PAC 7: Radiation Education, Risk Communication, and Outreach

PAC Meeting, March 31, 2019
L to R: Judith F. Rader, Thomas E. Johnson (guest), Randall N. Hyer (Chair), Charles W. Miller, P. Andrew Karam, Angela Shogren, Jerrold T. Bushberg, Jessica S. Wieder, Ray Johnson, John E. Till


Develop a strategic plan consistent with NCRP’s mission and PAC responsibilities using the goals of the policy advisory panel as a starting point.


  • identify the policy implications of NCRP publications, meetings and other events, and seek to communicate those implications in a credible and comprehensible manner to policy makers and the public;
  • suggest members or serve as members of new NCRP scientific committees whose topics relate to education, risk communication, policy, and outreach;
  • provide advice, wording, and strategic outreach options to policy makers and the public for NCRP reports;
  • ensure that NCRP communications and outreach emphasize NCRP’s paramount role in providing scientific information and develop communications and outreach strategies so that NCRP’s recommendations are of maximum assistance to policy makers; and
  • bolster educational efforts aimed at recruiting, training and retaining radiation health professionals.

2016 Accomplishments

PAC met at the 2016 Annual Meteting

Prior Accomplishments

PAC met at the 2015 Annual Meteting

Scheduled Activities



Randall N. Hyer


Randall N. Hyer, Senior Fellow and Assistant Director for Environmental, Health and Safety, Center for Risk Communication.

Dr. Hyer graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy, and served 12 y on active duty in the U.S. Navy. After earning his medical degree from Duke University, Dr. Hyer served as the 40th Winter-Over Medical Officer and Assistant Officer-in-Charge with Operation DEEP FREEZE at McMurdo and South Pole Stations in Antarctica. Dr. Hyer earned his PhD from Oxford, studying the molecular genetics of juvenile diabetes and helped determine the role of the insulin gene in disease susceptibility.

In 1994, the National Institutes of Health awarded Dr. Hyer the "NIH Outstanding Research Award for Clinical Trainees." Trained in public health at Walter Reed Hospital and Harvard University, Commander Hyer supported four major military operations in the European, African, and southwest Asian theatres to include service as Chief Public Health Advisor for the Kosovo operations and Deputy Surgeon for the Mozambique flood relief operations. Dr. Hyer then spent 4 y at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva as the first WHO Civil Military Liaison Officer and served as part of the WHO's outbreak response team to deadly outbreaks like anthrax, SARS, and avian influenza as well as having organized missions during the 2005 Tsunami response. His experiences with the media in outbreaks and emergencies led him to coauthor the popular WHO handbook, Effective Media Communication During Public Health Emergencies.

Appointed a U.S. Congressional Fellow for Senator Pete V. Domenici (R-New Mexico), he helped introduce legislation to safeguard genetic privacy that eventually became the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA) of 2008. In 2005, Dr. Hyer joined Merck Vaccine Division in Global Medical Affairs and Policy. His focus has been the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine. In 2009, he was transferred to MSD in Tokyo, Japan.

Randall N. Hyer , Vice President
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is Professor of Community and Environmental Health in the College of Health Sciences at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He is a leading expert in emergency planning, public health preparedness, and crisis and emergency risk communication for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear issues. Dr. Becker also has extensive on-the-ground experience at the sites of major events and emergencies around the world. In 2011, he was a member of a three-person assistance team invited to Japan in response to the earthquake-tsunami and accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.

Dr. Becker was appointed to the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board by President Barack Obama on September 25, 2012.

Before becoming a professor at Old Dominion University, Dr. Becker was a professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. For the last 11 y, he also has been an invited faculty member for the Harvard School of Public Health training course on radiological emergency planning.

