Carol L. Silva
Carol L. Silva earned her PhD in political science and public policy from the University of Rochester (1998). She was previously employed by the University of New Mexico's Institute for Public Policy, the Department of Political Science and the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. She is the Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma, and serves as the Director of the Center for Risk and Crisis Management. She is also co-Director for both the Center for Energy, Security and Society and the National Institute for Risk and Resilience.
Dr. Silva's current research encompasses the intersection of a set of theoretical and methodological social science issues. She studies social valuation generally, and more specifically the translation of values into public choice. The empirical underpinnings of the social valuation and risk perception research are grounded in applied survey research methodologies and public policy analysis. The specific topics of research interest include: risk perception, environmental politics and policy; science and technology policy; climate, weather and social science, contingent valuation methodology; policy analysis; cost benefit analysis; risk analysis and assessment.
Hank C. Jenkins-Smith
Hank Jenkins-Smith earned his PhD in political science and public policy from the University of Rochester (1985). He has been employed as a policy analyst in the DOE Office of Policy Analysis (1982-83), and previously served on the faculty of Southern Methodist University, the University of New Mexico, and Texas A&M University. He is a George Lynn Cross Research Professor in the Department of Political Science, and serves as co-Director of the Center for Risk and Crisis Management. He is also the Director of the Center for Energy, Security and Society, and co-Director (with Dr. Silva) of the National Institute for Risk and Resilience. Professor Jenkins-Smith has published books, articles and reports on public policy processes, risk perception, national security, and energy and environmental policy. He has served on National Research Council Committees focused on policies to transport spent nuclear fuel and disposal of chemical weapons, and he currently serves as an elected member on the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement and the American Political Science Association. In 2012, he gave several presentations to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future to assist in the Commission's deliberations on public acceptance of new initiatives in nuclear facility siting.
Dr. Jenkins-Smith's current research focuses on theories of the public policy process, with particular emphasis on the management (and mis-management) of controversial technical issues involving high-risk perceptions on the part of the public. He applies a variant of Cultural Theory (as advanced by anthropologist Mary Douglas and political scientist Aaron Wildavsky) to understand variations in public understanding and response to a range of societal risks, including climate change, nuclear technologies, natural disasters, radioactive materials, vaccines, and others. As part of this work he has fielded a series of national surveys since 1993 focusing on public understanding and preferences regarding nuclear security, accompanied by a more recent series (starting in 2006) focusing on energy, environmental issues, and nuclear materials management. In his spare time, Professor Jenkins-Smith engages in personal experiments in risk perception and management via skiing, scuba diving and motorcycling.
Dr. Carlson earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012. He also holds an M.P.A from UW-Madison and a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from St. John's University. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Carlson's research agenda explores the operations of public policies and analyzes their effects on political, social, and economic outcomes of interest. He is currently working on several projects, including: estimating the effects of school closures on academic outcomes; estimating non-market values associated with dam operations in the Colorado River System; and analyzing the relationship between educational outcomes, including post-secondary enrollment and attainment, and public program participation. In his free time, Dr. Carlson enjoys watching and participating in sports, spending time outdoors with his family, and cooking.
Dr. Cokely serves as Presidential Research Professor and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Oklahoma. He specializes in the Psychology of Skilled and Informed Decision Making with applications in risk communication, decision support, and user experience (UX). His research has been continuously grant-supported since completion of his Ph.D. at the Florida State University (2007). He is recipient of 15 research and teaching honors including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2013), the American Psychological Association’s Best Applied Paper Award (2012), and the Research Prize of the University of Granada (2015). He serves as faculty in the National Institute for Risk and Resilience (2015-current) and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (2007-current). He is also an inclusion-diversity advocate, associate editor of the journal Judgment and Decision Making, and founder of RiskLiteracy.org. In his free time he enjoys live music, science fiction, time with family, and urban hiking.
Justin Reedy is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and research associate in the Center for Risk and Crisis Management and Center for Energy, Security and Society at the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Reedy studies political communication and deliberation, mass and digital media, and group and organizational communication. In particular, his research focuses on how groups of people make political and civic decisions in online and face-to-face settings. In one of his current projects, he and his colleagues are applying theories of group communication to the context of terrorism, with the aim of building a stronger understanding of group dynamics and decision-making in terrorist cells and leadership groups. He is also working on a project examining the norms of political discussion in the United States, and how Latino immigrants in the U.S. develop their understanding of political conversation in their new society.
Dr. Reedy earned a B.S. degree from Georgia Tech in 2000, and earned a master's degree (2008) and then a Ph.D. (2013) in communication, with a certificate in political communication, at the University of Washington. Prior to graduate school, he was a media professional, working as a reporter and columnist at daily newspapers in the Atlanta area, and then as a media relations specialist and science writer for the UW Medicine system of the University of Washington.
