Devon Joan McGhee

Devon Joan McGhee

Career Interests

Coastal resilience, hazard mitigation, adaptation

Employment Sought:
Permanent Position


Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke University, Durham, NC
Concentration: Coastal Environmental Management
Master’s Project: Were the Federally-Funded, Post-Sandy Staten Island Buyouts Successful in Reducing National Vulnerability? Developed methodology to quantify the change in vulnerability of people and property to coastal flood hazards. Results will ultimately be used to craft policy recommendations to improve the efficacy of federally funded coastal buyout programs.
Natural Hazards Resilience Certificate
Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN BIOLOGY, magna cum laude, Jan 2014
Boston University, Boston, MA
Concentration: Ecology and Conservation
GPA: 3.68

Professional Experience

Coastal Policy Fellow, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Cullowhee, NC
Worked with National Park Service to conduct standardized climate change and natural hazard vulnerability assessments for coastal parks. Assessed feasibility of publicly and privately funded coastal retreat. (Summer 2016) 
Graduate Associate, Environmental Science and Policy Division, Duke University, Durham, NC 
“Analyzing Responses to Colorado’s Extreme Flood Events of 2013” Developed and coordinated distribution of mail survey to people affected by floods to analyze relationship between risk perception and recovery efforts. 
“Developing Community Resilience in the Caribbean” Conducted literature review of community-level resilience-building projects to support research on their efficacy. (September 2015 – May 2016)
Fundamentals of Geospatial Analysis Teaching Assistant, Duke University, Durham, NC
Guided students through interactive lab activities utilizing ArcGIS and remote sensing software to develop spatial environmental problem solving skills. (Fall 2016)

Other Experience

Summer Undergraduate Laboratory Intern (SULI), Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY
Determined home range of Eastern Box Turtle sample population using radio telemetry and GIS to understand effects of solar farm development. Summer 2014

Butterfly Garden Suit Intern, Museum of Science, Boston, MA 
Educated museum patrons about over 30 butterfly and moth species. Managed all aspects of garden maintenance including chrysalis pinning, butterfly release and horticulture. Summer 2012

Laboratory Assistant, Fulweiler Marine Biogeochemistry Laboratory, Boston University, Boston, MA
Collaborated with graduate student to collect and analyze data. Employed gas chromatography to determine green house gas flux in salt marsh plants in Cape Cod. Summer 2012

Additional Information


Coastal Vulnerability and the Potential of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act to Reduce National Risk 
Evaluated the potential for an expansion of the Coastal Barrier Resources System to include developed areas to address the issues of vulnerable coastal development and wasteful federal expenditure.
Climate Change and Restoration: An Evaluation of Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast
Discussed anthropogenic factors contributing to the region’s vulnerability and the anticipated effects of climate change. I conclude the plan may benefit from further consideration of human dynamics to encourage restoration.
Thoughts on the Integration of Climate Change and Natural Hazard Vulnerability Assessments: An Ecological Perspective
Drew upon studies of ecosystem resilience and system dynamics to argue that consideration of climate change as a component of broader disaster risk is insufficient.
Efficacy of Natural Storm Protection: Recovery and Resilience in New York Post-Sandy
Analyzed the effects of Hurricane Sandy in New York and the area’s increasing vulnerability to craft an argument in favor of incorporating natural storm protection infrastructure in recovery efforts.
Durham Event Coordinator, The Coastal Society, Duke University Student Chapter
Coordinated Blue Drinks, a networking event for students to engage with recent alumni and experts in the field. September 2015-present
Event Coordinator, Ocean Policy Working Group, Duke University Student Group
Hosted educational symposium on Marine Debris. Contributed to edit and review of Upwelling, a bi-annual publication. September 2015-November 2016
Project Investigator, Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators, Student Group
Pro-bono consulting services provided to develop marketing strategy for local birth center and create methodology to assess outcomes for University of North Carolina Laboratory Schools. September 2016-present
Big Sweep Clean-up Participant, Eno River Association, Fall 2016
Mentor, Nicholas School of the Environment
Mentored two incoming students throughout their first year. September 2016-present
Conference Volunteer, Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop, July 2016


climate change
coastal zone management

Graduation Date

May 2017

Additional Resources

Preferred Location


Preferred Sector

Academic Institution
Federal Government
Non-profit / NGO
Research Institute / Think Tank
State / Local Government