Driving the Response to Climate Change
Michael Vandenbergh directs the Climate Change Research Network, a university research initiative affiliated with the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment. VIEE sponsors interdisciplinary research projects that link the social and behavioral sciences with the physical sciences, engineering, law and policy. A former chief of staff for the EPA, Vandenbergh eschews emotional pleas for protecting the planet, favoring a more pragmatic approach. Much of his research aims to bridge gaps between tree huggers and gas guzzlers by focusing on how to motivate the private sector and households to achieve sustainability. The research network he has directed for almost a decade now has sponsored four postdoctoral fellows who are experts in environmental social psychology, and it includes members from Vanderbilt’s departments of earth and environmental sciences, political science, sociology and economics, and the schools of engineering, business and nursing.