Emily H. Walpole (PhD) is a research social scientist for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Community Resilience Group, within the Materials and Structural Systems Division of the Engineering Laboratory. Dr. Walpole’s dissertation investigated the effects of communication techniques on risk perceptions and decision processes related to climate-exacerbated natural hazards. Her M.S. focused on a mixed methods analysis of collaborative forest restoration and fuel reduction efforts in several states in the US.
Dr. Walpole’ research interests focus primarily on emergency communication, risk perception, and protection motivation related to natural hazards such as hurricanes and wildfires, as well as decision-making related to climate adaptation and natural resource management topics. She is passionate about contributing to the improved resilience of individuals and communities.
Currently, Dr. Walpole is part of the NIST Hurricane Maria Program. The goals of this multi-year program are to characterize: (1) the wind environment and technical conditions associated with deaths and injuries; (2) the performance of representative critical buildings and designated safe areas in those buildings, including their dependence on distributed infrastructure such as electric power and water; (3) the performance of emergency communications systems and the public’s response to such communications; and (4) the impacts to and recovery of selected businesses, hospitals, and schools, along with the critical social functions that they provide. Within the Hurricane Maria Program, Dr. Walpole is involved in a National Construction Safety Team (NCST) project that focuses on investigating the role of emergency communications (among other factors) in public response for those under imminent threat from Hurricane Maria.
As part of her previous research in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fire Group within the Fire Research Division, Dr. Walpole contributed to an investigation of risk perception and evacuation decision-making during wildfire events, including the 2016 Chimney Tops 2 fire in Tennessee. Her current work within the Community Resilience group includes research facilitating resilience, adaptation, and sustainability planning guidance and implementation, and an investigation of resilience indicators and measurement methodologies.