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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Autumn 2015 SENR Seminar

Oct 22, 2015, 4:00pm - 5:00pm

The SENR Seminar Series welcomes Alia Dietsch, Assistant Professor, OSU School of Environment and Natural Resources. Dr. Dietsch will present Understanding the Role of Human Values in Light of Comtemporary Environmental Challenges.

Environmental and natural resource challenges are increasingly recognized as being driven by social factors. These social factors are myriad and complex, but ultimately rest upon how individuals think and behave. Therefore, we need to better understand and explain environmentally-relevant judgments, decisions and behaviors. I contribute to this area of inquiry by investigating the processes by which thought and action arise out of core beliefs, such as values. Specifically, I respond to the following questions: (1) Why do values matter? (2) What shapes human values? and (3) What are the implications of value shift in light of the environmental challenges we face? Overall, my program of research shows that values can be used to explain tradeoffs in decision-making between human interests (e.g., economic development, recreation behaviors) and protection of natural resources, including wildlife. I also describe the influence of group (e.g., culture, place) and individual characteristics (e.g., demographics) on values, and address the question of whether or not a human-engineered value shift is achievable in order to address contemporary environmental challenges.

The SENR Seminar begins at 4:10 p.m in 103 Kottman Hall with a video link to 123 Williams Hall on the Wooster campus.