Behavior, Education and Communication Faculty Profiles

Professor and Director, Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise

Joe Arvai is the Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise in the School of Natural Resources & Environment, and the Ross School of Business. He is also the Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. Joe is an internationally recognized expert in the risk and decisions sciences; his research has two main areas of emphasis: First, Joe and his research group conduct experiments focused on advancing our understanding of how people process information and make decisions, with a specific emphasis on how people make tradeoffs. Second, Joe and his team conduct research focused on developing and testing decision-aiding tools and approaches that can be used by people to improve decision quality across a wide range of environmental, social, and economic contexts.

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.

Associate Professor

We face a century of diminishing material and energy abundance while we simultaneously 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 and stay positively engaged?  In short, how can we bring out the best in people despite their facing difficult and often irreversible environmental circumstances?

Assistant Professor

My research group focuses on human dimensions of environmental change in forest ecosystems. The primary 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 adaptation to environmental change including natural hazards and climate-related changes. I am particularly interested in understanding the capacity of individuals (e.g., private landowners) and organizations (e.g., natural resource agencies and environmental organizations) to adapt to environmental change through individual and collective natural resource management and environmental conservation actions. I draw on theories from the fields of natural resource sociology and human geography in my work. My methods include qualitative interview analysis, quantitative survey analysis and social network analysis. I collaborate with researchers from diverse disciplines using a broad range of analytical approaches and strive to address problems of concern to local practitioners.

Professor

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.

Associate Professor

Professor Hardin’s areas of interest and scientific study include human/wildlife interactions, and social and environmental change related to wildlife management, tourism, logging, and mining in equatorial Africa, especially the western Congo basin. Recent projects also focus on the increasingly intertwined practices of health, environmental management, and corporate governance in southern and eastern Africa, including sites in South Africa and Kenya.

Professor

Andy Hoffman is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise; a position that holds joint appointments at the School of Natural Resources & Environment and the Ross School of Business. He also  also serves as education director of the Graham Sustainability Institute.  His research focuses on corporate strategies that address environmental and social issues.  His disciplinary background lies in the areas of organizational behavior, institutional change, negotiations and change management.  He has published more than 100 articles and eleven books, two of which have been translated into five different languages. Prior to academics, he worked for the US Environmental Protection Agency, Metcalf & Eddy, the Amoco Corporation, and T&T Construction and Design, Inc. In 2004, he was a Senior Fellow with the Meridian Institute.

Teaching interests include competitive environmental strategy, strategies for sustainable development, organizational behavior, negotiations, green construction, and organizational change

Associate Professor

My specialty, ecological design, is premised in the integration of art and science. I aim to create a built environment that is ecologically functional, contextually meaningful and personally engaging. I am a licensed professional landscape architect and have worked as a research ecologist. I presently do translational research that allows me to bring scientific discovery into design applications. Teaching includes ecological planting design studio, sustainable site design, urban agriculture, and civil engineering for designers. Research focuses on how to design urban areas to promote well-being and health of humans and the natural systems in which we are embedded.

As an ecological designer I place aesthetics—the visceral and psychological appeal of designed spaces, on equal footing with ecosystem considerations because there is no better way to engage personal stewardship than to elicit a protection response.

Assistant Professor

Mark's research investigates the impact of digital media in general, and 3D visualization in particular, on the design and perception of environments. Research interests are rooted in landscape architecture and informed by experiences in professional design practice. One of his current research focuses is the empirical evaluation of multisensory spatial perception, with the aim of foregrounding human experience in the design and planning of environments for more ecologically, socially and culturally sustainable outcomes.

Associate Professor

Julia Wondolleck has spent over 20 years researching the emergence and functioning of inter-organizational and community-based collaborative processes in ecosystem-scale resource management, processes that often arise in response to natural and/or social system crises. Her research focus is environmental decision-making and the structure of policy and administrative processes that promote the sustainability of ecological and human systems in the face of diverse yet legitimate interests, scientific complexity, and often conflicting and ambiguous legal direction.

Professor

My research focuses on how political processes and organizations make environmental policy choices, and how new collaborative structures can be developed to encourage more effective decision making. I am particularly interested in landscape-scale conservation and sustainable natural resource management, and how decision making institutions can be encouraged to take on an ecosystem-scale perspective. Of particular interest is policy involving biological diversity, public lands and energy.

Professor

Michaela Zint interests are in 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).