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 currently a member of the University of Oklahoma faculty in the Center for Applied Social Research, and the Department of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma, she also serves as the Director of the Center for Risk, Crisis & 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.
Some representative publications include:
- Hui Li, Hank Jenkins-Smith, Carol Silva, Robert Berrens, and Kerry Herron. 2009. "Public Support for Reducing US Reliance on Fossil Fuels: Investigating Household Willingness to Pay for Energy Research and Development" Ecological Economics 68(3):731-742.
- Berrens, Robert P., Phillip Ganderton and Carol L Silva. 2009. “Valuing the Protection of In-Stream Flows in New Mexico”, in R Quinton Grafton (ed) The Economics of Water Resources. Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Jenkins-Smith, Hank, Carol L Silva and Christopher Murray. 2009 “Beliefs about Radiation: Scientists, the Public and Public Policy,” Journal of Health Physics 97(5):519-527.
- Moynihan, Donald P. and Carol Silva. 2008. “The Administrators of Democracy: A Research Note on Local Election Officials.” Public Administration Review. 68(5): 816-827.
- Silva, Carol L and Hank C. Jenkins-Smith. 2007. “Precaution in Context: Comparing US and EU Scientists’ Prescriptions for Policy in the Face of Uncertainty,” Social Science Quarterly 88(3): 640-664.
- Silva, Carol L, H. Jenkins-Smith and R. Barke. 2007 “From Experts’ Beliefs to Safety Standards: Explaining Preferred Radiation Protection Standards in Polarized Technical Communities,” Risk Analysis 27(3): 755-773.
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 currently a member of the faculty in the Center for Applied Social Research at the University of Oklahoma, and serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Risk, Crisis & 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 dispose of chemical weapons, and he currently serves as an elected member of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement. Last year 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 mismanagement) 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.
Kerry G. Herron is a research scientist with the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Applied Social Research and the OU Center for Risk, Crisis & Resilience. 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.
Matthew Henderson has been providing support for internet initiatives in higher education for over ten years. For the last seven years he has focused on developing websites and web-based applications, supporting education and research in the social sciences. Since receiving a BS in journalism from Texas A&M University, he has primarily worked to advance knowledge within university settings by facilitating the communication of ideas online. Websites he administered were viewed more than one million times last year.
Graduate Student Researchers
Thaddieus Conner is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. Before coming to OU, he received a BA in Political Science from Concord University and an MPA from New Mexico State University. He has extensive experience working with indigenous communities on issues related to tribal economic development, education, and governance. His research interests include public management, public opinion, and collaborative governance, with a particular interest in tribal politics and education policy in both K-12 and higher education. He is currently involved in several projects related to the impact and regulation of Indian gaming in the United States as well as the role of American Indian nations in the intergovernmental relations framework. With regards to education policy, he is also interested in the nature and strength of partnerships between tribes and public schools, and the impact of higher education policies on student success in public colleges and universities.
Kuhika Gupta is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. Before coming to OU, she got a BA in Political Science from Delhi University, India, an MA in International Relations from the University of Warwick, UK, and an MA in Political Science from OU. Her research interests include the study of ethnic party politics in India and contentious political processes such as siting of nuclear power plants and waste repositories. Current research projects include the study of various nuclear fuel cycle facilities from a comparative perspective, encompassing countries like the US, India, South Korea, Sweden, and France.
Mark James is a doctoral student in Political Science, with emphasis in public policy and public administration. He received a masters of public policy and administration from the University of California-Sacramento in 2001. Energy policies and the impacts of governmental energy decisions were Mark’s primary interests as he entered the program. As global populations increase in the future, competition for energy resources will become an ever greater task that governments must address. Over time, energy related concerns have evolved to a broader interest in not only issues of energy crisis, but crisis in general. Mark has become very interested in considering the mechanisms employed by emergency responders, as well as the preparations taken (or not) by policy makers, in terms of policy decisions taken in response to crisis.
Matthew C. Nowlin
Matthew Nowlin is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Oklahoma and a research assistant at the Center for Risk, Crisis & Resilience and the Center for Social Research. He received a BA and MA from the University of Central Oklahoma. His research interests include theories of the policy process, bureaucratic politics, and linkages between public opinion and public policy. He is currently involved with projects that examine the evolution of spent nuclear fuel policy in the United States overtime, the shaping of public opinion regarding nuclear issues, and the impact of weather and weather perceptions on public views about global climate change. In addition to his theoretical interests, he has substantive interests in nuclear energy, spent nuclear fuel management, and climate change policy.
Thomas Rabovsky is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. He has also has BA in Political Science, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration 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 understanding beliefs and perceptions about performance and the use of data in public management. Thomas is a graduate affiliate with the Center for Risk, Crisis & Resilience at OU, where he participates in several projects.
Joe Ripberger is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. He has a BA in Political Science from Miami University in Oxford, OH and an MA in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma. His research interests have developed in a number of different directions. With regard to the policy process, his research focuses on the way in which public opinion and public attention influence policy change. In terms of risk and risk perceptions, he spends most of his time at the intersection between domestic and national security policy. Accordingly, he studies an eclectic group of issues ranging from energy and environmental policy to homeland security and nuclear weapons policy. Currently, he is working on a number of CRCM Projects, including the national security and nuclear politics project, the energy assurance project, and the NFC siting project.
Geoboo Song is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. He earned a MA in Public Policy from Korea University and a Master of International Public Affairs (with Policy Analysis Concentration) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been involved in policy research for various public entities including Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, and Korea Nuclear Energy Foundation. His research interests lie in explaining risk perceptions and policy preferences of technical/scientific experts and the general public in various risk domains, such as vaccines, global climate change and nuclear waste. Currently, he is participating in a research project investigating public perceptions of vaccination risks and related policy preferences.
Sarah Trousset is a doctoral student in Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. She has a BA in Public Affairs and Administration from the University of Oklahoma. Her studies have focused on Public Opinion and Policy, Risk and Policy, and Public Administration. Her research interests include the role of science in the policy process and how risk, information and values influence the types of behaviors individuals engage in. Sarah is a graduate affiliate with the Center for Applied Social Research and the Center for Risk, Crisis & Resilience at OU, where she actively participates in a range of funded research projects.
Find Policy Experts
& Crisis Management
An interdisciplinary research center
The CRCR 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 CRCR 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.