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Dr. Gregory V. Button

See Also: Dr. Button's Website | DDHR


  • Ph.D. 1992, Anthropology, Brandeis University
  • B.S. 1972, Anthropology, The State University of New York at New Paltz

Research Interests

My research focuses on disasters as well as on scientific uncertainty. I have conducted in –depth research on several major disasters including Love Canal, the Exxon-Valdez oil spill, the 1993 Mississippi Flood, the Hanta Virus outbreak of 1993, ground water contamination in Woburn, MA, Hurricane Katrina, the TVA ash spill in Kingston, TN, the BP Gulf oil spill, and the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan My research on disasters has focused on several different aspects of these events:  environmental health, scientific uncertainty, disaster mitigation response and preparedness, disaster policy, long-term recovery, clean-up efforts, human rights, environmental justice, displacement, economic dislocation, crisis communication in extreme events, public health, bioterrorism, community response efforts, and scientific uncertainty. My courses include: disasters, environmental health, disaster policy, environmental anthropology, and the political economy of oil. I am a former Congressional Fellow and have consulted with numerous federal and state agencies. Several national media outlets have reported on my research activities.


Disaster Culture: Knowledge and Uncertainty in the Wake of Human and Environmental Catastrophe, Left Coast Press, 2010.

The Road from Love Canal to the TVA Ash Spill: The Wasting of America. Left Coast Press, Winter 2013.

Selected Publications

2008 Disasters and Development- Induced Displacement: The Case of Hurricane Katrina. In, Development and Disasters, edited by Anthony Oliver-Smith. Santa Fe, New Mexico: School for American Research.

2007 Anthony Oliver-Smith (second author), Disaster, Displacement And Employment: Distortion in Labor Markets in Post-Katrina Reconstruction. In, Walnut, CA: Disaster Capitalism, edited by Schuller & Nandini, Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press.

2006 Voices from the Astrodome and Beyond: Evacuee Counter-Narratives. In Learning From Catastrophe, Boulder Colorado, edited by the Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado.

2002 Popular Media Re-Framing of Man-Made Disasters. A Cautionary Tale. In, Catastrophe & Culture: The Anthropology of Disaster, edited by S. Hoffman & A. Oliver-Smith. School of American Research Press.

Dr. Gregory V. Button

Contact Information

Dr. Gregory V. Button
Assistant Professor
250 South Stadium Hall
Knoxville, Tennessee

Phone: 865-974-4408