This paper presents a new conceptual framework for environmental security as an integral and vital component of human security. The framework ties extreme environmental events and climatic anomalies to the destabilization of a country or region, which in turn can lead to instability, conflicts, weakening of the national economy, or exposure of vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure. The premise of this framework is that environmental security can be linked either directly or indirectly to homeland and national security concerns in both developing as well as developed countries and has direct links with the human security in any given region. Given the interdependencies of food, water, and energy security, population, economic impacts from natural disasters, the possible security implications from global climate change, and the potential for destabilization in regions where environmental living conditions are increasingly desperate, it is logical to incorporate principles of environmental security into both national and homeland security strategy planning. The authors present an organizing framework for thinking about such a planning process that allows these complex linkages to be considered at the policymaking level.


John M. Lanicci

Dr. John Lanicci joined the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University faculty in 2006 after completing a 27-year U.S. Air Force career. His USAF assignments included tours as a weather forecaster, research meteorologist, chief of forecast model development, staff officer at HQ USAF (The Pentagon), faculty at the Air War College, and command assignments at the flight, squadron, and wing levels. From 2004 to 2006, he was the commander of the Air Force Weather Agency, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, which is one of three U.S. national weather centers.

Dr. Lanicci’s faculty experience includes 10 years developing and teaching a dozen undergraduate and graduate courses in introductory meteorology, aviation meteorology, synoptic and mesoscale meteorology, weather analysis and forecasting, research methods, environmental security, and capstone seminar. His current research interests include central Florida severe storms, integration of weather information into aeronautical decision making, extreme weather events and their impacts on NASA infrastructure at the Kennedy Space Center, and the impacts of regional and global climate change on national security.

Dr. Lanicci is a native of The Bronx, New York, and received a B.S. degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Physics from Manhattan College, Bronx, New York through the Air Force ROTC Scholarship Program, in 1979. He received his meteorology degrees through Air Force Institute of Technology sponsorship, graduating from Penn State University with a B.S. (With Highest Distinction) in 1980, M.S. in 1984, and Ph.D. in 1991.

James D. Ramsay

Jim Ramsay is a professor of security studies, coordinator of the Homeland Security program, and Chair of the Department of Politics, Security Studies and Business at the University of New Hampshire. His career has provided almost 20 years of experience in public health, emergency management, occupational safety, environmental health and security.

After appointment by the US Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve on the Board of Scientific Counselors to the Director of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in the CDC, where he served for 4 years, Dr. Ramsay now serves on the CDC/NIOSH Institutional Review Board as well as their Disaster Research IRB. Dr. Ramsay also served 6 years on the Board of Directors for ABET, Inc. In addition, Dr. Ramsay currently serves on the Education Standards Committees for both the International Society for Preparedness, Resilience and Security (INSPRS) of which he is a co-founder and President, and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), where he also chairs the committee.

Dr. Ramsay currently serves on the editorial review boards for Homeland Security Affairs, the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the Journal of Homeland Security Education and the Journal of Human Security and Resilience.

Dr. Ramsay has served as a subject matter expert and consulted on a wide range of health, emergency management planning and evaluation issues as well as occupational safety and environmental health. Books include “Introduction to Homeland Security” and “Critical Issues in Homeland Security: A Casebook” and a third text, “Foundations of Environmental Security: Integrating Resilience into National Security” which is expected to be published in 2017.

Elisabeth Hope Murray

Dr. Elisabeth Hope Murray is an Assistant Professor of Security Studies and International Affairs at Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach, Florida, USA. She has held previous research posts at the University of Hamburg in Germany, and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where she received her PhD in Political Science and International Relations. With a background in Genocide Studies, Dr. Murray’s work looks at the interchange between genocide, climate change, and famine; she also has interests in ideas of otherness, the process of ideological radicalization, gender violence, and nationalism studies. A long-time member of the International Network of Genocide Scholars, she has been on the Executive Board since 2012 and is honored to have been the first female to hold such a post. She has recently presented at conferences and workshops in Puerto Rico, South Africa and across Europe.

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Re-conceptualizing Environmental Security as Resilience: Strategic Planning for Human and National Security