His work on emergency preparedness and risk communication has been recognized with awards from such scientific organizations as the Health Physics Society and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

Dr. Becker holds a BA from George Washington University, an MA from Columbia University, and a PhD from Bryn Mawr College. He also was a Kreitman Scholar and postdoctoral fellow at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and a Visiting Fellow at the Japan Emergency Medicine Foundation and National Hospital Tokyo Disaster Medical Center.

steven m. becker

Manuela Buonanno

is an Associate Research Scientist at the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University. Her work concerns the biological effects of ionizing radiation. Her current studies aim at exploiting the biophysical properties of ionizing radiation [low-energy transfer (LET), dose, dose rate] to devise more effective radiotherapy treatments. Her research interests include the effects of high dose rates (FLASH) of protons, and the stimulation of the immune response by different types of radiation (LET). Dr. Buonanno also investigates antimicrobial applications of far ultraviolet (UVC) light, including prevention of surgical site infections and viral transmission. A long-standing member of the Radiation Research Society (RRS), Dr. Buonanno is Chair of the Education and Website Committee, she produces scientific podcasts for RRS and teaches radiation sciences to students, scientists in other fields, and the general public. She received her BS in physics from the University of Naples ‘‘Federico II’’ in Italy and her PhD in biophysics from Rutgers University. In 2016, she was awarded the Jack Fowler Award by the RRS and the University of Wisconsin.

Manuela Buonanno



is a Clinical Professor of Radiology and Clinical Professor of Radiation Oncology at University of California (UC) Davis School of Medicine. He holds the title of Director Emeritus Medical/Health Physics Programs and retired as Associate Chair of the Department of Radiology in 2018. He is currently Chair of the Board of Directors and Senior Vice President of NCRP. He is an expert on the biological effects, safety and interactions of ionizing and nonionizing radiation and holds multiple radiation detection technology patents. With over 40 y of experience he has served as a subject matter expert and an advisor to government agencies and institutions throughout the nation and around the world including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, the World Health Organization, and the International Atomic Energy Agency in the areas of ionizing and nonionizing radiation protection, risk communication, medical physics, and radiological emergency medical management. In 2016, Dr. Bushberg was appointed Vice Chair of the Committee on Man and Radiation which is a Technical Committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Former Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, among other assignments CDR Bushberg served as Executive Officer of the Chemical/Biological/Nuclear Technical Unit 120 Pacific, a highly skilled multidisciplinary military emergency response and advisory team based out of the Alameda Naval Air Station in California. Dr. Bushberg is an elected fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the Health Physics Society. He is certified by several national professional boards with specific subspecialty certification in radiation protection and medical physics and currently serves as a Director and Vice Chair of the American Board of Medical Physics. In 2014, Dr. Bushberg was awarded the NCRP Warren K. Sinclair Medal for Excellence in Radiation Science and received the Professor John C. Christiansen Distinguished Alumnus award from Purdue University School of Health Sciences in 2016. Prior to coming to the UC Davis Health System as technical director of Nuclear Medicine, Dr. Bushberg was on the faculty of Yale University School of Medicine Department of Radiology where his research was focused on radiopharmaceutical development. Dr. Bushberg has had responsibility for medical postgraduate education in medical physics, radiation (ionizing and nonionizing) biology and protection for more than 30 y. The third edition of the textbook The Essential Physics of Medical Imaging, authored by Bushberg, Seibert, Leidholdt, and Boone, is used extensively by radiology residency programs throughout the United States.

jerrold t. bushberg


received his Doctorate degree in Radiation Biology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is currently the Technical Executive for Radiation Safety at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), providing advice on EPRI’s Low Dose Radiation research and various aspects of the EPRI the Radiation Safety Program. Before joining EPRI, Dr. Cool served with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) after more than 32 y of service in a number of positions, including as Senior Advisor for Radiation Safety and International Liaison and several roles as a Senior Executive. At NRC, he was responsible for coordinating the wide range of national and international activities related to radiation protection, safety, and security of byproduct materials; decommissioning and waste management; radiation protection policy; and international radiation protection recommendations and standards. Dr. Cool is a Council Member of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), was Co-Chair of NCRP Council Committee 1, is a member of the Main Commission of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), Chairman of ICRP Committee 4 on Application of the Commission’s Recommendations, and is a Fellow of the Health Physics Society.

donald a. cool
No ImageVince Covello

Thomas E. Johnson

Associate Professor, Health Physics, Colorado State University, has performed extensive research and taught in diverse areas of radiation safety including environmental, medical, and uranium mining over the last 15 y. He has authored or co-authored over 30 peer reviewed papers, three books, mentored over 30 graduate students, and is responsible for teaching five graduate classes. He has been the principal investigator for multiple research projects funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and other agencies.

Dr. Johnson's work seeks to understand how contaminants move in the environment, the impact on biota and humans. Currently, he is focused on examining the environmental impact of the Fukushima Daiichi reactor accident and coordinating student research in the area. This work directly applies to his other area of interest, uranium mining and its impact on the environment.

Thomas E. Johnson


a public health scientist and attorney, is an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Division of Molecular and Translational Toxicology. He holds an MPH from Yale University School of Medicine, a DrPH from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a JD degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Dr. Locke's research and practice focus on how decision makers use environmental health science (toxicology, radiobiology, epidemiology) in regulation and policy making and how environmental health sciences influence the policy-making process. His areas of study include radiation risk communication, designing and evaluating radiation protection initiatives and radiation policies, radon risk reduction, safe disposal of high level radioactive waste, and use of computed tomography as a diagnostic screening tool. Dr. Locke directs the School's Doctor of Public Health program in Environmental Health Sciences.

Dr. Locke was a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board from 2003 to 2009. He has served on seven National Academy committees, and is currently a member of an NAS committee that is tasked with providing an assessment of lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident for improving the safety and security of nuclear plants in the United States. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of NCRP. He was program committee chair of the NCRP's 2010 annual meeting entitled "Communication of Radiation Benefits and Risks in Decision Making." Dr. Locke is admitted to practice law in the state of New York, the District of Columbia, the Southern District Court of New York, and the United States Supreme Court.

paul a. locke
No ImageM. Carol McCurley



joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 1992. He is currently Chief of the Radiation Studies Branch, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health. In this position he provides leadership for the agency's radiological emergency response and consequence management efforts. Previously, Dr. Miller worked with the Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Anderson (Indiana) University. His primary area of expertise is the transport and dose assessment of radionuclides released to the atmosphere, and other facets of environmental radiological dose assessment. He has authored or coauthored over 100 journal articles, laboratory reports, and meeting papers. Dr. Miller is a member of NCRP and a Fellow of the Health Physics Society. Dr. Miller holds a BS in Physics/Math from Ball State University, an MS in Meteorology from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Bionucleonics (Health Physics) from Purdue University.

charles w. miller

Miles O’Brien

is the science correspondent for PBS NewsHour, a producer and director for the PBS science documentary series NOVA, and a correspondent for the PBS documentary series FRONTLINE and the National Science Foundation Science Nation series. For nearly 17 of his 32 y in the news business, he worked for CNN as the science, environment, and aerospace space correspondent and the anchor of various programs, including American Morning.

While at CNN, he secured a deal with NASA to become the first journalist to fly on the space shuttle. The project ended with the loss of Columbia and her crew in 2003 – a story he told to the world in a critically acclaimed sixteen-hour marathon of live coverage.

Prior to joining CNN, he worked as a reporter at television stations in Boston, Tampa, Albany, New York, and St. Joseph, Missouri. He began his television career as a desk assistant at WRC-TV in Washington, DC.

O'Brien is an accomplished pilot and is frequently called upon to explain the world of aviation to a mass audience. He has won numerous awards over the years, including a half-dozen Emmys, and a Peabody and DuPont for his coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

Born in Detroit and raised in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, he is based in Washington, DC. He has a son at the U.S. Naval Academy and a daughter at Davidson College in North Carolina. He was a history major at Georgetown University.

