Rachel Dowty Beech, Ph.D.

Rachel Dowty Beech Image
Assistant Professor
Coordinator Online
Emergency Management Program

Department of Fire Science
Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences

Education

Ph.D. Science and Technology Studies (STS), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

M.S. Wetland Restoration Biology, Southeastern Louisiana University

B.S. Biology, Southeastern Louisiana University

About Rachel

Dr. Rachel Dowty Beech received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology studying environmental and wetland restoration, conducting research on oil spill bioremediation in freshwater marshes. Integrating different disciplinary approaches to solving problems, she taught a diverse array of college courses at Southeastern Louisiana University, the State University of New York (SUNY) at Plattsburgh, and Clinton Community College. Her interdisciplinary interests led her to earn her Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). She completed a post-doc funded by the National Science Foundation studying the response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans before becoming Director of Louisiana State University's Disaster Science and Management bachelor's degree program. She joined the University of New Haven in 2015 and enjoys the university's focus on community service.

She is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters addressing political, economic, and sociocultural aspects of disasters and crises. She co-edited the book, Dynamics of Disaster: Lessons on Risk, Response and Recovery (Earthscan, 2011) with Barbara Allen (Virginia Tech) and co-authored Cultural Anthro (Wadsworth, 2014), an introductory cultural anthropology textbook , and Cultural Anthropology: A Problem Based Approach (Wadsworth, 2016), both with Richard Robbins (SUNY Plattsburgh). She was the Director of the Disaster Science and Management (DSM) degree program at Louisiana State University for six years, where she advised all DSM concentration and minor students, served on the graduate committees of all students earning a graduate minor in DSM, oversaw DSM program curriculum, assessment, and evaluation, served as faculty sponsor of the DSM student organization, and taught DSM courses. She is now a Visiting Assistant Professor in the University of New Haven’s Department of Fire Science’s online Emergency Management program.

Research Interests

I am interested in how environmental, social, and cultural factors shape disasters and the field of emergency management. Planning, mitigation, response and recovery from disasters require a complex array of decision-making that is incumbent upon individuals, small groups, organizations, and governments. Specific areas of interest include cross-cultural emergency management and education, organizational culture, communication and coordination, how expectations and justifications shape decision-making in disasters, and environmental disasters involving petrochemicals.

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Professional Appointments in Disaster and Emergency Management

Visiting Assistant Professor, Coordinator, Department of Fire Science and Emergency Management, University of New Haven, West Haven, Connecticut. (2015 - present)

Director, Disaster Science and Management (DSM) Program, Interdisciplinary Programs, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Louisiana State University. Baton Rouge, LA. (2009 - 2015)

Assistant Professor-Research. Department of Geography and Anthropology. Louisiana State University. Baton Rouge, LA. (2009 - 2015)

Assistant Professor-Research. Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. E.J. Ourso College of Business. Louisiana State University. Baton Rouge, LA. (2008 - 2009)

Post-Doctorate. National Science Foundation (NSF) Human and Social Dynamics (HSD). “Collaborative Research (DRU): Shared Governance of Risks.” Peter J. May, Bryan D. Jones, and William A. Wallace (Co-PIs) with Rachel Dowty (Post-Doc). (Policy and organizational research into federal response to Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana) (2006 - 2009)

Selected Publications

Robbins, Richard H. and Rachel A. Dowty. 2016. Cultural Anthropology: A Problem-Based Approach. Sixth edition. San Francisco, CA: Cengage Learning.

Robbins, Richard H. and Rachel A. Dowty. 2013. Cultural Anthro. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. January 2013.

Dowty, Rachel A. 2013. Critical pedagogy. In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. George Ritzer (Ed.) Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Dowty, Rachel A. and Barbara Allen (eds.) 2011. Dynamics of Disaster: Lessons on Risk, Response, and Recovery. London: Earthscan. April 2011.

Dowty, Rachel. 2011. A cultural perspective on humanitarian logistics. Chapter 11 in Humanitarian Logistics: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing for and Responding to Disasters. Peter Tatham and Martin Christopher (eds.) London: Kogan Page Publishers. Pp 201-214.

Dowty, Rachel. 2011. Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief. K.B. Penuel, M.S. Statler, J.G. Golson. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Author of the following entries:

Institutional coordination

Role of the private sector in response

Southeast and Gulf Coast of the United States

Dowty, Rachel A. and William A. Wallace. 2010. Implications of organizational culture for supply chain disruption and restoration. International Journal of Production Economics. 126(1): 57-65.

Dowty, R.A., G.P. Shaffer, M.W. Hester, G.W. Childers, F.M. Campo, and M.C. Greene. 2001. Phytoremediation of small-scale oil spills in fresh marsh environments: a mesocosm simulation. Marine Environmental Research 52 (3): 195-211.

Childers, G.W., G.P. Shaffer, and R.A. Dowty. 1996. Establishing a protocol for bioremediation of small-scale oil spills in Louisiana. Louisiana Applied Oil Spill Research and Development Program. OSRADP Technical Report Series 96-007, 55p.

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Grants and Research

“Project 5, Center of Excellence for Analysis and Response for Coastal Hazards (ARCH)” . Principal Investigators: Rachel Dowty Beech (and Patrick Hesp from 2009 to 2012), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Center of Excellence for Disaster Response. Award home: Jackson State University. (LSU subcontract) – To develop online courses, internships, and design a graduate certificate program for the DSM program (offering undergraduate B.A. degree, an undergraduate minor, and a graduate minor). (2009 ‐ 2015)

“Evaluating social-ecological vulnerability of oyster reef resource users to environmental variation.” Principal Investigator: Rachel Dowty Beech. Co-PIs: Megan LaPeyre and Steve Hall. Post-Doc: Austin Humphries. LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio (CSS) New Projects Fund. (2013-2014)

Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Internship grant for LSU Disaster Science and Management students. PI: Rachel Dowty Beech. (2013-2015)

Louisiana Sea Grant. Principal Investigator: Melanie Gall Co-PIs: Rachel Dowty, Jude Egan, and Daniel Monchuk (University of Southern Mississippi) Project Title: “Changing Flood Mitigation: the Consequences of New Flood Insurance Rate Maps on Louisiana Coastal Communities” (2010 - 2012)

Post-Doctorate. National Science Foundation (NSF) Human and Social Dynamics (HSD) grant number SES-0623907. “Collaborative Research (DRU): Shared Governance of Risks.” Peter J. May, Bryan D. Jones, and William A. Wallace (Co-PIs), Rachel Dowty (Post-Doc). (cultural research into federal response to Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana) (2006 - 2009)

Research Assistant, National Science Foundation (NSF) “Physical and Social Infrastructure Impacts and Interdependencies in the December 2004 Tsunami in Southern Thailand.” Co-PIs: William Wallace (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Thomas Birkland (State University of New York at Albany) (2007- 2008)

Research Assistant, National Science Foundation (NSF) “Collaborative Research: Organizational Design Issues in Emergency Management.” SGER grant number 0554845. William Wallace (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Bryan Jones, and Peter May (University of Washington) (Co-PIs) ($58,479) (2006-2007)

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Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Humphries, A. T., L. I. Josephs, M. K. La Peyre, S. Hall and R. Dowty Beech. 2019. Vulnerability of resource users in Louisiana’s oyster fishery to environmental hazards. Ecology and Society 24 (3):37. [online] https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-11101-240337

Beech, Colin E., Rachel A. Dowty, and William A. Wallace. 2012. The dynamics of organizational response: simulating cultural change. International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management 2(1/2): 74-103.

Dowty, Rachel A. and William A. Wallace. 2010. Implications of organizational culture for supply chain disruption and restoration. International Journal of Production Economics. 126(1): 57-65.

Dowty, R.A., G.P. Shaffer, M.W. Hester, G.W. Childers, F.M. Campo, and M.C. Greene. 2001. Phytoremediation of small-scale oil spills in fresh marsh environments: a mesocosm simulation. Marine Environmental Research 52 (3): 195-211.

Books

Robbins, Richard H. and Rachel A. Dowty. 2021. Cultural Anthropology: A Problem-Based Approach. Seventh edition (2019). San Francisco, CA: Cengage Learning. Eighth edition (2021): Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishing.

Robbins, Richard H. and Rachel A. Dowty. 2019. Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism. Seventh edition. New York: Pearson.

Robbins, Richard H. and Rachel A. Dowty. 2013. Cultural Anthro. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. January 2013.

Dowty, Rachel A. and Barbara Allen (eds.) 2011. Dynamics of Disaster: Lessons on Risk, Response, and Recovery. London: Earthscan. April 2011.

Encyclopedia Articles

Dowty, Rachel A. 2013. Critical pedagogy. In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. George Ritzer (Ed.) Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Dowty, Rachel. 2011. Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief. K.B. Penuel, M.S. Statler, J.G. Golson. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Author of the following entries: Institutional coordination, Role of the private sector in response, & Southeast and Gulf Coast of the United States

Technical Reports

Childers, G.W., G.P. Shaffer, and R.A. Dowty. 1996. Establishing a protocol for bioremediation of small-scale oil spills in Louisiana. Louisiana Applied Oil Spill Research and Development Program. OSRADP Technical Report Series 96-007, 55p.

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Teaching Experience

The University of New Haven (2015 - present)
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Fire Science;
Coordinator, Online Master’s Degree Program in Emergency Management.

Louisiana State University (2009 - 2015)
Co-Director, Director, Disaster Science and Management Program: College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Assistant Professor-Research: Department of Geography and Anthropology.

Awards

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Advancement at the American Educational Research Association Conference, Toronto, Canada. Conducted research for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) education programs. (2019)

Advisor of the Year Award, Louisiana State University, Campus Life, Love Purple, Live Gold Awards. (2012-2013)

Recipient of the Service Learning Scholars Award, Louisiana State University Center for Community Engagement, Learning, & Leadership (CCELL), $2000. (2009)