2023 Natural Hazards Workshop Volunteers

The Natural Hazards Center invites students to apply to volunteer at the Natural Hazards Workshop. These students attend sessions and provide support to panelists and moderators throughout the event. The volunteers who were selected to assist at this year’s Workshop are listed below. Participants are welcome to reach out to them for assistance while at the Workshop, and we gratefully acknowledge their service to the community.

Student Volunteers


Haider Waseem Anwar

Texas A&M University


Rebecca Entress

University of Central Florida


Wokeya Yesmin Farha

Florida International University


Amber Khan

University of Washington


Amina Meselhe

Oregon State University


Jawata Afnan Saba

University of Florida


Lauren Stevenson

Colorado School of Mines

Volunteer Coordinators: Musabber Ali Chisty and Melissa Villarreal

Musabber Ali Chisty is a Ph.D. student and graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Musabber is also a graduate research affiliate at the Natural Hazards Center. In his native Bangladesh, Musabber is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies, University of Dhaka. Before this, he was a Lecturer at the Department of Disaster Management and Resilience at the Bangladesh University of Professionals in Dhaka.

His main research interests include vulnerability assessment, flood risk management, community-based disaster management, disaster risk reduction and resilience, disaster and development nexus, disaster governance, etc. Musabber has published in these areas in outlets such as the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (IJDRR), Disaster Prevention and Management (DPM), Health Science Report, Plos One, Sustainability, and Water, among others. He has received several research grants from the Bangladesh University Grants Commission and the University of Dhaka. He also has extensive experience working with different government agencies, international non-governmental organizations, and national non-governmental organizations as a consultant.

Melissa Villarreal is a William Averette Anderson Fund (BAF) Fellow and PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder. She has worked on projects looking at women’s experiences during and after a disaster, the benefits of mentoring for marginalized doctoral students of color, structural vulnerability and reproductive health access for Mexican-origin immigrant women, and parental notification and access to abortion among minors. In addition to her research endeavors, Villarreal works as a graduate research assistant at the Natural Hazards Center, working on several research projects concerning the enhancement of the ethical quality of disaster research, the increase of diversity in the hazards and disaster field, and the reduction of post-disaster vulnerabilities for marginalized communities. Villarreal is currently working on her dissertation project: an intersectional, multi-level analysis of Mexican immigrant women and their disproportionate vulnerability in post-disaster recovery. This project examines the long-term housing recovery of Mexican immigrants in Houston, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey.

Villarreal was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2019, giving her three years of funding to conduct her work in Houston. In 2021, she was awarded the American Sociological Association Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant to continue this project and was selected as a Kinder Scholar for Rice University’s Kinder Scholar Program. In addition, she was a 2021 Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Equity & Inclusion Fellow.