Joe Ripberger is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and the Deputy Director for Research at the Center for Risk and Crisis Management. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of Oklahoma in 2012. Currently, his research focuses on risk, decision-making, public opinion, and public policy with an emphasis on weather, climate, and water policy. His recent research has appeared in a number of academic outlets, including Policy Studies Journal, Politics & Policy, Risk Analysis, and Weather, Climate, and Society. In his free time, Joe enjoys traveling, cooking, and playing soccer.
Professor Workman joined the Center after previously holding a position at the University of Texas at Austin, where he remains the bureaucracy and regulatory politics expert for the Policy Agendas Project. Previously, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2009. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and a research faculty member at the CRCM. His research and teaching interests lie in the fields of American politics, public policy, and research methodology. Professor Workman is interested in how information is generated in the policymaking system, and how policymaking institutions process information, leading to various degrees of system adaptability. Professor Workman’s (2015) book, The Dynamics of Bureaucracy in the U.S. Government: How Congress and Federal Agencies Process Information and Solve Problems (Cambridge University Press) focuses on the regulatory process as generating information that shapes the congressional agenda in a two way flow of influence between the bureaucracy and Congress. Current projects examine the influence of governmental policy analysis on agenda setting and the impact of regulatory uncertainty and fragmentation on business investment and employment. Professor Workman teaches courses on the bureaucracy, regulatory politics, public policy, agenda setting, measurement, and data visualization.
Nina Carlson is the Deputy Director for the Center for Risk and Crisis Management and the Center for Energy, Security and Society at the University of Oklahoma. She oversees the management of external contracts and grants held by the Centers, leads strategic growth activities for the Centers, as well as serving as the Centers' external liaison to public, private and non-profit groups.
Nina holds a B.A. in Government from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Public Affairs (M.P.A) from the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After receiving her graduate degree, Nina worked in a number of public sector positions, including as a senior policy advisor and grants coordinator to Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, as a senior policy analyst and federal liaison at the Wisconsin State Energy Office, and as an analyst at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Prior to receiving her graduate degree, Nina worked as a research assistant and associate at the American Institutes of Research in Washington, D.C. Nina's policy interests center around renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, and the intersection of energy policy with economic development interests. In her free time, Nina enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 daughters, baking, and doing (or at least starting) home improvement projects.
Kuhika Gupta is a Research Scientist at the Center for Risk and Crisis Management and the Center for Energy, Security and Society at the University of Oklahoma. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of Oklahoma in 2013. She also holds a B.A. in Political Science from Delhi University, India and an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Warwick, UK. Her research interests include theories of the policy process and comparative public policy. Currently, her research focuses on public perceptions regarding nuclear energy as well as the social, political, and institutional factors that influence nuclear facility siting from a global comparative perspective. In other research, she studies how narratives about nuclear energy are received and dispersed on social media platforms. As part of her comparative policy research agenda, she also studies the policy dynamics associated with legislative issue agenda in India. Her research has appeared in a number of academic journals, including Policy Studies Journal and Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis. In her free time, Kuhika likes to travel (back home to India or anywhere new and exciting), eat at new restaurants, and knit.
Jeane is the Executive Coordinator for the Center for Risk and Crisis Management. Jeane brings a wealth of experience in office management, accounting, and knowledge of University policies and practices to the CRCM group, and particularly specializes in all things travel. In her free time, Jeane enjoys gardening and keeping close tabs on the baseball season!
Matthew Henderson is the Deputy Director for Information Technology and Design at the Center for Risk and Crisis Management at the University of Oklahoma. He has been providing solutions to technology needs in higher education for over ten years. For the last four years, Matthew has been developing websites and applications in support of education and research initiatives in the social sciences at the CRCM. Websites he has developed and administered have exceeded one million page views a year. In his free time, Matthew enjoys spending time with his family, songwriting, and reading.
Julie Krutz is the Coding Lab Manager for the Center for Risk and Crisis Management at the University of Oklahoma. She oversees all aspects of the coding lab which consists of training undergraduate student research assistants, collaborating with project leads and directing the coding of data for various research projects.
Julie holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno and an M.S. in Educational Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University. She has worked in the public education sector for over 20 years teaching and developing online courses at Rio Salado College and the University of Oklahoma, College of Liberal Studies. She also has training in the private educational sector working for Educational Testing Service. In her free time, Julie enjoys traveling with her husband, visiting her three grown children in various states and working out with her friends at the gym.
Graduate Research Assistants
Tracey Bark is a doctoral student in Political Science at the University of Oklahoma, and is focusing her studies on Public Policy and Public Administration. Prior to entering the program, she earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma. Her research interests are primarily within the area of education policy and how it can be improved for the benefit of students. In her free time, Tracey enjoys playing the piano and being active outdoors.
