I was born in Detroit, Michigan to Jewish parents and attended Jewish day and public schools in the suburbs. I received a BA in American Culture-Ethnic Studies from the University of Michigan in 1999 and an MA and PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa in 2005 and 2008. I am currently an Associate Professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Emergency Management and Community Resilience Program at Portland State University (PSU). I am also an affiliate faculty at PSU in the School of the Environment, Indigenous Nations Studies, and the Institute for Asian Studies.