Jeanne Homer

Jeanne Homer has led several interdisciplinary projects related to building hazards, emergencies, and sustainability. She recently assessed and identified historic buildings at risk in Oklahoma due to induced earthquakes with a structural engineer, Professor Ramming, and a geologist, Dr. Daniel Laó-Dávila. In the Spring of 2016, she released an educational video with Dr. Hoskins sponsored by a National Institute of Standards and Technology grant covering emergency egress design in buildings. The video was released to every architecture and fire protection and safety program in the country, and a free YouTube link is available to everyone: In the Spring of 2015, she led the development of a multidisciplinary design competition entry for a sustainable approach to groundwater management for a residential development in Tulsa.
Professor Homer received her Bachelor of Science at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and her Master of Architecture at Arizona State University. She is professionally registered in Illinois and Oklahoma and has practiced in Chicago, Phoenix, and Oklahoma. She has worked on many different projects, including high-rise residential, single-family residential, and commercial work. In addition to her fourteen years at Oklahoma State University School of Architecture, she has taught as an adjunct at the Art Institute of Chicago and Arizona State University.

Keywords: Architecture, building design, emergency egress 

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

J.D. Carlson

JDC BAE Website PhotoJ. D. Carlson is an Associate Researcher in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. Having been at OSU since 1991, he currently serves as fire meteorologist for the Oklahoma Mesonet and program manager for OK-FIRE, Oklahoma’s operational system for wildland fire management that he developed with the Mesonet. In the early years of his OSU career, Dr. Carlson was heavily involved in developing agricultural applications of the Mesonet, but more recently has concentrated on applications to wildfire and prescribed burning. He has been successful in receiving two Joint Fire Science Program grants, one in 2005 that developed the OK-FIRE system and one in 2011 on the dynamics of grassland fuels. In recent years, he has been part of a team that has submitted proposals to NSF and FEMA involving the use of UAS (unmanned aerial systems) for tactical wildfire and disaster response.

Dr. Carlson is a member of the American Meteorological Society and a Fellow in the Royal Meteorological Society. He received his BS in Physics at Michigan State University, his MS in Meteorology at the University of Wisconsin, and his PhD in Atmospheric Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Keywords: wildland fire meteorology and behavior, boundary-layer meteorology, atmospheric dispersion, Oklahoma Mesonet, OK-FIRE, unmanned aerial system applications, remote sensing applications 

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Yongwei Shan

Headshot Shan

Yongwei Shan is an Assistant Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Oklahoma State University. One of his research thrusts is transportation infrastructure asset management. He was the Principal Investigator (PI) of a research project, entitled “Prioritizing Bridge Maintenance and Repairs Considering Geospatial and Climatological Factors.” The objective of this research was to develop a multi-criteria decision-making frame to prioritize the criticality of bridges based on the bridge conditions, accessibility, serviceability, and vulnerability. The outcome of this research will contribute to the ultimate endeavor in enhancing the resilience of the transportation infrastructure in the state of Oklahoma. Another area of Dr. Shan’s research is large-scale building evacuations under emergency. His research team has the expertise to model the behavior of building occupants and develop agent-based simulation platform to evaluate the performance of the building in evacuation under emergency. Dr. Shan is also interested in researching the required information of the built environment in a community to facilitate the emergency response decision making as well as the communication of such information to stakeholders.

Dr. Shan was a construction engineer, working in the industry for four years prior to his academic career. He received his master’s degree at the University of Kentucky in 2008 and his doctoral degree at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2014.

Keywords: Transportation Infrastructure Resilience, Building Evacuation, Agent-based Modeling, Built Environment Information Modeling 

Electrical Engineering

Qi Cheng

QiChengQi Cheng is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering. Her research interests include emergency communications and resilience of critical infrastructures. On the data analytics side, her research expertise lies in the general area of statistical signal processing, with focus on real-time situational awareness, distributed inference and multisensor multimodal data fusion. She was the PI of the NASA EPSCoR project on Integrated Vehicle Health Management, OTC project on Oklahoma Collision and Response System, NSF project on Structural Health Monitoring. Her relevant research accomplishments include the study of the fundamental issues in the area of distributed and collaborative signal processing, especially when dealing with large dynamic systems and the validation of them in real-world sensor network problems and applications.

