Claire Connolly Knox

, Ph.D., M.P.A, B.S., B.A.

Associate Professor, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Program Director, Associate Professor - National Center for Integrated Coastal Research

Public Administration


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 ReviewEnvironmental PoliticsJournal of Environmental Policy and PlanningAdministration & Society, Journal of Public Affairs EducationJournal of Emergency ManagementDisaster Prevention and ManagementJournal of Public Management and Social PolicyPublic Administration QuarterlyCritical 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.



  • Ph.D., Public Administration, Florida State University
  • M.P.A, Public Administration, Florida State University
  • B.S., Renewable and Sustainable Resources, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • B.A., English (Technical Writing), University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • Research

    Links to Publications (* Practitioner; ** Graduate Student):

    Knox, C.C., Emrich, C., & Haupt, B.** (In Press). Advancing Emergency Management Higher Education: Importance of Cultural Competence Scholarship. Journal of Emergency Management.

    Yeo, J.W., Knox, C.C., & Jung, K. (2017). Unveiling cultures in emergency response communication networks on social media: following the 2016 Louisiana floods. Quality & Quantity. DOI: 10.1007/s11135-017-0595-3 Journal Impact Factor: 1.094 Article Abstract:

    Knox, C. C. (2017). A Football Field Lost Every 45 Minutes: Evaluating Local Capacity to Implement Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan. Coastal Management Journal, 45(3), 233-252. Article Abstract:

    Knox, C. C. (2016). Unearthing Steering Activities in Everglades Policy Development: A Habermas Critical Theory Analysis. Critical Issues in Justice and Politics, 9(1), 1-35.

    Knox, C. C. (2016). Passing the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program Bill: Case Study Applying Theories of Policy Change. Public Administration Quarterly, 40(3), 617-654. Article Abstract:

    Knox, C. C. & Harris, A.* (2016). Evolution of an Experiential Learning Partnership in Emergency Management Higher Education. Journal of Emergency Management, 14(3), 201-212. Article Abstract:

    Jacques, P. & Knox, C. C. (2016). Hurricanes and Hegemony: A Qualitative Analysis of Micro-level Climate Denial Discourses. Environmental Politics. 25(5), 831-852. Article Abstract:

    Knox, C. C. (2016). Public Administrators’ Use of Social Media Platforms: Overcoming the Legitimacy Dilemma? Administration & Society, 48(4), 477-496. Article Abstract:

    Knox, C. C. , & Wang, X. (2016). Capacity to Implement Performance Measurement in Small Nonprofits. Journal of Public Management and Social Policy, 22(3), Article 3.

    Knox, C. C., & Haupt, B.** (2015). Incorporating Cultural Competency Skills in Emergency Management Education. Disaster Prevention and Management, 24(5), 619-634. Article Abstract:

    Norris-Tirrell, D., Blessett, B., & Knox, C. C. (2014). Peeking Behind the Curtain: The Operations and Funding Priorities of Rural Private Foundations. Foundation Review 6(4), Article 8. Article Abstract:

    Hu, Q., Knox, C. C., & Kapucu, N. (2014). What have we learned since 9/11? A network study of the Boston Marathon Bombings Response and Recovery. Public Administration Review, 74(6), 698-712. Article Abstract:

    Knox, C. C. (2013). Teaching Grammar and Editing in Public Administration: Lessons Learned from Early Offerings of an Undergraduate Administrative Writing Course. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 19(3), 515-536. Article:

    Knox, C. C. (2013). Distorted Communication in the Florida Everglades: A Critical Theory Analysis of “Everglades Restoration.” Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, 15(2), 269-284. Article Abstract:

    Knox, C. C. (2013). Analyzing After Action Reports from Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina: Repeated, Modified, and Newly Created Recommendations. Journal of Emergency Management, 11(2), 160-168. Article Abstract:

    Kapucu, N., & Knox, C. C. (2013). Utilization of Service Learning and Experiential Learning in Emergency Management Programs in the U.S. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 19(1), 31-51. Article:

    Bowman, J. & Knox, C. C. (2008, July/August). Ethics in Government: No Matter How Long and Dark the Night. Public Administration Review, 68(4), 627-639. Article Abstract:

    Research Interests

    • emergency management
    • critical theory
    • environmental management and policy
    • environmental disaster response and recovery
    • qualitative methods
    • scholarship of teaching and learning
    • PAD 3003: Public Administration in American Society
    • PAD 3733: Professional Administrative Writing in the Public Sector
    • PAD 4034: Public Policy
    • PAD 4104: Administrative Theory
    • PAD 4351: Environmental Program Management
    • PAD 4395: Disaster Response and Recovery
    • PAD 6353: Environment Planning
    • PAD 6397: Managing Emergencies and Crises
    • PAD 6958: Governance Field Study: Metropolitan Governance in Seoul
    • IDS 3150: Foundations of Environmental Studies

    Social Networks


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