Claire Connolly Knox, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Program Director in UCF’s School of Public Administration. Her research interests include environmental policy and management, Habermas’ critical theory, and environmental vulnerability and disaster response. She teaches Disaster Response and Recovery, Environmental Planning, Environmental Policy and Management, and Managing Emergencies and Crises courses. Dr. Knox’s interdisciplinary research applies a discursive theory lens to language underlying environmental and emergency management plans and policies. This is important because narrative analysis provides alternative explanations for contradictions and anomalies affecting policy change and implementation outcomes.
Dr. Knox has published in Public Administration Review, Environmental Politics, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, Administration & Society, Journal of Public Affairs Education, Journal of Emergency Management, Disaster Prevention and Management, Journal of Public Management and Social Policy, Public Administration Quarterly, Critical Issues in Justice and Politics, and Foundation Review. She has obtained $332,500 in internal and external grants. Additionally, she has presented research at national conferences, including American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), Academy of Management, Public Administration Theory Network, Coastal Society Conference, and Midwest Political Science Association.
In 2018, Dr. Knox was awarded the Excellence in Professional Service from UCF’s College of Health and Public Affairs. In 2016, she received UCF’s Research Incentive Award, Teaching Incentive Award, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award. Additionally, her research on Louisiana’s coastal zone planning after multiple disasters received the William J. Petak Best Paper Award at ASPA’s National Conference from the Section on Emergency and Crisis Management. In 2015, she received the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association’s Gary Arnold for her dedication to improving Florida’s emergency management community.
Originally from southern Louisiana, she was an Interpretative Specialist at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center for the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act, and then a Planning Assistant with the Lafayette Parish Traffic and Transportation Department. Throughout her time in Louisiana, Dr. Knox held leadership positions in multiple environmental, non-profit organizations that promoted environmental sustainability throughout the city, including petitioning city officials to designate bike lanes throughout the city (project completed in 2006); assisting in reestablishing a university recycling program; and participating in tree plantings, environmental justice, river cleanup, and hazardous waste awareness events. During her graduate studies at Florida State University, she gained valuable emergency management experience at the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Center for Disaster Risk Policy.
She is a Board Member and Social Media Chair of ASPA’s Section on Environmental and Natural Resource Administration, and a Board Member of ASPA’s Section for Emergency and Crisis Management. Her dissertation on the Florida Everglades ecosystem focused on the newly-designated northern Everglades that encompass the lands and waters in the central Florida region. The pilot study of her dissertation won SECOPA’s 2008 Collin’s Award for Best Ph.D. Student Paper. The 2014 Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning article based on this research was selected as one of the top 15 articles using an interpretive and critical approach in the field of environmental policy and planning.