Dr. Cheng is a Senior Member of IEEE and Member of Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN). She served as an Editor for the IEEE Communications Letters 2011-2015. Dr. Cheng received a Research Associateship award from the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies in 2015, Best Paper Awards at the International Conference on Sensor Networks and Applications 2012, and the International Conference on Information Fusion 2016.

Keywords: Emergency communications, resilience, complex system modeling and inference, data fusion. 

Fire Protection & Safety

Sam Wang

qingsheng wangSam Wang is Dale F. Janes Endowed Associate Professor of Fire Protection & Safety and Graduate Faculty of Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University. He received his PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University with an emphasis in process safety engineering. He is a registered professional engineer (PE) and certified safety professional (CSP). Dr. Wang has worked for Shell as a Technical Safety Engineer in Houston. During his tenure at OSU, he was named Big 12 Faculty Fellow and received Halliburton Outstanding Young Faculty Award.

Dr. Wang is the author of 40 referred journal papers, 22 proceedings, and 72 technical presentations. He is on the Editorial Board for 5 journals and the invited reviewer for over 25 journals. He has received funding from the NSF, NRC, NIOSH, Big 12 Faculty Fellowship, and NFPA Research Foundation. His research is in process safety engineering, focusing on thermal analysis, flame retardants, fire suppression, emergency evacuation and risk analysis.

Keywords: Process safety engineering, fire protection, emergency evacuation, risk analysis. 


Adam J. Mathews

mathewsAdam J. Mathews is an Assistant Professor of Geography at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Mathews’ research expertise is in geospatial data analysis, and use of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques. Specifically, he uses unmanned aerial systems (UAS) as remote sensing platforms to capture high spatial resolution aerial imagery for mapping and analysis. Dr. Mathews has recently worked on externally-funded research projects with Oklahoma State Parks focusing on GIS data collection, analysis, and web mapping , and the Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Consortium/NASA EPSCoR collaborating with Dr. Amy Frazier (Geography) and researchers from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to quantify urban built-up volume and assess volumetric change in cities with lidar data.

Keywords: geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), lidar

Featured research:

An evaluation of tornado siren coverage in Stillwater, Oklahoma: Optimal GIS methods for a spatially explicit interpretation.

GIS-based modeling of tornado siren sound propagation: Refining spatial extent and coverage estimations



Todd Halihan

halihanTodd Halihan, Ph.D., P.Gp. is Professor of Geology at Oklahoma State University and Chief Technical Officer for Aestus, LLC. He has dealt with environmental impacts related to water issues spanning 23 years with work on over 200 different sites. He has been involved with academic and commercial projects and has communicated issues on Oklahoma Seismicity on outlets such as the New York Times, CNBC, and the Weather Channel. He has been an associate editor for Ground Water and has served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the U.S. Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists. He served as the Chair of the Hydrogeology Division and the South-Central Section of the Geological Society of America. He currently serves on the Oklahoma governor’s Coordinating Council on Seismic Activity.

Keywords: groundwater contamination, karst, water supply, salinization, drought, induced seismicity, earthquakes. 

Industrial Engineering

Baski Balasundaram

baski balasundaramBaski Balasundaram is an Associate Professor in the School of Industrial Engineering and Management at Oklahoma State University. He received his B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, India in 2002 and his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2007. His research interests are broadly in combinatorial optimization and graph theory, on the theoretical, algorithmic, and computational aspects of solving discrete optimization problems. These problems are typically motivated by applications in social and biological network analysis, and the design of resilient networks. He is also interested in the applications of optimization models in decision-support. His work has been sponsored by the NSF, DoE, AFOSR, and industry, and his publications have appeared in Operations Research, INFORMS Journal on Computing, Journal of Global Optimization, and Discrete Optimization, among others. He serves on the editorial boards of Networks, IIE Transactions, and Journal of Global Optimization. He is a recipient of the IIE Pritsker Doctoral Dissertation Award (2nd Place) and the IIE Annual Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Operations Research.

Keywords: Operations Research; Prescriptive Analytics; Decision-Making Under Risk & Uncertainty; Social Network Analysis. 

Sunderesh S. Heragu

sunderesh heraguSunderesh S. Heragu is Regents Professor and Head of the School of Industrial Engineering and Management at Oklahoma State University where he holds the Donald and Cathey Humphreys Chair. Previously, he was the Duthie Chair in Engineering Logistics and Director of the Logistics and Distribution Institute (LoDI) at the University of Louisville. He has also served as Professor of at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Assistant Professor in State University of New York, Plattsburgh, and held visiting appointments at: State University of New York, Buffalo; Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands; University of Twente, the Netherlands; and IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY.

He is author of the 4th edition of Facilities Design and has authored or co-authored over two hundred articles. He has served as Principal investigator or co-investigator on research projects totaling over $20 million funded by federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, National Science Foundation, Defense Logistics Agency and private companies such as General Electric. Dr. Heragu is a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE). He has received IISE’s David F. Baker Distinguished Research award, Award for Technical Innovation in Industrial Engineering, two best paper awards from IIE Transactions on Design and Manufacturing Award, and the Gold Award of Excellence for leadership in Facilities Planning and Design. 


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

 James A. Kidd

James A. Kidd is an Associate Professor of Practice in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Oklahoma State University. His current research focuses on applications of unmanned aircraft for firefighting support, weather research and other remote sensing applications. These research activities generally seek to provide improved tools and capabilities for understanding the physical processes of extreme events and for the rescue and recovery response following such events.

Dr. Kidd is a retired Lt Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School Flight Test Engineer course. He served as Director Engineering for L-3 Aeromet prior to assuming his faculty position at OSU in 2012. In this role, he led development and testing of multiple airborne remote sensing aircraft systems for meteorological research and missile defense applications, including on the NOAA G-IV SP Hurricane Research Aircraft.

Keywords: Remote sensing, unmanned, aircraft, fire, firefighting, meteorology, weather, severe storms 

Jamey D. Jacob

Jamey D. Jacob is the John Hendrix Chair of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering with funded research projects in aerospace applications from AFOSR, DARPA, NASA, NextGen Aeronautics, General Electric Aircraft Engines, Boeing, and others. Main research interests include aircraft design and aircraft configuration optimization, low speed aerodynamics, vortex flows, inflatable wings, and wind tunnel and flight testing and other experimental methods, including modern measurement techniques, particularly non-intrusive global methods such as digital particle image velocimetry. He is the author of over 50 papers and technical reports in the areas of aerodynamics, flow control, and fluid mechanics. He received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1990 and his M.S and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992 and 1995, respectively. He was a National Research Council Summer Faculty Fellow in the Air Force Research Laboratory at WPAFB in both 2003 and 2004. He spent 10 years as a professor at the University of Kentucky in the Mechanical Engineering Dept. He currently serves on the Governor’s UAS Council. He is the lead PI of the 4 university NSF funded CLOUD-MAP program to develop small unmanned aircraft for use in meteorology and weather forecasting. He is currently the Director of the Unmanned Systems Research Institute at Oklahoma State University, which has been stood up to support and grow unmanned systems research and activities across the campus and state.

Keywords: aerospace engineering, unmanned aircraft, remote sensing, first response 


Stephen W.S. McKeever

Stephen W.S. McKeever is Regents Professor of Physics and MOST Chair of Experimental Physics at Oklahoma State University. He is also th Secretary of Science and Technology for the state of Oklahoma. His research interests cover radiation detection and measurement, with particular interest in monitoring individual radiation doses to people during large-scale radiological disasters, such as Nuclear Power Plant accidents or terrorist events. He is a member of several international committees and groups dedicated to the development of methods and techniques that can be used by decision-makers during mitigation of the aftermath of such events, and that can be used to devise concepts of operations during emergency response.

Keywords: Radiological emergencies, large-scale radiological exposures, individual radiation measurements. 

