science.

Michael Ford received his Bachelors in Political Science from the University of Florida and was completing his Masters in International Affairs.

Diva Hurtado was a junior pursuing her Bachelors in International Affairs.

Keith Johnson was pursuing his Masters in Public Administration and is the 2014 President of the FSU IAEM student chapter.

Jessica Makowski received her Bachelors in Political Science from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama and was finishing her Masters in International Affairs.

Cassidy Mutnansky is pursuing a joint Masters in Urban and Regional Planning and Public Health.

Alex Resnick was a senior completing his Bachelors in Social Sciences and is a certified EMT.


This project involved significant cultural and logistical challenges, each of which required the assistance of strong partners in the region.  CDRP partnered with the Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and Americas (FAVACA), Societe d’Amenagement et de Developpment (SODADE) and the Haitian National Government’s Ministry of Tourism to complete the work in Haiti.


The Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas, Inc. is a private not for profit organization formed in 1982 by Florida Governor (now former U.S. Senator) Bob Graham. FAVACA’s Florida International Volunteer Corps is the only program of its kind in the country and enjoys statutory authority under Section 288.0251 Florida Statutes. A state appropriation, voted annually since 1986, provides a funding base for an estimated 100 volunteer missions to Latin America and the Caribbean each year.

FAVACA establishes sustainable partnerships between non-governmental organizations, universities, government agencies and businesses in Florida and the Caribbean and Latin America. In response to requests from partner organizations throughout the region, FAVACA has conducted more than 2,500 technical assistance and training volunteer missions reaching approximately 50,000 individuals in 30 countries over the past 25 years- living proof of Florida’s commitment to the well-being of the region. These activities also help to mitigate threats to Florida’s agriculture, health, and the environment before they reach critical proportions.

FAVACA’s extensive experience in Haiti provided invaluable resources for the project, including travel and logistics, translation services, and cultural awareness. For more information, visit


The Haitian planning firm SODADE was contracted by the Haitian National Government to provide planning and project management on Ile a Vache with a focus on social engineering and community development.  Prior to the start of this project, SODADE had developed and constructed a new community center in the village of Kakok, and thier local experience on the island was critical for the success of data collection on Ile a Vache.  SODADE staff accompanied AEMS staff during research and provided insight into the local communities and conditions.

SODADE was created in 2004 and works in the fields of land management, urban planning and disaster risk reduction.  They focus on reinforcing the capacity of local communities.  For more information, visit

Ministry of Tourism, Haitian National Government

The Ministry of Tourism executed a Memorandum of Understanding with EMHS and endorsed the research and outreach aims of the project.