Environmental Protection Agency Official Joins U.T. Dallas As Part Of Collaborative Agreement
James C. Staves Leading Emergency Preparedness Center

James C. Staves, a regional preparedness and prevention official for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has joined The University of Texas at Dallas as part of an inter-personnel, executive loan program that will enable him to serve for two years as director of one of the three centers in UTD’s new Digital Forensics and Emergency Preparedness Institute.

Staves will head the institute’s Emergency Preparedness Center. Under his guidance, the center will research hazardous materials emergency response and preparedness system issues, create emergency preparedness training and education curriculum and have strategic involvement with the disaster response community at large, including firefighters, police and law enforcement, among others.

According to Dr. E. Douglas Harris, executive director of the institute and associate dean at the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, of which the institute is a part, Staves also will be charged with fostering interaction among UTD researchers, emergency responders, government agencies, industry leaders and other academic institutions. At the EPA, Staves led the Preparedness and Prevention Team for Region 6, which includes Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

“Jim’s background and experience with the EPA are an exact match with our goals for the center as well as the institute,” Harris said. “He has the knowledge, know-how, motivation and personal connections in the emergency response arena to provide guidance for making the center one of the top entities of its kind in the country.”

“I enjoy working with higher education officials and academicians to develop solutions that help protect not only the environment, but the world community, and I have particularly enjoyed my relationship with UTD,” Staves said. “I believe our collaboration will raise the bar for the institute and the center and protect future generations for years to come.”

Prior to joining UTD, Staves was engaged in managing the regional activities of federal on-scene coordinators in performing superfund (hazardous waste) removal and emergency response actions, as well as overseeing the development and maintenance of regional components of federal contingency plans.

Also during his tenure with the EPA, Staves was instrumental in helping UTD to develop E-Plan, a unique, highly secure, Web-based emergency response information system and regulatory compliance facilitator that has hundreds of local and regional facilities in its database. The database includes detailed information on approximately 8,000 chemicals the EPA deems hazardous.

A graduate of Oklahoma State University, Staves earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology and zoology, respectively.

About the Digital Forensics and Emergency Preparedness Institute

The Digital Forensics and Emergency Preparedness Institute was created to help deal with the rapidly growing problems of cyber crime, information security and emergency preparedness. It is one of only a handful of entities of its kind in the United States and eventually will encompass a degree program that offers such courses as understanding security, digital forensics encryption, secure wireless and hardware networks and safety and security within computer or digital networks. It has three centers: digital forensics and security, information security and emergency preparedness.

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