Emerging Professionals – Winter 2021

Canadian Risks and Hazards Network (CRHNet) recognizes the importance of supporting the development of current and emerging professionals and enabling opportunities for individuals to connect and learn from each other, in order to advance the profession and resiliency-building agenda in Canada.

Under the guidance of the newly formed Partnerships and Professional Development Committee, the Emerging Professionals (EP) sub-committee aims to connect, empower and represent the interests of young/emerging academics and professionals from all over Canada whose interests are related to risks, hazards, and resilience. We endeavour to ensure that emerging professionals are presented with a number of networking opportunities, including:

  • Providing access to mentors in the field;
  • Highlighting the accomplishments of Emerging Professionals at our annual symposium event and in relevant HazNet articles;
  • Online sharing of job and professional development opportunities as they become known; and
  • Establishing a virtual forum for peers to exchange learnings and perspectives

As part of the establishment and management of the CRHNet, a bursary was created to provide students the opportunity to attend the annual symposium, which fosters partnership building on a national and regional basis.  Every year during the annual symposium, the committee has held an in-person mentorship event, where new and up-and-coming disaster and emergency management professionals have the opportunity to engage with knowledgeable, seasoned professionals in order to ask questions, solicit advice, and receive critical guidance for their ongoing studies and careers.  Feedback from these events, from both the mentors and mentees alike, has been consistently positive, and noted to be a rewarding experience for all.

The sub-committee also manages the CRHNet’s Emerging Professionals Facebook page for connecting with the nation-wide communities and organizations in the fields of emergency management, disaster resilience and climate change adaptation.  The forum provides information about career opportunities, internships, scholarships, other educational opportunities, as well as recent research. It also serves as a general platform for discussing topical issues in the field of disaster risk reduction.           .

2020 required everybody to “pivot” in some capacity as we worked through the challenges of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and into the anticipation of the second and subsequent waves that we knew were coming.  It was important that we ensured access to these networks, recognizing that they are likely going to be even more important now than ever before, as the world acknowledges the important work that is done, and needs to still be done, by disaster and emergency management professionals across all sectors and communities. In 2020, we were able to move our event online with a live mentorship panel as part of the regular program of the symposium events.  Our Facebook page has seen a marked increase in followers (+30.4%) and traffic (50,000+ engagements).  With our new website just launched and some new partnership opportunities on the horizon, we are looking for new ways to engage with our emerging talent, and tapping into their energy and insight to help find innovative ways to solve the complex problems that are being created by disasters within Canada, and around the world.

We are pleased to be able to provide these opening worlds for this edition of HazNet with the theme “The First Wave”, as we acknowledge the commitment of our emerging professionals to safeguarding our people, communities, organizations and the environment and in recognition of the unique challenges that lay ahead with each subsequent wave.



Bettina Williams, MA DEM

Program Manager, Emergency Management Division

Justice Institute of British Columbia

CRHNet Board Member, PPD Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Emerging Professionals Sub-Committee


Jodi Manz-Henezi, BA, BSc, MA DEM

Program Chair – Disaster and Emergency Management Program

School of Health and Life Sciences

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)

CRHNet Board Member, PPD Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Emerging Professionals Sub-Committee