Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Political Science


Political Science

Advisor 1

Dennis Pirages, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Kenneth Fernandez

Second Committee Member

Tiffiany Howard

Graduate Faculty Representative

Christine Springer

Number of Pages



Over recent years it has become clear that technological advancements, globalization, and ecological change, combined with the onset of increased terrorist incidents, are all currently working to create an extremely hazardous environment in terms of pathogenic invasion. Realizing that infectious diseases are both newly emerging and re-emerging in many parts of the world, the question of how prepared an expansive United States will be in the face of an oncoming global pandemic is easily raised. Using Las Vegas as an example of just how unequipped a largely visited U.S. city may be in the face of such a situation, this thesis analyzes biological emergency preparedness methods amongst local emergency response agencies. No matter what the origin, during any large-scale emergency it is extremely important for response to be quick and effective, with decision making responsibilities retained within agencies that posses strong understandings of local capabilities, rather than shifted towards federal agencies that do not often take into account unique local needs. For this reason, the following thesis will test the relationship that exists between emergency managers across different levels of disaster response in order to reveal the true effectiveness of a federalist-dominated disaster mitigation system.


Biological emergency preparedness; Biological-terrorism; Climate change and diseases; Emergency managers; Epidemics; Disaster relief policies; First responders; Infectious diseases; Las Vegas; Nevada; Local emergency response agencies; Pandemics; Pathogens


Emergency Medicine | Health Policy | International Public Health | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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