Eric B. Kennedy

Assistant Professor & Undergraduate Area Coordinator

Disaster & Emergency Management

York University

Toronto, Canada


Google Scholar


I’m an Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Area Coordinator of York University's Disaster and Emergency Management program. I run the CEMPPR Lab (Collaboration on Emergency Management, Policy, and Preparedness Research), where we pursue four lines of research:

(1) How to improve public, responder, and manager decision-making in emergencies

(2) How to enhance training and expertise for tomorrow's disasters

(3) How to create better policy and policy-making for preventing & responding to emergencies

(4) How to improve research and evaluation methods in disaster contexts

My training is in Science & Technology Studies and qualitative methods, although my work is quite interdisciplinary. These days, I work mostly on decision-making and policy in the context of wildfire (including how to support evidence-informed decision-making; how to prepare communities for future fire events; and the role of ethics and values in fire) and COVID-19 (where I'm leading a national monitoring project exploring the social dimensions of the pandemic in Canada). I also focus a great deal of effort on improving the quality of research methods in disasters, such as leading several projects connected to enhancing survey methodologies in COVID-19.

I teach classes on qualitative methods (including surveys, interviews, and research design), emergency management policy, and science and society. And, when not precluded by the pandemic, I run experiential education bootcamps - called Science Outside the Lab - for graduate students who want to learn more about science and health policy.

Most importantly, I think academic research is best when co-developed and closely tied to practice in the field. I welcome inquiries from emergency managers, the media, and members of the public about prospective collaborations or requests for expertise. I particularly love working with practitioners to help improve the rigour of their program evaluation, and to help conduct research or literature reviews on their behalf to support their work.