The catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic drove home the need to change homeland security/emergency management (HLS/EM) higher education curricula. They failed to adequately assess the probability and consequences of potentially disastrous emerging infectious disease outbreaks—particularly at the complex systems level. Pandemic disease and antimicrobial drug resistance are now more significant risks than before COVID-19. Historic bioweapons and significant advances in biotechnology will make bio-warfare a growing international security risk. Because of these unique, complex, and unfamiliar public health security risk variables, HLS/EM and national security education must better familiarize future professionals with this “wicked” problem set. The University of New Hampshire Homeland Security course Biosecurity and Bioterrorism addresses infectious disease’s history and contextual future, including relevant scientific, medical, sociological, and biological security-related practices, theories, and methods. 


Terrence O’Sullivan

Terrence O’Sullivan, PhD., is the Coordinator for the University of New Hampshire B.S. in Homeland Security program and Associate Professor of Security Studies. He holds a master’s degree in African Area Studies from the University of California, LA, and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Southern California. His scholarship and teaching concentrate on domestic and international security studies, specializing in emergency management and community disaster resilience; pandemics and public health security; environmental security and the climate/global heating crisis; and critical infrastructure systems.

Read This Article

No. 10 Biological Security and Bioterrorism: Infectious Disease-Related Risk, Theory, Practice, and Education