5 Questions With Faculty: Amber Silver

Amber Silver says she's landed the perfect job at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity — one that combines her love of weather and her passion for improving communication about extreme weather events.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Aug. 30, 2017) — Amber Silver is so new to the University she technically doesn’t start until next week as an assistant professor in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity. With a background in geography and environmental management and a research focus on how people make decisions about high-impact weather, she calls her new job a perfect fit.

“I came to UAlbany because this position is my dream job — I teach and research extreme weather risk communication and emergency preparedness.”

What are your working on now?

I am currently studying Hurricane Harvey and its impacts in Texas. More specifically, I am investigating how people are using social media to obtain, interpret and respond to official and unofficial warning information about the storm. I’m also interested in whether and how this information influenced people’s decisions to take action, whether in the days leading up to the storm or during the storm itself.

What made you decide to pursue your field?

Anyone who has known me longer than 30 seconds knows that I absolutely love the weather. But beyond my personal fascination with storms, I am deeply passionate about improving the communication of weather information to citizens, so as to help them make good decisions when the weather is threatening.

If you weren’t teaching at a university, what would you be doing?

Crying over my dissertation, probably.

What’s your favorite class to teach?

My favorite class to teach is a second-year course on the human dimensions of natural disasters. I love engaging with students, and sharing with them my interest in and passion for research on natural disasters. It’s also very gratifying when students see just how information from the classroom can be applied to real-world problems.

What’s one thing students might be surprised to know about you?

I am a pretty serious gamer, particularly of sandbox roleplaying games like Skyrim, the Witcher and the Fallout series. There’s nothing better than stepping into an open-world RPG for the first time.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.