Lab members

Peter Howe

Assistant Professor of Geography, Department of Environment and Society, Utah State University

Dr. Howe is a human-environment geographer specializing in the human dimensions of climate change and environmental hazards. His research focuses on how place and environmental context influence risk perceptions, communication, and vulnerability. Dr. Howe teaches courses on geographic information science, environmental hazards, regional geography, and the human dimensions of climate change.

Prior to joining the Utah State faculty Dr. Howe was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He received his PhD in 2012 and MS in 2009 from the Department of Geography at Penn State University. He grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated from Arizona State University with a BS in Geography and BA in Political Science.

Current students

Yajie Li

Ph.D. student, Environment and SocietyYajie Li

Yajie Li’s research focuses on environmental risk communication, especially in natural hazards. She is interested in how message attributes, recipient’s individual and contextual variables influence public responses to risk communication messages. Her research aims to provide tailored and effective messages to engage the public in protective measures and climate change solutions. Her current research examines the effectiveness of the communication messages on extreme heat risks provided by government organizations, using methods including content analysis of social media, survey experiments, spatial analysis, and multilevel modeling.

Kirsten Goldstein

Kirsten isĀ pursuing an MSĀ in geography. She has a BA in geography and GIS from Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota. She is fascinated by the real-world application of spatial analysis to environmental and public policies. Her research interests include potential climate refugee communities, physical and political threats to sacred geographies, perceptions of renewable energies, and mapping as a tool for analysis.

Brittany Lester

Brittany is pursuing a PhD in Environment and Society. Her background in psychology (BS Nebraska Wesleyan) and her passion for environmental advocacy has guided her research which seeks to understand public perceptions of climate migration as an adaptive strategy to climate change. Other interests include, statistical modeling and spatial analysis, environmental risk perceptions, and mitigation policy support.

Casey Trout

Casey graduated from Utah State University in 2019 with two B.S. degrees in Environmental Studies and Statistics. She is interested in how scientists can effectively communicate their findings to the public, policymakers, and natural resource managers to promote changes in legislation, policy, and behavior. She hopes to eventually pursue employment with a government agency or non-profit to promote application of the most recent science in natural resource management.

Former students

Forrest Schoessow

M.S., Geographyforrest_photo (2018)

Forrest Schoessow’s research focuses on spatial and temporal dynamics of human responses to hazards and disasters. Forrest is pursuing a PhD in Geography at the Ohio State University.

Emily Esplin

M.S., Geography (2019)emily_photo

Emily is is passionate about local people understanding the natural hazards they live in so they can prepare through proper protective measures. Her research interests include disaster risk reduction, community resilience to natural hazards, risk perception and communication, and natural hazards mitigation and outreach campaigns.