Cheryl Maiorca is a doctoral student in Communication at the University of Oklahoma. She holds a B.A. in Social and Behavioral Science from Linfield College and an M.S. in Emergency Management and Homeland Security from Arkansas State University. Her studies have focused on ways households are motivated to prepare for potential disasters. Her research interests include social influence relating to preparedness behaviors as well as organizational communication addressing how emergency management models can assist communities in being resilient when disasters strike. Cheryl is a graduate affiliate with the Center for Risk and Crisis Management and Center for Energy, Security and Society at OU.
Wesley is a PhD candidate in Political Science and a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Risk & Crisis Management as well as the Center for Energy, Security & Society. He joined the CRCM as an undergraduate at the University of Oklahoma where he graduated with a B.A. in Economics and Public Affairs and Administration in 2014. While working for CRCM and CES&S as an undergraduate, his research focused on the use of social media during severe weather events. Since then, he has worked on other projects to develop social media as a policy analysis tool. His research interests include public perceptions of health risks and how the public communicates these risks. In his free time, he runs half marathons and is an aspiring gourmand.
Undergraduate Policy Research Fellows
Cody Adams is an undergraduate at the University of Oklahoma studying Industrial and Systems Engineering and Political Science. After completing his undergraduate studies, Cody plans to attend law school. Prior to attending the University of Oklahoma, Cody worked from 2009 until 2014 for an internet technology company he cofounded. During this time, his company focused on developing systems to process "Big Data" quickly to facilitate immediate decisions. Cody brings his unique background and skillset to CRCM as an undergraduate research fellow. During his free time, Cody is an avid car enthusiast racing in 24-hour endurance races and autocrosses.
Christina Hagens is a junior at the University of Oklahoma working towards a degree in Environmental Sustainability, with a concentration in Science and Natural Resources, and a minor in Political Science. Her academic interests include environmental policy, water quality, and climate change. Working as an undergraduate researcher for the CRCM, she studies nuclear waste policy in the hopes of learning about how current environmental problems are addressed in congressional settings. Outside of work, she is involved in The Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band, Concert Band, and Tau Beta Sigma, a National Honorary Band Sorority. For the past three semesters she has been on the Dean's Honor Roll for the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Science while balancing obligations for her music scholarship and sorority.
Mary Kyncl is a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma studying Elementary Education. She plans to attend graduate school and earn a masters degree in Educational Administration, Curriculum and Supervision with hopes of one day becoming a principal. Mary is involved in President's Community Scholars, The Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band, Tau Beta Sigma, Soonerthon, and Camp Crimson. Mary is also an undergraduate research assistant with the Center for Crisis and Risk Management, where she partakes in collaborative research projects. She focuses on analyzing data collected from Twitter that has to do with severe weather, in hopes that communication will one day improve in severe situations.
Tempie Stewart is a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma. She is pursuing a degree in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Policy. After graduation, Tempie plans on attending law school with the hopes of being a civil and environmental rights attorney. Tempie is incredibly interested and involved in politics and has the ambitions to eventually venture into the political field and be an advocate for civil rights. She also has a huge passion for animals and Tempie’s ultimate goal is to open a non-profit animal shelter where she can rehabilitate and train rescue dogs to be certified as therapy and psychiatric dogs for low-income individuals who struggle with mental health.
Kerry G. Herron is a research scientist with the University of Oklahoma's Center for Applied Social Research, the OU Center for Risk and Crisis Management, and the Center for Energy, Security, and Society. He is an adjunct member of the Graduate Faculty at Texas A&M University and the Political Science Department at the University of New Mexico. His primary research interests include national security, energy security, and environmental security, with special focus on public opinion research of the nuclear dimensions of security and the challenges of terrorism. He has extensive experience in advanced survey research methodologies, including design, application, and analyses of national and international surveys of mass and elite publics. Since 1993, he has been a principal researcher on the most extensive longitudinal study of American views on the nuclear dimensions of security ever conducted. Kerry also studies relationships between freedom and security, and is especially interested in how normative beliefs and expectations about liberty and security evolve during and after periods of peace, war, and national crises.
Kerry is the author/coauthor of numerous published technical reports, academic articles, and the book titled Critical Masses and Critical Choices: Evolving Public Opinion on Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, and Security (2006). He retired from the United States Air Force in 1990 as at the rank of Colonel. He is a Command Pilot with extensive experience in fighter operations, including combat in Southeast Asia. He is a distinguished graduate of the Air Command Staff College and the Air War College, and he received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Mexico in 1994.
