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Dr. Sarah L. Jackson

Sarah Jackson

Assistant Professor

College of Arts and Sciences

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Contact Information

Office: 405C Belk Building
Pronouns: she/her


Dr. Jackson is an Assistant Professor in the Emergency and Disaster Management Program at WCU. She teaches undergraduate courses on risk and vulnerability assessments, disaster mitigation and emergency planning, environmental justice in hazards, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Dr. Jackson’s scholarship as a human-environmental geographer focuses on social vulnerability, risk perceptions, and community capacities to prepare, respond, recover, and mitigate environmental hazards. Her published research has analyzed the spatial disparities of COVID-19 outcomes in U.S. counties and inequities in U.S. hazard mitigation planning.<br><br>Originally from Southwestern Illinois, Dr. Jackson worked as a Geospatial Analyst in the St. Louis area and as a Geography Instructor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. While at the University of South Carolina for her Ph.D., she performed research at the Hazards Vulnerability and Resilience Institute. Her dissertation research project investigated the role of local geographic contextual elements on tornado risk perceptions and protective actions. The study applied a novel social science conceptual model to better inform emergency management and community hazard planning. Dr. Jackson is the recipient of (1) the Evelyn Pruitt Fellowship from the Society of Women Geographers, (2) the Rhude Patterson Fellowship from the USC Graduate School Trustees, (3) the SPARC Graduate Research Grant from the University of South Carolina, and (4) the John Fraser Hart Award from the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers.<br><br>Overall, Dr. Jackson's specialties in scholarship and teaching include:<br>- Geographic Information Systems (GIS)<br>- Disaster Mitigation<br>- Hazard Risk Assessments<br>- Social Vulnerability<br>- Community Resilience<br>- Environmental Justice<br>- Natural, Technological, and Climate Hazards


  • Ph D, University of South Carolina-Columbia, Geography
  • MS, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Geography
  • BA, McKendree University, History
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