Climate and environmental psychologists use psychological science to improve the interactions of people with the world around us.

Understanding Climate and Environmental Psychology

At first glance, you might think that climate and environmental psychologists work to stop global warming, protect endangered species and conserve clean water supplies. You would be right, but just partially.

While these psychologists are concerned with environmental protection and conservation, climate and environmental psychologists focus their research and work on better understanding how human behavior affects our world. They study human responses to natural and technological hazards and examine the influence of different environments, such as offices, homes and urban areas, on loneliness and stress, for example.

Have you ever considered how your mood changes when the sun is shining? Have you ever thought about why some people are committed recyclers while others toss items into the trash without a thought? Or even how colors used to decorate an office space can improve productivity?

Climate and environmental psychologist study all of these questions, and much more.

Climate and Environmental Psychology Applied

As people become more environmentally conscious, climate and environmental psychologists are playing a larger role in the workforce. Many work for nonprofits or the government, often serving as research psychologists or clinicians with environmental expertise.

As such, they support initiatives that focus on urban and city planning, environmental design and environmental health, to name a few.

Specifically, climate and environmental psychologists:

  • Conduct research on messages that motivate people to change their behavior.
  • Spread the word about environmental solutions.
  • Uncover why people may not adopt positive behaviors.
  • Encourage people to rethink their positions in the natural world.
  • Help clients to live more sustainable lives.
For Students

Climate and environmental psychologists keep our planet healthy. Their research explores human behavior so they can figure out what motivates people to take actions that will protect the planet.

Resources for StudentsResources to help you pursue a career in psychology
A degree in psychology can lead to a fulfilling career that makes a difference in people’s lives.
  



A Career in Climate and Environmental PsychologyFind out what it takes to become a climate and environmental psychologist
Climate and environmental psychologists seek to improve the interactions of people with the world around us. They work in areas as varied as human responses to natural and technological hazards, conservation, environmental perception and cognition to loneliness, stress and design.

For Teachers

An advanced degree in psychology is the foundation of many interesting career paths within the discipline. In addition, an understanding of the science of psychology — for example, by earning a bachelor's degree in the subject — can help students in their careers and their lives.   

Resources for TeachersExplore classroom resources
Understanding the science of psychology can help students in their careers and their lives. Psychological science is the foundation of many interesting career paths.
  


Psychology Can Take You Great PlacesLearn what it takes to pursue a career in psychology
You don’t have to look far to see the impact that psychologists make. They contribute in almost every profession, from health care and law enforcement to sport performance and space exploration.

For School Counselors

Students who are passionate about nature, going green, spending time outdoors and those who want to better understand the connection between human behavior and the health of the planet are good candidates for a career in climate and environmental psychology. Psychologists working on issues affecting our climate use psychological science to help promote human behaviors that can protect and restore our environment. They work to reverse pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss.

Resources for CounselorsResources to help your students pursue a career in psychology
A degree in psychology can lead to a fulfilling career that makes a difference in people’s lives.

  


A Career in Climate and Environmental PsychologyFind out what it takes to become a climate and environmental psychologist
Climate and environmental psychologists seek to improve the interactions of people with the world around us. They work in areas as varied as human responses to natural and technological hazards, conservation, environmental perception and cognition to loneliness, stress and design.