Miles O'Brien

Judith F. Rader

leads the integrated communications strategy, planning and execution for Exelon Generation, one of the largest, most efficient clean energy producers in the United States, with a generating capacity of more than 35,500 MW and a workforce of 11,500 employees. Exelon Generation operates the nation’s largest fleet of carbon-free nuclear plants and a diverse mix of wind, solar, landfill gas, hydroelectric, natural gas, and oil facilities. She also oversees communications for Constellation, a leading competitive energy retail supplier with two million customers. In her role, Ms. Rader leads a team of 30 employees in an integrated communications program that includes internal communications, media relations, executive positioning, digital and social media, and issues and crisis management. Her team focuses on enhancing and protecting the reputation of Exelon Generation and its assets with internal and external stakeholders, advancing employee engagement, and supporting the company’s policy and business objectives through effective communications.

Judith F. Rader

Angela Shogren

is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Center for Radiation Information and Outreach. Ms. Shogren's career with EPA has focused on radiation risk communication and radiation data visualization. Ms. Shogren supported EPA's communication efforts during the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. She has facilitated international panels on radiation risk communication in pediatric medical imaging, with a focus on patient advocacy and effective communication methods. Since 2010, Ms. Shogren has been a member of an expert working group led by the World Health Organization that addresses radiation risk communication in pediatric medical imaging. With her guidance, this group developed the 2016 practical reference document, Communicating Radiation Risk in Paediatric Medical Imaging: Information to Support Healthcare Discussions About Benefit and Risk.

Angela Shogren



is President of Risk Assessment Corporation. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine Program and retired a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1999. Dr. Till received an MS from Colorado State University in 1972 and a PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1976. In 1977 Dr. Till formed Risk Assessment Corporation to perform research on radionuclides released to the environment by nuclear facilities. His career has focused on the development of methods to estimate dose and risk to humans from radionuclides and chemicals in the environment. He has served on committees for the National Academy of Sciences, the International Commission on Radiological Protection, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. He has published widely in the open literature including the first textbook on radiological risk assessment published by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1983 and an updated version, Radiological Risk Assessment and Environmental Analysis (2008).

In 1995, Dr. Till received the E.O. Lawrence Award from the U.S. Department of Energy in the field of Environmental Science and Technology. He presented the Lauriston S. Taylor Lecture at the annual meeting of the NCRP in 2013. In addition to his scientific work, Dr. Till also owns and operates his family farm, growing corn and soybeans near Neeses, South Carolina.

john e. till

Jessica S. Wieder

Jessica Wieder is an expert in radiation risk communication. As a member of NCRP’s Program Area on Radiation Education, Risk Communication and Outreach, Ms. Wieder helped write NCRP Report No. 179, Guidance for Emergency Response Dosimetry, and plan the outreach for high profile publications such as NCRP Report No. 180 on Management of Exposure to Ionizing Radiation: Radiation Protection Guidance for the United States (2018), and Commentary No. 27 on the Implications of Recent Epidemiologic Studies for the Linear-Nonthreshold Model and Radiation Protection. Also working through NCRP, Ms. Wieder and Brooke Buddemeier became TED educators on how to survive nuclear fallout.

Ms. Wieder is the Director of the Center for Radiation Information and Outreach at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She served at EPA’s senior radiation public information officer during the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, facilitated international panels on emergency response public communication, and was part of the contingency planning team for the 2011 launch of the Mars Science Laboratory. In 2013, she was awarded EPA's Exemplary Customer Service Award for her leadership in enabling all levels of government to provide quick, effective communications to the American people in response to large-scale radiological emergencies.

In 2010, Ms. Wieder was detailed to Federal Emergency Management Agency's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Branch, where she created the intergovernmental Nuclear/Radiological Communications Working Group. With her guidance, this group developed the nuclear detonation messaging document Improvised Nuclear Device Response and Recovery: Communicating in the Immediate Aftermath.

Jessica S. Wieder
No ImageVivi Siegel, Consultant


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Last modified: March 4, 2018