Physiological Sciences

Carey Pope


Carey Pope is a Regents Professor in Physiological Sciences and the Director of the Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program at Oklahoma State University. His area of interest is primarily the neurotoxicology of anticholinesterases including pesticides and nerve agents. He has been a consultant to DoD’s Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses, a standing member of EPA’s Science Advisory Panel under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, and a standing member of the NIH Neurotoxicology and Alcohol study section. His laboratory has expertise in the rapid evaluation of anticholinesterase exposures in humans, domestic animals and wildlife and their neurochemical/neurotoxicological/neurobehavioral consequences.

Keywords: Organophosphates, toxicology, acetylcholinesterase inhibition 

Political Science

Alex Greer

agreer15bAlex Greer is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Oklahoma State University. Alex received his B.S. in Sociology and Geology from East Tennessee State University and his M.S. and PhD in Disaster Science and Management from the University of Delaware. During his time at the University of Delaware, Alex worked as a Research Assistant at the Disaster Research Center, during which time he was recognized as a University Graduate Fellow and was the recipient of the Marvin B. Sussman Prize for his dissertation. Alex currently teaches in the Fire and Emergency Management Program.

Alex conducts interdisciplinary, mixed methods research on a number of elements of disaster science. Recent projects focused on: risk perception and hazard adjustment related to earthquakes in Oklahoma, household residential decision-making in disaster recovery and the role infrastructure plays in this process, archival disaster research on mental health response, and the relationship between issue framing and oil spill policy. Alex has engaged in quick response fieldwork after a number of events, including the Moore tornado of 2013, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

Keywords: Disaster Recovery, Housing Recovery, Risk Perception, Technological Disasters. 

Featured research:

A Historical Assessment of Home Buyout Policy: Are We Learning or Just Failing?

The Devil Is in the Details: Linking Home Buyout Policy, Practice, and Experience After Hurricane Sandy.

Tristan Wu


Hao-Che (Tristan) Wu is an Assistant Professor of Political Science (Ph.D) (Texas A&M University, 2013). He teaches courses in Fire & Emergency Management Administration Program, with an expertise in human behavioral science. His research areas focus on disaster information use, household disaster preparedness and response, perceptions of environmental threats, and GIS applications. Within disaster information, his research has focused on the mental model of information search, social media use and disaster information content. His work has been published, or is forthcoming, in journals including Risk Analysis, Natural Hazards, Disasters, Natural Hazard Review, Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behavior, International Journal of Mass Emergencies, etc.

Keywords: Household Response, Warning Information, Risk Analysis, GIS 

Featured research:

Household Response to Flash Flooding in the United States and India: A comparative study of the 2013 Colorado and Uttarakhand Disasters.

 Perceptions, behavioral expectations, and implementation timing for response actions in a hurricane emergency.



Duane A. Gill

gillv4Duane A. Gill is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Disasters and Extreme Events at Oklahoma State University. He was part of a research team that investigated impacts of the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill through a series of longitudinal studies spanning 24 years. He led an NSF-funded research project to document and understand impacts of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in coastal Alabama. Dr. Gill collaborated on several studies of Hurricane Katrina and organized and led a Katrina Summit that brought together national and local disaster scholars to discuss research needs and approaches to the disaster. These research activities generally seek to understand community capacity to respond to and recover from disasters, as well as ways to enhance community preparedness and resilience.

Dr. Gill is a Fulbright Scholar, having spent the 1998-99 academic year at the University of Bahrain and the Fall 2015 semester as a Visiting Research Chair in Native Studies at the University of Alberta in Canada.

Keywords: Technological hazards and disasters, human impacts, community resilience, preparedness.

Featured research:

Sociocultural and psychosocial impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill: Twenty-four years of research in Cordova, Alaska.

J. David Knottnerus

IMG 2308J. David Knottnerus is Emeritus Regents Professor of Sociology at Oklahoma State University. He has published extensively in the areas of ritual dynamics, social theory, social psychology, group processes, and social inequality. In recent years he has focused on the development of structural ritualization theory and research (SRT), which analyzes the role ritual plays in social life. He is currently working on a book dealing with the social dynamics of polar expedition crews since the mid-nineteenth century (Routledge).

The book and other studies (e.g., research on disasters, internment in concentration camps) build upon work in SRT concerned with breakdowns in social and personal rituals, their consequences, and the ways people may cope with these experiences by reconstituting old or new ritualized activities. This perspective provides an approach for better understanding how such practices can help communities cope with and enhance well-being and resilience after extreme events and disasters.

