Behavior, Education and Communication Faculty Profiles
Professor and Director, Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise
Assistant Research Scientist
My research uses field and laboratory experiments, and interviews and focus groups to understand the roles of knowledge, values, attitudes and beliefs as drivers of direct and indirect pro-environmental behaviors. I also work on individual and community engagement with environmental issues more broadly. Because positive environmental attitudes do not always lead to pro-environmental behaviors, I am additionally interested in the role of information provision and behavioral interventions to motivate and support behaviors that lead to positive environmental outcomes.
We face a century of diminishing material and energy abundance while we address the climate disruption caused by our past consumption. This bio-physical reality is inevitable. What is not inevitable, however, is the nature of our response. Yet so often we are faced with, not reasonable, but infuriatingly unreasonable behavior. Why is this and what can we do to help people become positively engaged? In short, how can we bring out the best in people despite their facing difficult and irreversible environmental circumstances?
The goal of my research is to increase scientific understanding of human behavior as it relates to the sustainability of socio-ecological systems. I investigate factors that enable and constrain human mitigation of and adaptation to risks associated with natural hazards and climate change. I am particularly interested in understanding what motivates individuals (e.g., private landowners) and organizations (e.g., natural resource agencies and environmental organizations) to cooperate on natural resource management and environmental conservation.
Professor/Theodore Roosevelt Chair of Ecosystem Management
Bob Grese serves as Director of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. My teaching and research involve ecologically-based landscape design and management that respects the cultural and natural history of a region. I am particularly interested in the restoration and on-going management of urban wilds and the role such lands can play in re-connecting children and families with nature. I have long been fascinated by the work of early designers such as Jens Jensen and Ossian Cole Simonds who borrowed from the native landscape in their work. There is much to be learned about their designs and their fate over time. I have a growing interest in green roofs and other low impact design strategies.
Some environments bring out the best in people; many do not. That constitutes a puzzle that takes many directions, including: (1) the importance of the natural environment; (2) ways to make environments both understandable and interesting; (3) approaches to meaningful participation in environmental decision-making; (4) exploration of ways to conceptualize and assess effectiveness and well-being.
Rachel Kaplan is the Samuel Trask Dana Professor of Environment and Behavior.
Professor and Associate Dean for Research
Michael Moore's teaching involves courses in natural resource and environmental economics. His research interests include analysis of federal water policy and water allocation conflicts between environmental and consumptive uses of river systems; economic aspects of biodiversity and species conservation; and economics of environmental markets, including markets for green products (such as green electricity) and markets for pollution permits (such as the federal SO2 allowance market).
Environmental education (behavior change, program evaluation, education for sustainability, professional development, pre-service education); environmental (risk) communication; social sciences and environment; business & environment (especially green marketing); water/fish/fisheries/Great Lakes (issues related to education, communication).
Current Research & Projects: