Justin Sharpe


Behavioral Insights Unit (BIU)

Job Title:Research Scientist II


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Phone:(405) 325-5218


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Justin the social science coordinator for VORTEX-USA program (formerly VORTEX-SE) which brings together meteorologists and social scientists for collaboration on a research program. He engages with VORTEX-USA PIs to incorporate their up-to-date research findings into the program, producing reports or independent analyses synthesising individual findings into broader lessons learned. This enables for the proposal of revised scientific priorities as new knowledge is generated, proposing and planning for activities that transition the research findings into broader research programs or applications.

In his research activities, Justin leads engagement with a broader range of stakeholders where co-production of knowledge and learning are at the heart of the research activities. This includes a unique partnership between the NSSL and NOAA Sea Grant Extension to return VORTEX research back to communities and learn from them in return. A key ongoing output is for communities in the southeast to be more risk aware and capable of responding to severe weather events.

Justin is the project coordinator for a citizen science web instrument called ‘Tornado Tales’ that enables people to anonymously report their tornado experiences. This can be used to highlight good practice or exposing gaps in communication or behaviours. It is hoped that this will help NOAA to hone messaging or refocus research priorities to help reduce impacts on society. See: https://inside.nssl.noaa.gov/tornado-tales/

More broadly, Justin aims to bring his knowledge, experience and understanding of the subject of human geography through solid research and inquiry, continuing to contribute to the broader field. His particular research interests are in disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and sustainable development, researching the learning elements that underpin or undermine adaptation and resilience in these contexts.

Degree (Ph.D, M.S, B.A, etc.) Major Subject University or College Name Year (YYYY) (optional)
P.hD Geography King's College London 2018
PGCE Geography Institute of Education 2003
B.Sc (Hons) Environmental Studies University of Sunderland 1994
Research Interests
  • Disaster Risk Reduction, social vulnerability, transformative learning, social learning, climate change adaptation, resilience, participatory learning and action
  • Developed and runs https://edu4drr.org, a website aimed at education and learning for disaster risk reduction.
Honors & Awards
Award Name Year
CIWRO Award for Outstanding Achievenment in Outreach, Education or Service 2022
Selected Publications

Sharpe J., 2021: Learning to trust: Relational spaces and transformative learning for disaster risk reduction across citizen led and professional contexts. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct. 2021;61:102354. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102354

Sharpe J., 2016: Understanding and unlocking transformative learning as a method for enabling behavior change for adaptation and resilience to disaster threats. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction17:213–219 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2016.04.014