Risk Analysis, Communication and Policy
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This minor field integrates a number of approaches from the natural and social sciences to cope with decision making under uncertainty, especially for the environment. It complements disciplinary efforts ranging from engineering (infrastructure safety, decision theory, waste management) to life sciences (toxicology, food and water safety, resource conservation, invasive species/pest management). Quantitative and qualitative methods from the sciences are used not only in assessing risks but also in communicating them between affected parties and in the development of stewardship and public policies. Students must be admitted into a major field (not restricted by the minor), select one of the field members as a minor member for their committee, and then complete basic courses in risk analysis (requires some background in calculus and statistics) or ecological risk assessment, risk communication, public policy, and a seminar in risk issues. The foregoing applicable courses may come from the student's major or other minors, to expedite and focus this effort in some area of thesis research.