Keywords: Ritual dynamics, structural ritualization theory, disruption, deritualization, reritualization, community coping and well-being. 

Riley E. Dunlap

Dunlap v4

Riley E. Dunlap is Regents Professor of Sociology, and a long-term specialist in environmental sociology. His current work focuses on the socio-political aspects of climate change, with a special emphasis on public perceptions and political polarization. He is especially interested in the potential impacts of abnormal temperatures and extreme weather events on people’s views of human-caused climate change, views that are currently strongly influenced by political orientation. In particular, he is exploring whether experiences with weather and climatological phenomena can overcome partisan and ideological opposition to seeing climate change as problematic, and if perceptual changes translate into behavioral changes. Dunlap chaired the American Sociological Association’s Task Force on Sociology and Global Climate Change and was recently appointed to the U.S. Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment.

Key words: public perceptions, climate change skepticism, political polarization 


Michael A. Long

Long pic

Michael A. Long is Associate Professor of Sociology at Oklahoma State University. His research focuses generally on the intersection of political economy and the natural environment, food insecurity and disasters, often using quantitative techniques. Some of Dr. Long's recent research relevant to CSDEE has focused on crime in natural resource extraction communities in the UK, psychosocial stress in coastal US communities following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the post-Katrina reconstruction granting process in the US.

Keywords: Technological hazards and disasters, natural resource extraction, human impacts, quantitative methodology



Chad Malone

CSDEE HeadshotChad A. Malone is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Malone’s primary research interests revolve around criminology and social control in general. As such, his disaster-related research broadly focuses on the intersection of the law, police, crime, punishment, social control, and disasters. Dr. Malone has qualitative and quantitative research experience, yet he has primarily utilized panel (i.e., pooled cross-sectional) data techniques in his analyses over the past 6 years.

Dr. Malone has a Ph.D. in Sociology from The Ohio State University with emphases in Political Sociology and Social Control.

Keywords: Disasters, disasters as crimes, crime resulting from disaster, crime, social control, police, punishment, law, panel data, pooled cross-section, change-over-time, fixed effects. 


Tamara L. Mix

TammyimageTamara L. Mix is Associate Professor of Sociology at Oklahoma State University. Her research interests include environmental justice, race, class and gender inequality, and social movements. Maintaining a focus on environmental and social justice in her research, Dr. Mix has conducted fieldwork in communities experiencing a wide range of environmental challenges linked to natural and human-induced environmental risks, including work with community contamination and environmental illness in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, predator control and regional resilience in Alaska, and community dimensions of natural resource extraction and production in Oklahoma. Current projects consider environmental justice and inequality related to water and energy resources and food justice, food security and local food production networks impacting underserved communities. Dr. Mix’s research activities generally seek to understand community responses to environmental harms and work towards solutions based approaches.

Keywords: Environmental and social justice, community and social movement responses to risk, community resilience 

Monica Whitham

Whitham v4

Monica Whitham is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology. Her primary research areas are social psychology, group processes, social networks, and community sociology. Broadly, her research examines motivations for cooperation and collective action, and how group processes impact, and in turn are impacted by, group identity, resource exchanges, social solidarity, and social capital. She has expertise in survey methodology and experimental design. Dr. Whitham’s Social Interaction Research Laboratory is equipped for experimentally studying small group interactions and social processes in a controlled laboratory setting.

Keywords: community sociology, social psychology, group processes, social networks, social interaction, solidarity, collective action, social capital, experimental design, survey methods 


Kevin Johnson

K Johnson v4

Kevin Johnson is a PhD student in the Sociology department and graduate research assistant for the Center for the Study of Disasters and Extreme Events. His research interests include theoretical thinking in disasters, community responses to disaster, and the role of ritual in various social settings. Current projects include investigations of the role of ritual in community and individual resilience, recovery, and identity throughout the disaster life cycle, ritual dynamics of polar expedition crews, and indigenous response to industrial development.

Keywords: Natural and technological disasters, community social psychology, human impacts, recovery