ARB Research Seminar
This page updated July 23, 2013
The Hard Work of Making It Easy: Facilitating Climate-Smart Behavior
Susanne Moser, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz and Susanne Moser Research & Consulting
January 13, 2009
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA
There are those who champion technological innovation and those who advocate
changing people’s values as the ultimate solutions to the climate
change problem. Ironically, meetings of technology experts typically
end with a call on people to change their values (and thus, by
implication, their behaviors), while meetings of behavioral experts
typically end with calls on policy and technology experts to give
people the “right” technologies. Which perspective will prove to be
“right” remains to be seen. Both perspectives, however, represent
downstream and upstream attempts to intervene in, and change, what
people actually do and how they impact the environment.
This presentation will offer both theoretical insights on human behavior and behavior change from diverse and multidisciplinary scientific disciplines as well as practical insights from various outreach campaigns aimed at affecting energy and climate-relevant behavior. From these experiences, the presentation will distill some guiding principles that can inform programs aimed at behavior change; it will also address how a fuller understanding of behavior change helps to design communication and outreach efforts that effectively support intended program goals.
Susanne C. Moser, Ph.D., is
director and principal researcher of Susanne Moser Research &
Consulting in Santa
Cruz, California and a research associate at the Institute for Marine
Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz. Previously, she
served as a research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric
Research in Boulder, Colorado; was a research fellow at Harvard’s
Kennedy School of Government, worked for the Heinz Center in
Washington, DC; and served as staff scientist for climate change at the
Union of Concerned Scientists. Dr. Moser's current work focuses on
adaptation to climate change, resilience, decision support, and
effective climate change communication in support of social change. Dr.
Moser is a geographer by training (Ph.D. 1997, Clark University), with
social science research interests over the last 15 years in the causes,
vulnerability, impacts, and adaptive responses to climate change,
especially with regard to coastal areas, human health, and
forest-reliant communities. Dr. Moser is particularly interested in the
effective communication between science, decision-makers and the public.
Dr. Moser contributed to Working Group II of the Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, and has advised former Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Project on climate change communication. Dr. Moser is a GECHS Research Associate and co-editor with Lisa Dilling (University of Colorado-Boulder) on a ground-breaking 2007 anthology on climate change communication, called Creating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change (Cambridge University Press). Dr. Moser's work has been recognized through fellowships in the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, the UCAR Leadership Academy, Kavli Frontiers of Science Program, and the Donella Meadows Leadership Program.