About Me (Kris Wernstedt)

I normally operate as a Professor in the United States, at the School of Public and International Affairs at the Washington, DC area campus of Virginia Tech.  However, I spent the last two years in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  Virginia Tech and the US Fulbright program generously provided me support for some of this time.  And the Institute of Human Settlements Studies at Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam graciously offered me space and an opportunity to teach in its new PhD program in Urban Governance and Environmental Studies and its Master’s program in Policy Analysis and Programme Management.

On a more historical note, my work for the previous 27 years has spanned numerous topical areas in environmental policy and planning, including among others

  • climate change and variability
  • international development
  • land contamination
  • natural hazards
  • open space
  • salmon protection
  • water management

While seemingly disparate, these different themes till common ground under the theme of “risk.”  By this I mean that almost all my work intersects one or more risk constructs, including actuarial approaches (environmental insurance) and cultural theories of risk (grid-group analysis), with probabilistic, economic, and psychometric treatments in between.  Risk serves as my unifying thread, allowing me to learn more about how humans make decision in our world rife with uncertainty.   These day, I concentrate mostly on behavioral dimensions of decision-making, in the “biases and heuristics” domain of decision-making under uncertainty for this in the know in this field.

Please explore my papers on these topics, and get in touch to communicate shared interests and questions.