Dr. Wanyun Shao is currently an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Alabama. She is also an Early-Career research fellow of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Gulf Research Program from 2017-2019. She received her Bachelor of Sciences from Jilin University (China) and Master in Planning from the University of Wyoming. While pursuing the Ph.D at Louisiana State University, Shao was a research assistant for the multidisciplinary Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP), a Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) team funded by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). After receiving her Ph.D, Shao worked as a Coastal Resources Scientist at Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) in Louisiana. Her primary research interests are focused on human-environment interactions at various geographic scales and their policy implications. Specific interests include: human dimension of climate change, environmental risk perceptions, community resilience to environmental hazards, environmental policies and planning, and environmental hazards and public health. Shao applies many quantitative methods in her research, including geospatial analyses, statistical analyses, and text analysis. The interdisciplinary nature of her research leads her to work across traditional disciplinary lines. She has worked with scientists in a wide range of fields, including climatology, political science, sociology, public policy, communication, civil and environmental engineering, statistics, and economics.
Shao's lead-authored/sole-authored publications have appeared on numerous reputable international scholarly journals including: Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Water Research, Weather, Climate, and Society, Journal of Risk Research, Risk Analysis, International Journal of Climatology, Social Science Quarterly, and Environmental Politics. In addition, Shao has also published several policy analysis articles for mass media outlets such as the Conversation and Vox.