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Conservation Psychology


Programs to conserve water and energy, reduce our auto-dependency, recycle, and adapt to climate change have one thing in common: to be effective, they must consider the human behavioral dimension. In this course, participants will learn how to apply psychological principles, theories and methods to understand and solve environmental problems. Gain an overview of contemporary environmental issues, with a focus on the link with human behavior. Examine psychological foundations for conservation, including commons dilemma, connectedness with nature, rational choice, values, and incentives. Explore solutions and examine successful and unsuccessful interventions designed to change human behavior. Topics covered include water conservation, recycling and waste management, transportation, and energy conservation.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of the field of Conservation Psychology
  • Describe the behavioral causes of environmental problems
  • Specify the psychological factors that lead people to engage in conservation behavior
  • Identify the effective strategies used to promote conservation behavior

AICP Credit: AICP members can earn Certification Maintenance (CM) credits for this activity. For a list of additional UC San Diego Extension AICP CM Events go to American Planning Association.
CM | 27

Note: Special Instructor: Wesley Schultz, Ph.D.
Wesley Schultz has more than 20 years experience teaching and conducting research on the behavioral foundations of sustainability. He is Professor of Psychology at California State University, San Marcos, and has served as Scientific Advisor to numerous businesses and governmental organizations, including ENERGY STAR, CalEPA, and Keep America Beautiful. He currently serves as President of the Environmental Psychology Division (4) of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), and he is on the editorial board for the Journal of Environmental Psychology.


Course Number: ENVR-40000
Credit: 3.00 unit(s)
Related Certificate Programs: Sustainability & Behavior ChangeSustainable Business Practices

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