Brent Doberstein

Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies

Room EV1-220, ext. 33384
F2017 office hours: Wednesdays 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Brent’s research interests lie in the general field of resource and environmental management in developing countries. Within this broad theme, his interests include hazard mitigation and disaster risk reduction; post-disaster reconstruction; institutional capacity building; sustainable resource and environmental management, and; and parks and protected areas.

Key Areas of Graduate Supervision
Hazard mitigation and disaster risk reduction; climate change/hazards connections; Environmental and resource management in developing countries; and; institutional capacity building. Over the next three years (2016-2018) I am especially keen to supervise students in the "hazards/disaster risk reduction" and "sustainable resource and environmental management" themes.

Recent Courses Taught
GEOG101: Geography and Human Habitat
GEOG206: Human Dimensions of Natural Hazards
GEOG356: Resources Management
GEOG430C/692: Field Research in Regional Geography (Indonesia, Dominican Republic)
GEMCC622/677: Climate Change, Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction
GEOG673: International Perspectives on Resource and Environmental Management

Research Interests
My research interests lie in the general field of resource and environmental management in developing countries, with more specific interests in: sustainable resource and environmental management; hazard mitigation and disaster risk reduction; post-disaster reconstruction; climate change/hazards connections; institutional capacity building; waste management in developing countries, and; parks and protected areas.  My most recent research projects have explored post-disaster adaptations at multiple scales, ranging from individual and household-level adaptations to national-level adaptations. Most of my research is centered geographically in Asia (e.g. Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam) or Latin America/Caribbean (e.g. Dominican Republic, Venezuela), although I hope to expand to include some African countries in future research projects.

Recent Publications

  • Tadgell, A., Mortsch, L., and Doberstein, B. In Press. The feasibility of resettlement as a climate change adaptation strategy for informal settlements in Metro Manila, Philippines. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. Available online at
  • Tadgell, A., Doberstein, B., and Mortsch, L. 2017. Principles for climate-related resettlement of informal settlements in less-developed nations: A review of resettlement literature and institutional guidelines. Climate and Development. Available online at
  • Devkota, B., Doberstein, B. and Nepal, S. 2016.. Social Capital and Natural Disaster: Local Responses to 2015 Earthquake in Kathmandu. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. Special Issue on the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. November 2016, Vol. 34, No.3, pp. 95-122
  • Tanner, A., Doberstein, B. 2015. Emergency preparedness amongst university students. International Journal for Disaster Risk Reduction. 13:409-413.
  • Harrison, S., Silver, A. and Doberstein, B. 2015. Post-Storm Damage Survey of Tornadic Events in Canada: Implications for Disaster Risk Reduction and Policy. International Journal for Disaster Risk Reduction. 13:427-440.
  • Doberstein, B. and Tadgell, A. 2015. Guidance for managed relocation Forced Migration Review. Special issue on "Climate change, disasters and displacement" FMR 49, May 2015 .
  • Joakim, E. and Doberstein, B. 2014. Planning for Long-Term Housing Reconstruction Following a Major Disaster: A Case Study of the 2006 Yogyakarta, Indonesia Earthquake. Journal of the American Planning Association 80 (4): 352-353.
  • Joakim, E. and Doberstein, B. 2013. Policy Recommendations for Reducing Vulnerability and Increasing Resiliency to Disaster Events in Canada: perspectives from practitioners in Waterloo Region, Ontario. Risk, Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy. 4 (4): 274-291.
  • Doberstein, B. and Stager, H. 2013. Towards guidelines for post-disaster vulnerability reduction in informal settlements. Disasters. 37 (1): 28-47.
  • Oulahen, G. and Doberstein, B. 2012. Citizen participation in post-disaster flood hazard mitigation planning in Peterborough, Canada. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy. 3(1): Article 4, 1-26.
  • Aspinall, A., Cukier, J. and Doberstein, B. 2011. Quality of life assessments and social sustainability: ski tourism development in Invermere, British Columbia. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management 13 (2): 179-201.
  • Steckley, M. and Doberstein, B. 2011. Tsunami survivors’ perspectives on vulnerability and vulnerability reduction: evidence from Koh Phi Phi Don and Khao Lak, Thailand. Disasters. 35 (3): 465-487.
  • Doberstein, B. 2009. Post-disaster assessment of hazard mitigation for small and medium-scale debris flows in Bali, Indonesia and Jimani, Dominican Republic. Natural Hazards  50 (2): 361-377.
  • Geng, Y., Zhu, Q., Doberstein, B. and Fujita, T. 2009. Implementing China’s circular economy concept at the regional level: A review of progress in Dalian, China. Waste Management  29 (2): 996-1002.
University of Waterloo

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