Decision Making under the Uncertainties of Life

Doubt bedevils us all. While we occasionally know with near certainty what will happen in the coming months or years, in most realms of life we need to anticipate and make decisions based on that anticipation, making adjustment as we go along and learn more.  We often rely on historical or other scientific/technical evidence to support our anticipatory efforts, of course, but this evidence gets milled together with institutional practices, political pressures, and decision heuristics that suffuse both public and private decision-making. My research in this area aims to enhance our understanding of the grinder mill to support more efficacious interventions.

Note that in an attempt to honor the confusing spirit of copyright law, I’ve not uploaded PDFs of my papers to this page, but

  • I provide pointers to most of the publishers’ websites, which typically provides at least access to each paper’s abstract
  • I’ve made most of these available as full text through and
  • I’m happy to send PDFs attachments to individuals under the fair use doctrine, so contact me via email if interested

Roberts, Patrick S., Lucia Velotti, and Kris Wernstedt. 2020. “How Public Managers Make Tradeoffs Regarding Lives: Evidence from a Flood Planning Survey Experiment.” Administration & Society July 2020.

Wernstedt, Kris, Jacob M. Kihila, and Mengiseny Kaseva. 2020. “Biases and Environmental Risks in Urban Africa: Household Solid Waste Decision-Making.” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 63 (11):1946-1964.

Roberts, Patrick S., and Kris Wernstedt. 2018: “Herbert Simon’s Forgotten Legacy for Improving Decision Processes.”  International Public Management Journal:1-26. At

Wernstedt, Kris, Patrick S. Roberts, Joseph Arvai, and Kelly Redmond. 2018:  “How Emergency Managers (Mis?)Interpret Forecasts.”  Disasters 43(1), 88-109. At

Roberts, Patrick and Kris Wernstedt. 2018:  “Decision Biases and Heuristics Among Emergency Managers: Just Like the Public They Manage For?” The American Review of Public Administration. At

Roberts, Patrick and Kris Wernstedt. 2016:  “Using Climate Forecasts Across a State’s Emergency Management Network.” Natural Hazards Review. (see )

Wernstedt, Kris and Fanny Carlet. 2014:  “Climate Change, Urban Development, and Stormwater:  Perspectives from the Field.” Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 140(4), 543-552. (paper at )

Wernstedt, Kris, Patrick Roberts, and Mathew Dull. 2009:  “Can Climate Signals Inform Emergency Management? Preliminary Evidence.” Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 6(1), Article 54.  (paper at )

Wernstedt, Kris. 2009:  “Integrated Transport and Urban Design Choices to Reduce Carbon Emissions:  Public Attitudes in the Washington, DC USA Metropolitan Area. World Transport Policy & Practice, 14(4), 36-47. (paper at

Wernstedt, Kris and Robert Hersh. 2004:  “Climate Forecasts and Flood Planning Under the Reign of ENSO.” Natural Hazards Review, 5(2), 97-105. (paper at )

Wernstedt, Kris and Robert Hersh. 2002:  “Climate Forecasts in Flood Planning:  Promise and Ambiguity.” Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 38(6), 1703-1714. (see )

Hersh, Robert and Kris Wernstedt. 2002:  “Gauging the Vulnerability of Local Water Utilities to Extreme Weather Events.” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 45(3), 341-361. (paper at )