Deserai Crow, PhD

Associate Professor
Program Director, Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs

Portrait of Deserai Crow

Email Address:

Primary Phone: 303-315-0146

Office Hours: By appointment




Associate Professor Deserai Crow researches local and state-level policy. Her work assesses environmental policy and disaster or crisis policies, including stakeholder participation and influence, information sources used, and policy outcomes in developing policies. Her work often focuses on natural disaster recovery and risk mitigation in local communities. Dr. Crow’s natural hazards work includes a study of community flood recovery and policy learning in the aftermath of the 2013 floods in Colorado that was funded by the National Science Foundation. Another project analyzes the role of agencies and individuals in promoting wildfire risk mitigation on private property in the Wildland Urban Interface across the West. A current National Science Foundation-funded project looks at environmental justice outcomes associated with oil and gas decision-making in Colorado’s local governments. She is also working with a group of scholars across the country on a National Science Foundation project to understand COVID-19 risk perceptions, behaviors, and state policies. Dr. Crow also studies narratives associated with public policy issues within electoral politics. 

Prior to her academic work, she worked as a broadcast journalist and for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dr. Crow is also the director of the MPA concentrations in Homeland Security and Emergency Management (EMHS) and Disasters, Hazards, and Emergency Management (DHEM) at the School of Public Affairs. Crow earned her PhD from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in Environmental Policy. She also holds a Master of Public Administration from the CU Denver School of Public Affairs.

Areas of Expertise

local and state-level environmental policy, natural disaster recovery and risk mitigation in local communities and natural resource agencies

Education, Licensure & Certifications

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Policy
Duke University

Master of Public Administration
University of Colorado Denver

Bachelor of Science in Journalism
University of Colorado Boulder

Curriculum Vitae