Ezra MarkowitzEzra Markowitz

Associate Professor


Phone: 413-545-1237

Office: 303 Holdsworth

Website: www.ezramarkowitz.com

Twitter: @ezramarkowitz


I am an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist and publicly engaged scholar interested in leveraging our understanding of human behavior to promote environmental sustainability and social well-being.

Primary interests

I’m interested in uncovering the underlying psychological, social and contextual factors that influence individual and collective environmental decision-making. Understanding what drives the conservation- and sustainability-related actions people take can help inform strategies, programs, interventions and policies designed to improve both environmental conservation and human well-being. I primarily use methods and theory from the behavioral and communication sciences to reveal how individuals and communities make environmentally-relevant decisions, often in the face of conflicting priorities and significant tradeoffs. My research, teaching and practice all aim to develop and highlight the insights that behavioral science has to offer in promoting positive environmental and societal outcomes.

Current projects

Intergenerational environmental decision-making

Much of my recent research has been focused on understanding factors that influence how individuals make decisions in the present that have their most important impacts in the future, and particularly on other people in the future. I am currently exploring a number of issues related to this topic, including the role of moral emotions such as gratitude on future-oriented decision-making and the impact of legacy concerns on climate change concern and action (e.g., Syropoulous, Watkins, Shariff, Hodges & Markowitz, under review; Zaval, Markowitz & Weber, 2015).

Interpersonal communication as under-appreciated pathway to positive behavior change

Most approaches to environmental communication rely on top-down, unidirectional (i.e., traditional) messaging techniques. Although important, decades of research in communications, marketing and psychology highlights the critical and powerful role that more informal forms of interpersonal communication play in shaping behavior and beliefs. Our group has begun exploring factors that influence various forms of interpersonal communication (e.g., social sanctioning, signaling, everyday conversation) regarding environmental issues, including individual differences, issue framing and reputational concerns (e.g., Guckian et al., 2018).

Multi-disciplinary perspectives on climate justice and ethics

The field of climate ethics has traditionally been dominated by philosophers. Recently, however, there has been an explosion of research across numerous disciplinary domains (including Psychology, Law, Economics, Geography and Political Science) on the ethical dimensions and implications of anthropogenic climate change. My work in this area aims to integrate disparate perspectives and bring more empirical research into the broader, multidisciplinary field of climate ethics (e.g., Feygina, Chapman & Markowitz, forthcoming). I’m also interested in how feasibility constraints influence the design of climate justice policies and frameworks (Markowitz & Monroe, under review).

Public engagement with science (and scientist engagement with the public)

Gaining a better understanding of how the general (U.S.) public thinks about and interacts with science and technology is critically important for protecting and expanding the role that scientific knowledge and discovery plays in modern life (particularly policymaking). Moreover, decreasing levels of public trust in essentially all major institutions (including science and scientists) underscores the need to better understand scientists’ motivations to engage with the public as well as to identify best practices for supporting fruitful engagement from both directions. To this end, a number of projects focus on identifying what the public thinks of new and emerging scientific issues and technologies (e.g., Markowitz, Englebourgh, Nisbet & Danylchuk, 2017; Nisbet & Markowitz, 2014) as well as factors that shape faculty members’ public engagement efforts (e.g., Rose, Markowitz & Brossard, 2020).


PhD University of Oregon, Environmental Sciences, Studies & Policy

MS University of Oregon, Psychology

BA Vassar College, Psychology

Courses taught

Environmental decision-making, NRC 494EI

Public Engagement & Communication, ECO 690P

Environmental Social Sciences, ECO 697EC

Selected publications

(Complete list available at personal website)

Mah, A.Y., Chapman, D.A., Markowitz, E.M., Lickel, B. (Accepted). Coping with climate change: Three insights for research, intervention, and communication to promote adaptive coping to climate change. Journal of Anxiety Disorders.

Shrum, T., van Boven, L., Gregory, R., Markowitz, E.M., Buck, H., van der Linden, S., Attari, S. (Accepted). A framework for understanding consumers’ risk and value assessments of carbon dioxide removal technologies. Interface Focus.

