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Dietz, Thomas

6J Berkey Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

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Web Sites:
Committee on Human Dimensions on Global Change
America’s Climate Choices Study
Sustainable Science Award

Thomas Dietz

Professor of Sociology and Environmental Science and Policy

Thomas Dietz is a Professor of Sociology and Environmental Science at Michigan State University. He is also Co-Director of the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessment Center ( 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 and Assistant Vice President for Environmental Research. Dr. 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 as Vice Chair of the Panel on Advancing the Science of Climate Change of the America’s Climate Choices study. ( In the latter role he briefed the President’s Science Advisor and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on climate change science.  He is currently a member of the NRC Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and has served on many other NRC Committees. Dr. 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 thirteen books and more than150 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. Dr. Dietz is an active participant in the Animal Studies Program.

Research Interests

  • Human dimensions of global environmental change, environmental values, and valuation, evolutionary theory and the interplay of science, deliberationand democracy

Areas of Specialization: Environment

Selected Publications

Eugene A.Rosa and Thomas Dietz. 2012. "Human Drivers of National Greenhouse Gas Emissions." Nature Climate Change 2:581-586.

Adam Douglas Henry and Thomas Dietz.  2012. “Understanding Environmental Cognition.” Organization & Environment 25:238-258.

Recent Publications

Yang, Wu, Thomas Dietz, Daniel Boyd Kramer, Zhiyun Ouyang, and Jianguo Liu. 2015. "An integrated approach to understand the linkages between ecosystem services and human well-being." Ecosystem Health and Sustainability 1:Article 19.

Thomas Dietz, Kenneth A. Frank, Cameron Whitley, Jennifer Kelly, and Rachel Kelly. 2015. "Political Influences on Greenhouse Gas Emissions." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1417806112

More Publications

Awards and Honors

Sustainability Science Award, Ecological Society of America, 2005

Distinguished Publication Award, American Sociological Association Section on Environment, Technology and Society, 2004