Behavior and Environment: Transitional Thinking for the New Normal
This course deals with two central themes. First, environmental problems are people problems requiring an understanding of how people think, what they care about, and the conditions under which they behave most reasonably. Second, human behavior makes the most sense when studied in the context of the environment, both present and evolutionary. The course builds a model of human nature based upon research in the field of environmental psychology. The course will explore such topics as environmental perception and knowledge, preferred environments and coping with the failure of preference, and mental attention fatigue and restoration. It then applies this model to such issues as common property resource management and the psychology of sustainability. The course is cross-disciplinary both in emphasis and student population with the disciplines of natural resource policy, planning and management, environmental education, conservation behavior, psychology, landscape architecture and urban planning typically represented.