Behavior, Education, and Communication Overview

Solving environmental problems often comes down to solving people problems. How can we compel individuals and groups to accept willingly—and, better, to seek out—more sustainable life patterns? This is one of the main challenges of creating meaningful environmental change, and the overarching focus of SNRE’s Behavior, Education, and Communication field of study.

As a Behavior, Education, and Communication specialist, you will learn how people think, what drives them, and the conditions under which they behave most reasonably and creatively. You will develop conceptual frameworks and learn to employ strategies to address local, regional, and global environmental problems by motivating individuals, groups, and organizations to adopt impactful behavior patterns. Through leadership and engagement, you will influence human behavior and empower diverse communities to achieve the ultimate goal of enduring environmental sustainability.



"The Behavior, Education, and Communication track at SNRE combines my interests in psychology and environmental conservation. It provides a background in the environmental sciences along with the tools to change our collective behaviors. When I graduate, I plan to work as an organizer to help communities share resources and foster environmental stewardship.” 

— Spencer Harbo, Behavior, Education, and Communication student track leader


CURRICULUM

SNRE’s Behavior, Education, and Communication coursework builds a sophisticated understanding of the causes, dynamics, and consequences of decisions and actions that impact natural resources and the environment. You will study human behavior—both current and evolutionary—in the context of the environment. You will learn to share information effectively, use instructional and motivational techniques to encourage desired behaviors, and negotiate conflicts by engaging diverse stakeholders to address sustainability challenges collaboratively. 


Course Sampling

  • Advanced Environmental Education
  • Social Vulnerability and Adaptation to Environmental Change
  • Network Analysis for Natural Resource and Environmental Planning
  • Natural Resources Conflict Management
  • Psychology of Environmental Stewardship
  • Natural Resources Conflict Management
  • Negotiation Skills in Environmental Dispute Resolution
  • Public Opinion and the Environment
  • Behavior and Environment
  • Localization Seminar: Transitional Thinking

CAREERS AND SELECT EMPLOYERS

You will graduate equipped with the background and skills to work as an environmental advocate, communicator, K-12 or non-formal educator, an environmental engagement, outreach, or sustainability manager, a conservation behavior specialist, or an environmental dispute resolution specialist.  The following are select employers of BEC graduates:

 Top Behavior, Education and Communication employers

For more information on the Behavior, Education and Communication field of study, visit the BEC track careers page or contact snre.admissions@umich.edu .