The Psychology of Disaster and Climate Change is an elective course in the Trauma-Informed Emergency Management Program at the University of Maine at Augusta. The discussion-based course addresses the research of psychological interactions with disaster and climate change, including decision making, uncertainty, resilience, mental health, vulnerable population impacts, migration, and political and social perceptions (including climate skepticism). Students are required to complete case studies on disaster events and climate change risks in which they explore the many components of the human interactions with disaster and climate change. The course was previously offered at the undergraduate level and will be provided at the graduate level beginning in fall 2022. Students reported that the discussion format promoted the sharing and exploration of competing worldviews at the undergraduate level. The case studies enabled students to deeply engage in the course topics’ complexities.


Laura K. Corlew

Laura Kate “Kati” Corlew is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the Coordinator of the Trauma-Informed Emergency Management program at the University of Maine at Augusta. She received her Ph.D. in Community and Cultural Psychology as well as a graduate certificate in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Her research interests include the psychology of disaster and climate change, community outreach and resilience, food insecurity, racism, and discrimination against the poor. Prior to moving to Maine, she conducted social scientific research on climate change with the The Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments program (Pacific RISA).

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No. 4 The Psychology of Climate Change in Emergency Management Graduate Education