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Hye-jeong Seo

IGC FELLOW    |   Global Change Center

Ph.D. Candidate  •  School of Public and International Affairs

Research Interests: Environmental risk communication, environmental planning and policy, collaborative planning and decision-making, public participation, public dispute resolution

Advisor: Dr. Todd Schenk


Hye-jeong is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Planning, Governance, and Globalization program at Virginia Tech. She is interested in environmental risk communication for public dispute resolution and decision-making. Her research focuses on how to navigate the complex dynamics between science and decision-making for better and more legitimate consensus building in environmental planning and policy.

Hye-jeong finished her B.S. in Urban Engineering from the Pusan National University in 2011, graduating with the President’s list and summa cum laude honors. She studied environmental and hazard mitigation planning at the same university and received her M.S. in 2013.

After graduation, Hye-jeong worked at the Korea Environment Institute for a few years, researching participatory methods for climate change adaptation planning, developing climate change risk assessment tools, and facilitating participatory processes for community climate change adaptation. Through these research experiences at the government policy institute, she realized the rupture between environmental science and public policy decision-making. This relationship is complicated by various issues, including the range of scientific information available from various domains, challenges to the credibility of science, social justice concerns, ethical issues, democratic standards, and questions of procedural legitimacy. She decided to pursue interdisciplinary doctoral studies in the Planning, Governance, and Globalization program at Virginia Tech to seek a better policy approach for environmental risk communication and decision-making.

Through the Interfaces of Global Change program, Hye-jeong looks forward to interacting with fellows and program faculty from diverse disciplines and sharing her experiences and knowledge rooted in environmental planning and policy with them.