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M.S. Biology, University of Virginia, May 1989. Neuroscience emphasis.

B.A. Biology, University of Virginia, May 1985. Neurobiology program.

FEMA National Emergency Training Center Incident Command System (ICS) Train-the-Trainer, FEMA Public Information Officer, FEMA Disaster Response and Recovery Operations, FEMA EOC Management & Operations, Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) Rapid Assessment, VDEM Emergency Information System software, VDEM Customer Service Training, VDEM Hazardous Weather and Flood Preparation, FEMA Federal Response Plan Overview, FEMA EOC-ICS Interface, USAF/USCG National Search and Rescue School-Inland SAR Coordination, Virginia Emergency Medical Technician-Cardiac, American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Center for Emergency Medicine Wilderness EMT, National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) Managing Search Function, NASAR Incident Commander: Search and Rescue.



Technical Instructor May 1988- Current
State SAR Coordinator, Disaster Recovery Center - Manager (Reservist)
Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Operations Center, Richmond, Virginia.

Principal investigator in collaborative research project analyzing the characteristics of Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders critical wanderers with a grant from the Virginia Center of Aging. Duties included grant writing, setting research objectives, data collection, inter-viewing, development of database, administration of cognitive tests, statistical analysis and presentation. Principal investigator in development of a methodology to determine performance measures on the effectiveness of disaster mitigation, preparation, and response. Developed managing information system for specific tasking of disaster related incidents. Teach several courses in search and rescue operations. Member of Virginia Emergency Response Team; served in the positions of State SAR Coordinator, Satellite Disaster Field Office Manager, Operations Officer, and Disaster Recovery Center Manager during disaster activations. Type I Incident Commander serving on more than 60 multi-organization emergency incidents. Directly supervise and train 5-30 staff officers on lost person/missing aircraft operations with a budget of up to $500,000 per incident.


Executive Producer August 1989 - Current
dbS Productions, Charlottesville, Virginia

Publisher of scientific, medical, and Search & Rescue texts. Consultant on topics of Search & Rescue/Emergency Management training courses, research and statistical analysis, and development of performance measures. As executive producer produced ten educational videotapes. Course developer of Virginia Incident Commander - Ground training program, Wilderness First-Aid program, and Search Operations for Staff program.

Agency Management Analyst November 1997 - 1999

Virginia Department of Fire Programs, Richmond, VA
Developed performance measures for agency. Work directly for Executive Director.

Senior Laboratory Specialist August 1992 - September 1995
Center for Research in Reproduction
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Developed novel experimental protocols, designed research equipment, conducted surgery, and performed experiments in intravital microscopy. Established and maintained laboratory local area network. Installed hardware, software, and integrated computer/video image analysis work station.

Faculty, Lecturer II, August 1990 - August 1992

Piedmont Virginia Community College, Charlottesville, Virginia

As adjunct faculty taught introductory biology class and lab sections. Principal investigator in behavioral research for preliminary collaborative research project analyzing the characteristics of elderly critical wanders with dementia.


Virginia Department of Emergency Management September 1985 - Present

Incident Commander - Ground (Course Developer), Practical Search Operations (Instructor), Managing the Search Function (Instructor), Managing Search Operations (Lead Instructor), Search and Rescue First Responder (Lead Instructor), Field Team Leader (Instructor), Field Team Member (Lead Instructor), Incident Command System for Law Enforcement (Instructor) Emergency Operations Center - Incident Command System Interface (Lead Instructor)

dbS Productions October 1988 - Current
Fundamentals of Outdoor First-Aid (Course developer) Essentials of Outdoor First-Aid (Course developer), Search Operations for Staff (Course developer).

Piedmont Virginia Community College September 1990 - May 1992

Introductory Biology 101, 102, Adjunct Faculty

Department of Biology, University of Virginia September 1985 - December 1988
Graduate Teaching Assistant for: Biology 101 Introductory Biology Laboratory for non-majors, Biology 201-204 Introductory Biology Laboratory for majors, Biology 424 Neurophysiology, Biology 817 Neurophysiology,


Virginia Center for Aging Grant Award (97-2), 1996
Editor's Choice Award, National Library of Poetry, 1994
Kepner Award (for teaching excellence), Department of Biology, University of Virginia. 1988
Graduate Assistantship, University of Virginia, 1985-1988
First Place Undergraduate Research Symposium, University of Virginia, 1985.


Koester R. J. And Stooksbury, D.E. (2001) Lost Alzheimer’s Disease Subjects: a Search Manager’s Guide. dbS Productions, Charlottesville M.S. in preparation.

Fuller, G., Johnson, E., Koester R. (2000) Man-Trackers & Dog Handlers in Search & Rescue: Basic Guidelines and information. dbS Productions, Charlottesville, VA

Koester R.J. (1999) Lost Alzheimer's Disease Search Management. dbS productions, Charlottesville, VA

Koester R. J. And Stooksbury, D.E. (1998) The Lost Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Subject: New Research and Perspectives. Response 98 NASAR Proceedings. National Association of Search and Rescue, Chantilly, Virginia p. 165-181

Koester R. J. and Colestock, H.E. (1998) Performance Measurement in Emergency Management: One Government’s Experience. Proceedings of the 5th Annual Conference of the International Emergency Management Society. 1998 May 19-22; Washington D.C.

Koester R. J. (1997) "Fatigue and Search and Rescue" Response 15:4:18-24

Koester R. J. (1997) Fatigue: Sleep Management During Disasters and Sustained Operations. dbS Productions, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Koester R. J. (1997) Incident Commander for Ground Search and Rescue. dbS Productions, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Koester R. J. (1996) Field Operations Guide for Search & Rescue: Standard Operating Guidelines for Search & Rescue using the Incident Command System. dbS Productions.

