Social Science and Policy Studies
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Patricia Stapleton, PhD, is the Director of the Society, Technology, and Policy Program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts. In addition to teaching political science, Patricia teaches courses in WPI's Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program. Her research on the regulation of biotechnology in food production and in reproductive medicine has been published in peer-reviewed journals, such as Politics and the Life Sciences and The European Journal of Risk Regulation. Patricia's research on food safety and security, as well as global health, has served as a foundation for her classes, including the Politics of Food and the Politics of Plague. Her continued work on risk regulation and management covers environmental risk communication, which she also incorporates into American public policy and environmental studies courses at WPI.
Website Content Contributions
Course Modules (4)
Major Storms and Community Resilience part of Major Storms and Community Resilience
Extreme storms have major impacts on the communities that lie in their path. Many climate models predict increased frequency of heavy rains and icing events, freak storms, and severe weather within the continental ...
Unit 1: Foundational Concepts part of Major Storms and Community Resilience
Unit 1 introduces foundational concepts in geoscience, emergency management, and political science that are critical for developing a systems thinking approach and for achieving the learning objectives in the storm ...
Learn more about this review process.
Unit 2: Application of Concepts to Case Studies part of Major Storms and Community Resilience
In Unit 2, students apply and evaluate foundational concepts about storm hazards and risk in the context of two cases studies: Superstorm Sandy (2012) and the Storm of the Century (1993). Through different ...
Unit 3: Culmination of Module in Town Hall Meeting part of Major Storms and Community Resilience
Over the course of one week, students will apply and evaluate concepts in the context of their local community, culminating in the formulation and evaluation of Hazard Mitigation Plan recommendations presented in ...
Learn more about this review process.
Risk Assessment and Regulation in Christchurch, New Zealand part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Teaching about Risk and Resilience:Activities
This activity encourages students to apply public policy and risk regulation concepts to the case of the Canterbury Earthquakes in New Zealand. Students review government websites, media reports, and first-person-narratives, analyze and evaluate policy responses, and consider alternate policy solutions.
Earthquake Preparedness in Christchurch, New Zealand part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Teaching about Risk and Resilience:Real-World Examples
Patricia Stapleton, Social Science & Policy Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Summary On February 22, 2011, residents of the then-second-largest city in New Zealand – Christchurch, located on the ...
Conference Presentations (2)
Earth Science, Major Storms and Community Resilience part of Rendezvous 2015:Program:Abstracts
Extreme major storms (hurricanes, winter storms) have large impacts on the communities that lay in their path. Recent examples include Hurricane and Tropical Storms Katrina (2005), Irene (2011) and Sandy (2012), ...
Stakeholder Input for Storm Risk Assessment part of Rendezvous 2015:Program:Abstracts
Extreme storms have major impacts on the communities that lay in their path. Many climate models predict increased frequency of heavy rains and icing events, freak storms, and severe weather within the continental ...
Other Contribution (1)
Patricia Stapleton: Using Major Storms and Community Resilience in American Public Policy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute part of Major Storms and Community Resilience
Students often take my public policy class to fulfill a basic social science requirement at our science and engineering institution. As a result, I wanted to provide my science and engineering majors with content that would engage them and demonstrate the links between policy and their other studies. The Major Storms and Community Resilience module provided the opportunity to bring geoscience data into my social science classroom, with an interdisciplinary approach. The students responded positively to the module, especially the town hall debate. Although they were initially reluctant about the debate format - mostly worried about speaking in front of their classmates - the teams did an excellent job of representing their interests and negotiating with other groups to come to shared recommendations.