Home News Program Details Current Fellows Former Fellows Link to National Science Foundation Faculty Mentors

Tom Birkland is an associate professor of public administration and policy, and
political science at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where
he also directs the Center for Policy Research. Dr. Birkland received his Ph.D. in
political science from the University of Washington in 1995. He is interested in how
disasters and crises change media and policy makers' agendas and reorder what
are perceived to be important problems.

Dr. Birkland is the author of After Disaster (Georgetown University Press, 1997),
and is currently writing a book for the same press tentatively titled Learning from
. This book will incorporate data gathered as part of a NSF funded study
of post-disaster policy learning after natural disasters. The book will assess whether
and to what extent policy learning follows natural disasters, business crises, and
terrorist attacks.

Dr. Birkland was a 1993-94 EERI-FEMA Fellow, as well as a Faculty Fellow in
Social Science Research Applied to Hazards and Disasters (the first "Enabling
Project"). He has written several articles about natural hazards policy and politics.
Most recently, Dr. Birkland was a plenary speaker and moderator at the 9/11
Summit on emergency planning and management for the judiciary, and is currently
a member of the EERI's Social Science/Learning from Earthquakes committee.

Curriculum Vitae

List of Publications
An Introduction to the Policy Process: Theories, Concepts, and Models of
Public Policy Making
(Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2001).

After Disaster: Agenda Setting, Public Policy, and Focusing Events.
(Washington: Georgetown University Press, 1997).

Scholarly Articles
2003 "River Ecology and Flood Hazard Mitigation" with Raymond J. Burby,
David Conrad, Hanna Cortner, and William Michener. Natural Hazards Review.
Forthcoming, February.

2002 "Policy Evaluation in a Challenging Authorizing Environment:
Intergovernmental and Interorganizational Factors," with Joanne G. Carman and
Kimberly Fredericks. Special Issue, "Responding to Sponsors and Stakeholders
in Complex Evaluation Environments" New Directions for Evaluation 95 (September).

2002 Thomas A. Birkland and Regina Lawrence. "The Social and Political Meaning
of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill," Spill Science and Technology Bulletin 7(3-4).

2001 Thomas A. Birkland and Radhika Nath, "Business and the Political Dimension
in Disaster Management," Journal of Public Policy 20(3): 279-303.

2001 "Scientists and Coastal Hazards: Opportunities for Participation and Policy
Change," Environmental Geosciences 8(1): 61-67.

1998 "Focusing Events, Mobilization, and Agenda Setting."
Journal of Public Policy 18(1): 53-74.

1998 Scott Barclay and Thomas A. Birkland. "Law, Policy Making, and the Policy
Process: Closing the Gaps" Policy Studies Journal 26(2): 277-243 (1998).

1998 "In the Wake of the Exxon Valdez: How Environmental Disasters Can Spur
Policy Change," Environment 40(7): 4-9; 27-32.

1998 "Disasters and the Courts' Agenda," Judges' Journal 37(4): 7-11.

1997 "Factors Inhibiting a National Hurricane Policy,"
Coastal Management 25(4):387-403.

1996 "Natural Disasters as Focusing Events: Policy Communities and Political
Response." International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 14(2): 221-243.

1994 Peter J. May and Thomas A. Birkland. "Earthquake Risk Reduction: An
Examination of Local Regulatory Efforts." Environmental Management 18: 923-939.

1991 Christine Bishop-Edkins and Thomas A. Birkland. "Integrating Strategic
Planning and Budgeting: A Case Study at the New Jersey Department of
Transportation." Transportation Research Record 1305: 147-152.

Invited Contributions, Editorials, and Other Work
2002 "New York's Beasts of Burden: Counties are creatures of the state, so
mandates come with the turf." Newsday (Long Island), September 13.

2001 "Expertise and Policy Change After 'Focusing Events," Journal of Urban
8(3): 122-124. (Part of a series of articles titled "After September 11").

Thomas A. Birkland

University at Albany -- State University
of New York

Director, Center for Policy Research,
Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public
Affairs and Policy

phone: (518) 442-5243
fax: (518) 442-5298
email: birkland@albany.edu