Orlove, B., Shwom, R., Markowitz, R.M., Cheong, S. (Accepted). Climate decision-making. Annual Review of Environment and Resources. Guckian, M., Markowitz, E.M., Lickel, B., & Chapman, D. (2020). From absolution to action: Examining Americans’ reactions to high-profile corporate scandals. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, https://doi.org/10.1111/asap.12196

Rose, K., Markowitz, E.M., Brossard, D. (2020). The landscape of public engagement with science: Insights from 64 land grant universities. Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1916740117

Howe, L., MacInnis, B., Krosnick, J.A., Markowitz, E.M., & Socolow, R. (2019). Acknowledging uncertainty impacts public acceptance of climate scientists’ predictions. Nature Climate Change, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0587-5

Chapman, D., Gagne, T., Ovitz, K.L., Griffin, L.P., Danylchuk, A.J., Markowitz, E.M. (2018). Modeling intentions to sanction among anglers in a catch-and-release recreational fishery for golden dorado (Salminus brasiliensis) in Salta, Argentina. Human Dimensions of Wildlife.

Guckian, M., Danylchuk, A., & Cooke, S., Markowitz, E.M. (2018). Assessing anglers’ intentions to communicate best practices in a catch-and-release fishery for steelhead in British Columbia, Canada. Journal of Environmental Management, 219, 252-259.

Wang, S., Chapman, D., Corner, A. & Markowitz, E.M. (2018). Public engagement with climate change imagery in a changing digital landscape. WIREs Climate Change, 9, e509.

Sokoloski, R., Markowitz, E.M., & Bidwell, D. (2018). Public estimates of support for offshore wind energy: False consensus, pluralistic ignorance and partisan effects. Energy Policy, 112, 44-55.

Nisbet M.C., Ho, S., Markowitz, E., O’Neill, S., Schafer, M., Thaker, J.T. (Eds) (2017). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Climate Change Communication. New York: Oxford University Press.

Chapman, D., Lickel, B. & Markowitz, E.M. (2017). Reassessing emotion in climate change communication. Nature Climate Change, 7, 850-852.

Markowitz, E.M., Chapman, D.A., Guckian, M.L. & Lickel, B. (2017). A corporate scandal that hits close to home: Examining owners’ responses to the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Environmental Communication, 6, 740-755.

Markowski-Lindsay, M., Catanzaro, P., Bell, K., Kittredge, D., Leahy, J., Butler, B., Markowitz, E.M., Milman, A., Zimmerer, R., Allred, S., & Sisock, M. (2017). Estate planning as forest stewardship tool. Forest Policy and Economics, 83, 36-44.

Markowitz, E.M., Danylchuk, A.J., Nisbet, M.C., Engelbourg, S.I. (2017). What’s that buzzing noise? Public opinion on the use of drones for conservation science. BioScience. 67, 382-385.

Chapman, D., Wilson, R., Corner, A., & Markowitz, E.M. (2016). Climate Visuals: A mixed methods investigation of public perceptions of climate images in three countries. Global Environmental Change, 41, 172-182.

Milfont, T.L. & Markowitz, E.M. (2016). Sustainable consumer behavior: A multilevel perspective. Current Opinion in Psychology, 10, 112-117.

Markowitz, E.M., Grasso, M., Jamieson, D. (2015). Climate ethics at a multidisciplinary crossroads: Four directions for future scholarship. Climatic Change, 130, 465-474.

Zaval, L., Markowitz, E.M., Weber, E.U. (2015). How will I be remembered? Conserving the environment for legacy’s sake. Psychological Science, 26, 231-236.

Corner, A., Markowitz, E.M. & Pidgeon, N. (2014). Public engagement with climate change: The role of human values. WIRE Climate Change, 5, 411-422.

Markowitz, E.M., Slovic, P., Vastfjall, D. & Hodges, S.D. (2013). Compassion fade and the challenge of environmental conservation. Judgment & Decision Making, 8, 397- 406.

Howe, P.D., Markowitz, E.M., Lee, T., Ko, C., Leiserowitz, A. (2013). Global perceptions of local temperature change. Nature Climate Change, 3, 352-356.

Markowitz, E.M., Goldberg, L.R., Ashton, M.C. & Lee, K. (2012). Profiling the ‘pro- environmental individual’: A personality perspective. Journal of Personality, 80, 81-111.

Markowitz, E.M. & Shariff, A.F. (2012). Climate change and moral judgment. Nature Climate Change, 2,243-247.