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 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?

Assistant Professor

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. I draw on theories from the fields of rural sociology, human geography and ecology 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/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.

Professor Emeritus

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.

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.


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).


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).