Human Dimensions of the Environment

Student walking in water

In NRES, research into the Human Dimensions of the Environment tackles three main questions at the nexus of natural and human systems, such as:

  • How can human societies manage environments and natural resources for human well-being?
    • Do greener schoolyards boost academic achievement?
    • At what age should trees be harvested to maximize value?
    • Can visiting an urban park strengthen our immune system?

  • How can public policy encourage sustainable behaviors and ways of life?
    • Should governments subsidize private landowners to plant trees?
    • What policies must be put in place to incentivize renewable energy?

  • How can formal and informal institutions understand and improve environmental decision-making processes?
    • How do stakeholders negotiate trade-offs in environmental benefits and burdens?
    • How can scientific information be better used in environmental decision-making that ultimately impacts companies, consumers and nature?
    • What are the limitations of science in politics under heightened conditions of complexity, uncertainty, and risk?

Faculty researching this area: