Danielle Hutchings Mieler, P.E. is a Project Engineer and Risk/Resilience Specialist with A3GEO, Inc. She received a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. Danielle’s experience includes natural hazard and risk assessments, mitigation, adaptation and resilience planning, policy development, risk communication, and civil and geotechnical design for infrastructure facilities. Danielle’s career interests include incorporating resilience thinking into land use and development plans, developing actions needed to address the seismic risk of the Bay Area’s housing, and communicating hazard and risk to the public.
In her previous position as the Resilience Program Coordinator at the Association of Bay Area Governments, Danielle worked with local governments, infrastructure owners and operators, engineers, planners, and residents to jointly plan and act to create a more climate and earthquake resilient Bay Area. Danielle also spent a year working as a research engineer for GNS Science, New Zealand’s Crown Research Institute for earth sciences, where she studied the impacts of the Christchurch earthquakes and performed hazard and risk analysis for infrastructure systems and the built environment.
Danielle was an EERI Housner Fellow in the inaugural class and a former Director of the Northern California Chapter of EERI. Danielle served as co-chair of the organizing committee for the 2016 EERI Annual Meeting.
EERI is a unique organization that brings together professionals from many backgrounds to address the common issue of seismic safety. EERI has been an important organization in guiding my professional development and has introduced me to many fascinating and distinguished people.
My vision is for EERI to continue to build on its strength of producing state of the art technical information and to use that information to influence seismic safety, as well as resilience policy. EERI’s ability to develop and produce high quality scientific and technical information is one of its best strengths that we should continue to strongly support and develop. But technical information is only useful when we use it to inform action. Promoting seismic safety and resilience policy at local, state and national levels both in the United States and abroad should be a priority for bringing EERI’s work to life. This means also placing priority on finding ways to address the social, financial, and political barriers to implementing smart seismic safety policies in addition to the technical barriers.
In order to ensure EERI is able to carry out this important work in the future, EERI needs to be more inclusive and accessible for younger and international members. EERI must continue to find more ways to attract and involve younger members in its work. The Housner Program has personally supported my engagement with the EERI community and it a great opportunity for younger members. As the newly appointed young member representative on the Board, I will strive to find new opportunities to support the careers and interests of younger members. Additionally, EERI needs to expand its global presence and find ways to better serve its international members. Earthquakes are a global challenge that has devastating consequences in many developing countries. Bringing together professionals separated by distance, language, and culture is a major challenge, but one that must be overcome to address this global issue.
Finally, seismic safety is one component of a resilient community. We need to make the connection for community leaders and decision makers between seismic safety and the many other challenges a given community faces, like sea level rise, affordable housing, or aging infrastructure. As a profession we should find ways to leverage points of intersection with other hazards and common goals with other professions and organizations working to increase the resilience, sustainability, and livability of our communities.