Tyler Hughes is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at California State University, Northridge. He received his PhD in Political Science at the University of Oklahoma, where he was a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Risk and Crisis Management. Before coming to OU, he received a B.A. in Political Science at Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS and an M.A. in Political Science from Western Michigan University. While at OU, Tyler was also a graduate fellow at the University of Oklahoma's Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center. His research interests focus on how political factors within Congress affect the policy process at the subsystem level. Consequently, his substantive interests cover a diverse range of topics, such as energy, environmental, and health care policy.
Natalie Jackson is currently Senior Data Scientist with the Huffington Post, working primarily in the HuffPollster section (formerly Pollster.com) to aggregate polls, build election forecasting models, and cover advances and controversies in survey research methodology. She continues to do research in the areas of survey research and political psychology, especially on how individuals form their preferences and how they answer survey questions. She also works on Bayesian time series models and multiple imputation methods. Prior to joining the Huffington Post, she worked at the Marist College Poll as Senior Analyst, helping conduct NBC News/Wall Street Journal battleground state polls in the 2012 election cycle. She completed her Ph.D. at OU in December of 2011, while working as a predoctoral (and then postdoctoral) researcher at Duke University with the Duke Initiative on Survey Methodology. Natalie can be contacted at: https://independent.academia.edu/NatalieJackson3
Michael Jones is currently an Assistant Professor at Oregon State's School of Public Policy. He received his PhD in Political Science in 2010 from the University of Oklahoma and holds an MA and BS in Political Science, both granted from Idaho State University. His research focuses on the role and influence of narrative in public policy processes, outcomes, and science communication. Michael can be reached at: http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/spp/polisci/michael-jones
Matthew Nowlin is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the College of Charleston. His research interests include theories of the policymaking process, with a substantive interest in environmental and energy policy. More specifically, he is interested in the information that used to determine how policy issues are understood—by both the public and policy elites—and the implications of those understandings for policy outcomes. He is most interested in these dynamics in policy domains that are scientifically and technically complex, such as climate change and nuclear energy.
Dr. Nowlin can be contacted through the College of Charleston Political Science Department at http://polisci.cofc.edu/about/faculty-staff-listing/nowlin-matthew.php
Jason PudloJason Pudlo is an Assistant Professor at Oral Roberts University. He received his PhD from the University of Oklahoma in 2017. His studies focus on Public Administration, American Politics, International Relations, and mixed methods research. His research interests reside at the intersection of religion and politics. This specifically includes private-public partnerships between faith-based groups and government in disaster response, religious freedom issues in both the domestic and international arenas, and religious influences in ideology and voting behavior. Before attending OU, Jason earned a M.A. in Religious Studies at Missouri State University with an emphasis on religion and society. Prior to pursuing an academic career, Jason previously undertook vocational religious training including studying at seminary.
Thomas Rabovsky graduated from OU with a PhD in Political Science in the Spring of 2013, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. He has also holds a B.A. in Political Science and a Master's degree in Public Administration, both from the University of Oklahoma. His research interests include a variety of topics related to Public Policy and Public Management. These include Higher Education Policy, Performance Management, and Public Opinion. He is currently working on a series of projects that examine state politics and higher education reforms and their impacts on student outcomes. He is also interested in a variety of questions related to accountability, governance, and the role of belief systems in shaping perceptions about performance and the use of data in public management.
Dr. Rabovsky can be reached through the Indiana Political Science department at http://www.indiana.edu/~spea/faculty/rabovsky-thomas.shtml.
Geoboo Song is an Assistant Professor of political science and public policy at the University of Arkansas. His research interests lie in explaining risk perceptions, policy preferences and related behaviors of policy elites and the general public in various risk domains, such as vaccines, global climate change and nuclear materials. He has also been involved in policy research and practices for various public entities including IAEA, U.S. Department of Energy, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, and Korea Nuclear Energy Foundation.
Dr. Song can be reached through the University of Arkansas Political Science Department at http://plsc.uark.edu/7232.php.
Find Policy Experts
Doctoral Research Assistants
Undergraduate Policy Research Fellows
- Savannah Collins
- Thaddieus Conner
- Kerry Herron
- Tyler Hughes
- Natalie Jackson
- Michael Jones
- Matthew Nowlin
- Jason Pudlo
- Thomas Rabovsky
- Geoboo Song
& Crisis Management
An interdisciplinary research center
The CRCM is an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Oklahoma that studies risk, risk perception and crisis management in several substantive domains. The areas of research interest and expertise include energy and the environment, weather and climate, national security and terrorism, and the social dynamics surrounding complex controversial technologies.
New pathways for understanding
The CRCM seeks to develop new pathways for understanding and managing technological and environmental risks. The CRCM maintains an expanding network of affiliated researchers from other universities, national laboratories, and federal agencies to assist in both defining and utilizing new and unexpected opportunities for research and public policy analysis.