Dr. Paula R. Buchanan

Lead Instructor, National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP), Columbia Climate School

475 Riverside Drive, Suite 401
New York, NY 10115


Dr. Paula R. Buchanan is a Lead Instructor at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness supporting the development and efficient delivery of federal training programs on disaster preparedness and community resilience for FEMA.

Paula is a disaster scientist and emergency management researcher. Her work lies at the intersection of public health, education, risk communication, and outreach messaging. She has professional experience in communications, university-level instruction, business continuity, and project management. She has an MBA and MPH with a Health Systems Management and Policy concentration from the University of Alabama‑Birmingham; and graduated from Tulane University with a BS in Biology, a BA in History, and a minor in Economics.

A central question of Paula’s research is the extent to which socio-technical systems function as a communication channel to provide populations with accurate information to mitigate public health impacts associated with or exacerbated by disasters. She is interested in using mixed methods to better understand the multi-faceted nature of her interdisciplinary research interests. She is also passionate about using social media, information technology, and data visualization tools to effectively communicate with targeted audiences.