Koester R.J. & Stooksbury D.E. (1995) "Behavioral Profile of Possible Alzheimer's Disease Subjects in Search and Rescue Incidents in Virginia." Wilderness and Environmental Medicine. 6:34-43

Koester, R.J. (1994) "Short" in At Day's End. National Library of Poetry, Owings Mill, MD

Koester R.J. (1993) Chapter 9, 10 Dissection of the Fetal Pig in Organismal Biology: A Laboratory Introduction [ed. Riopel J.L.] Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa.

Koester R.J. and Stooksbury D.E. (1992) "Lost Alzheimer's Subjects-Profiles and Statistics. Response 11:4:20-26.

Koester R.J. et. al. (1992) Outdoor First-Aid, dbS Productions. Charlottesville, Virginia.

Koester R.J. et. al. (1991) Wilderness and Rural Life Support Guidelines, dbS Productions, Charlottesville.



"Behavioral and statistical profile of Lost ADRD Subjects in Virginia" presented to the Governor’s Commission on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Richmond Virginia, November 2000

"Behavioral and Statistical Profile of Lost Alzheimer's Subjects in Virginia:" presented at The Alzheimer's and Related Diseases Research Award Fund: Discovering Treatments and Improving the Care of Virginians with Dementia. Richmond, VA June, 2000

"Updated lost Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders behavioral profiles" and "Fatigue Management" presented at Canadian SAR Secretariat SARSCENE’98, "New behavioral statistics on lost psychotics and mentally retarded subjects" presented at the Fourth Syrotuck International Symposium in conjunction with SARSCENE’98 Banff Canada, September 1998.

"Updated lost Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders behavioral profiles" and "Fatigue Management" presented at the New York SAR Conference, New York, September 1998.

"Searching for the lost Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Subject" presented at Search and Rescue/Disaster Response 98, Nashville, June 1998

"Lost Person Behavioral Updates: The Alzheimer’s Case" presented at National Association of Search and Rescue Conference, Response 98, Portland, OR, May 1998

"Performance Measurement in Emergency Management: One Government’s Experience" presented at The International Emergency Management Societies disaster & Emergency Management: International Challenges for the Next decade 5th annual Conference, Washington, D.C. May 1998

"SAR resource mixing & Operations as the Incident Commander" presented at The Northeast Regional SAR Conference, Fatimia Camp, NH May 1998

"Prospective Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Wandering Research" presented at the Second Syrotuck Symposium in conjunction with SARSCENE 97, Su Saint Saul, Ontario Canada. Oct. 1997

"New prospective Alzheimer’s Research results" presented at the Berkshire SAR conference, Berkshire, New Hampshire. September 1997.

"Fatigue and Search and Rescue" and "Updated Alzheimer’s and Despondent Profiles" presented at Response 97, National Association of Search and Rescue, Richmond, Virginia. May 1997

"Behavioral and Statistical Analysis of Lost Alzheimer’s Disease Patients Requiring a Search & Rescue Response" presented at The Gerontological Society of America Symposia. Washington, D.C. Nov. 1996

"Behavioral and Statistical Profile of the Lost Alzheimer’s and Related Disease Subjects in Virginia" presented to The Virginia Bloodhound Association, Winchester VA. May 1996

"Updated Alzheimer’s Statistics and Future Research" presented at William G. Syrotuck Symposium on Search Theory and Practice. Denver, Colorado. May 1996

"Air Crash Analysis" presented at the Helicopter Survival Symposium, Charlottesville, Virginia. 1995

"Initial Actions for Law-Enforcement searching for the Lost Alzheimer’s Disease Subject" presented to Blue Ridge Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Police Awareness Conference. 1994

"Outdoor First-Aid" presented to the National Police Bloodhound Association. Winchester, VA 1993

"Lost Subject Profile for Alzheimer's in Virginia" presented at the National Association for Search & Rescue. Phoenix, Arizona. 1992

"Wilderness Poisonings, Bites, and Stings" presented to Undergraduate Seminar, Department of Biology, University of Virginia. Charlottesville, Virginia. 1988

"Wilderness Search and Rescue" presented to the Fifth Annual Disaster Seminar. Farmville, VA 86




Appalachian Search & Rescue Conference Inc. September 1981 - Present

Board of Directors April 1985 - Present

Chairman April 1990 - April 1992

Vice-Chairman April 1988 - April 1990

Chairman, Medical Committee April 1988 - April 1990

Incident Commander (93 searches)

Type I: 6 searches Type II: 82 searches Type III: 5 searches

General Staff (35 searches)

Field Team Leader (31 searches)

Other positions held: Communications Officer, Operations Officer, Dispatch Officer, Dispatch Supervisor, Demobilization Leader, Branch Director, Division Supervision, Plans Chief, Public Information Officer, Safety Officer, Liaison Officer, and Area Command Authority.

Virginia Search and Rescue Council, Delegate January 1986 - Present

President January 1993 - Present

Spearheaded legislative changes Virginia Code to enhance SAR response. Assisted in the development of Governor’s Task Force on Emergency Medical Response Disaster Planning, Virginia Annex 1-AA and H, Virginia Search and Rescue Council Standard Operating Procedure and development of state standards.

Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad EMT-C April 1996 - Present
Department of Criminal Justice Services Alzheimer Committee June 1998 - Present
Statewide Mutual Aid Committee July 1997 - 2000
Governor's Task Force on Disaster Planning October 1987 - October 1988
Thomas Jefferson Emergency Medical Services Council October 1986 - October 1988
Western Albemarle Rescue Squad, Crew Chief September 1982 - August 1986
Jefferson Literary and Debating Society September 1983 - May 1985
University of Virginia String Orchestra (violin) September 1981 - May 1985

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