Environmental and Social Sustainability Lab
Human Dimensions of Environment
Complexity in Human, Natural and Engineered Systems
Lines/Areas of Research
I am an environmental social scientist with an interdisciplinary background and a foundation in evolutionary theories of human behavior. I integrate concepts and methods from evolutionary anthropology, institutional economics, psychology, and sociology to explore the emergence and spread of collective action and conservation at multiple scales.
My goal is to make a small contribution to our understanding of what a more sustainable world might look like and how we can get there. To that end, I am broadly interested in understanding the dynamics that lead to the adoption of conservation behaviors and the emergence and spread of norms and institutions that support more sustainable lifestyles.
More specifically, I have interests in the following areas (selected publications provide an example of my work in each area):
Cultural evolution and sustainable social-ecological systems
** See the working group I am leading with Tim Waring from the University of Maine at SESYNC (National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center):
Waring, T.M., Kline, M.A., Brooks, J.S., Goff, S.H., Gowdy, J. ,Janssen, M.A., Smaldino, P.E., and J. Jacquet. 2015. A multi-level evolutionary framework for sustainability analysis. Ecology & Society 20(2):34. URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol20/iss2/art34/
Brooks, J.S. 2010. The Buddha mushroom: conservation behavior and the development of institutions in Bhutan. Ecological Economics 60:779-795.
Social dimensions of sustainable consumption
Brooks, J.S. and C. Wilson. 2015. The influence of contextual cues on the perceived status of consumption-reducing behavior. Ecological Economics 117:108-117.
Well-being and sustainability
Ongoing work measuring well-being and its relationship to sustainable consumption and environmental behavior in Columbus, OH. Check back in the future for publications!
Sustainable development / International conservation and development
Brooks, J.S. 2013. Avoiding the limits to growth: gross national happiness in Bhutan as a model for sustainable development. Sustainability 5:3640-3664. URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/5/9/3640
Brooks, J.S. 2011. Economic development, religion, and environmental values in Bhutan: a multilevel analysis. Society and Natural Resources 24:637-655.
Brooks, J.S., Waylen, K., and M. Borgerhoff Mulder. 2012. How national context, project design, and local community characteristics influence success in community- based conservation projects. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(52):21265-21270.
Brooks, J.S. and Tshering, D. 2010. Good governance as an obstacle to community-based natural resource management: The harvest of the matsutake mushroom in Bhutan. Environmental Conservation 37:336-346.
Brooks, J.S, Franzen, M., Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Holmes, C., and M. Grote. 2006. Testing hypotheses for the success of different conservation strategies. Conservation Biology 20:1528-1538.
Conservation and pro-environmental behavior
Brooks, J.S. 2010. The economic and social dimensions of environmental behavior: balancing conservation and development in Bhutan. Conservation Biology 24:1499-1509.
Additional links to associated lab or research web sites
ENR 5480 – International Conservation and Local Peoples
ENR 2500 – Introduction to Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability
ENR 8400 – Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Management
ENR 2367 – Communicating Environment and Natural Resources Information