- About Us
Professor of Sociology and Environmental Science and Policy (ESPP) and Assistant Vice President for Environmental Research
Office Phone: 517-353-8763
Thomas Dietz is a professor of Sociology and Environmental Science and Policy (ESPP) and assistant vice president for environmental research at Michigan State University. He holds a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California, Davis, and a bachelor of general studies from Kent State University. At MSU he was founding director of the Environmental Science and Policy Program and associate dean in the Colleges of Social Science, Agriculture and Natural Resources and Natural Science.
Dietz is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been awarded the Sustainability Science Award of the Ecological Society of America, the Distinguished Contribution Award of the American Sociological Association Section on Environment, Technology and Society, and the Outstanding Publication Award, also from the American Sociological Association Section on Environment, Technology and Society and the Gerald R. Young Book Award from the Society for Human Ecology. At the National Research Council he has served as chair of the U.S. National Research Council Committee on Human Dimensions of Global Change and the Panel on Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making, and currently is vice chair of the Panel on Advancing the Science of Climate Change of the America’s Climate Choices study.
Dietz has also served as secretary of Section K (Social, Economic, and Political Sciences) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is the former president of the Society for Human Ecology. He has co-authored or co-edited eleven books and more than 100 papers and book chapters. His current research examines the human driving forces of environmental change, environmental values and the interplay between science and democracy in environmental issues. Dietz is an active participant in the Ecological and Cultural Change Studies Group and the Animal Studies Program at MSU.
His research interests are in human ecology and cultural evolution. He has a long-standing program of scholarship on the relationship between science and democracy in environmental policy.He has published a series of papers on environmental values and beliefs of the public. He is also working on macro-comparative analysis of the drivers of environmental stressors and the contributions of natural and other capitals to human well-being. He has co-authored or co-edited 12 books and written more than 110 papers and book chapters.