Brent Doberstein

Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies

Room EV1-220, ext. 33384
F2017 office hours: Contact professor

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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