Blog

Reflections on Online Teaching

Reflections on Online Teaching

I recently wrapped up my first online course as instructor of record. I navigated designing and teaching my own course while learning about the nuts and bolts of online teaching. The experience was invaluable. However, I have been reflecting on the benefits and challenges of online teaching, which is in increasingly high demand at the University of Maryland and, I’m sure, elsewhere. I have had the opportunity to lead classrooms and organize my own lectures for discussion sections in the…

Read More Read More

Moderating the Relationship Between Power, Class, and Unethical Behavior

Moderating the Relationship Between Power, Class, and Unethical Behavior

Happy New Year! I am excited about a year of new challenges and opportunities. I’ve recently explored some of the literature in social psychology and group processes attempting to understand altruistic and prosocial, as well as unethical, behavior. Does contact with those bearing the costs of unethical behavior moderate the relationship between power and unethical behavior? Many structures and social processes depend on people not behaving selfishly when presented with a social dilemma, leading to social consequences for widespread behavior…

Read More Read More

Childhood Experiences and Environmental Identities

Childhood Experiences and Environmental Identities

In a recently completed manuscript draft, I argue that childhood experiences are central for understanding why and how some people come to be involved in the environmental movement. My work centers on identity theory and its central idea that when a person incorporates an identity into their self-concept, and the identity becomes salient, it motivates their behavior (Stryker and Burke 2000). Therefore, I use the framework of environmentalist identities to think about how we can predict and understand which individuals…

Read More Read More

Moving Forward

Moving Forward

It’s good to be a graduate student, but life is busy. I struggle to balance research, teaching, professional development, volunteer commitments, and friends & family, just like everyone else I know. The graduate school grind can be challenging. It can feel like I’m pulled in multiple directions without enough time for any of my individual responsibilities. I know I’m not alone in this. I’m also trying to really establish goals for my graduate career. What kind of scholar do I…

Read More Read More

Perceptions of Wildlife and Resilience

Perceptions of Wildlife and Resilience

For a while I have been aiming to connect my research directly with my interest in wildlife issues. When I had the opportunity to take a course in urban social-ecological resilience in another department, I decided to take the opportunity to examine the literature and consider the connections between wildlife and resilience, focusing on urban settings. Meerow and colleagues (2015) define urban resilience as “the ability of an urban system-and all its constituent socio-ecological and socio-technical networks across temporal and…

Read More Read More

Sampling Matters, and More About Wealth and Environmentalism

Sampling Matters, and More About Wealth and Environmentalism

Because of the assumption that public attitudes and values about the environment are necessary preconditions for positive environmental change, scholars have also attempted to explain and predict individual environmental attitudes. Some work has shown the importance of local environmental and weather conditions for predicting environmental concern (Howe et al. 2012). This would suggest that individuals living in close proximity to environmental degradation and the consequences of environmental issues would be more concerned about the environment. On the other hand, some…

Read More Read More

Year Three is Underway

Year Three is Underway

It’s hard to believe that we are already almost through the third week of the fall semester! I’ve officially started my third year of graduate school and I am looking forward to new challenges ahead. This semester I am taking a course in Group Processes that will definitely push me outside of my comfort zone, as it’s beyond my usual research area. It has already exposed me to a new body of literature and is helping me to prepare for…

Read More Read More

Conversations with Climate Marchers

Conversations with Climate Marchers

This winter, I finished conducting interviews with climate movement participants for a project I call “Green Identities”. I’m interested in understanding how individuals come to be involved in environmentalism from their own perspectives. What is it that leads them to participate? How do their life experiences and social contexts matter? Dr. Dana Fisher and her research team have surveyed protesters at many large-scale protest events, including the People’s Climate March in New York in 2014. The March drew roughly 500,000…

Read More Read More

Is Environmentalism for the Rich?

Is Environmentalism for the Rich?

During a course at UMD, I was able to (begin) to explore environmentalism’s intersections with class. Environmental sociologists have tried to measure and understand levels of concern for the environment and environmental behaviors in an attempt to understand how to create environmental change. One major question in environmental sociology concerns the relationship between class and environmentalism. Some research shows that wealthier individuals care about the environment more, potentially because caring about the environment is a luxury only afforded to those…

Read More Read More

Attacks on Wolves, Attacks on Science

Attacks on Wolves, Attacks on Science

I was shocked recently to learn about Senator Ben Cardin’s attack on science through his sponsorship of S. 1514: the 2017 “sportsmen’s bill” ironically dubbed the “HELP for Wildlife Act” (Yachnin 2017). In the midst of such a difficult and frightening political environment on so many social issues, including LGBT rights, racial justice, and immigration, I’ve come to count on my Maryland congressional delegation to stand up for my values. I felt that I could count on Senators Van Hollen…

Read More Read More