The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.

Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Miles, Scott B.

Second Advisor

Abel, Troy D.

Third Advisor

Paci-Green, Rebekah


Risks associated with earthquakes vary widely from state to state. California and the western United States are widely recognized as having the potential for significant damages and loss of life from earthquakes, however all states have some degree of seismic risk. Considering that public safety and the general welfare of citizens are paramount responsibilities of state government, some states have adopted policies designed to reduce risks from hazards such as earthquakes. California, Missouri and a few other states have embraced policy development as a key method to mitigate against earthquake hazards. Alaska, Washington and a number of other states with significant seismic risk have a much lower level of policy coverage. Through the compilation and consideration of hazard mitigation policies for 47 states, this study examines the role of earthquake related policy development and implementation relative to individual states' seismic risk. The results of this analysis indicate that a number of states have below optimal policy coverage which suggests that factors other than seismic risk likely influence policy development.




Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Digital Format


Geographic Coverage

United States (States)


Academic theses




Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Included in

Geography Commons