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Oklahoma State University

OSU professor appointed to lead federal climate change program

Wed, September 28, 2016
Riley Dunlap

Oklahoma State University sociologist Riley Dunlap has been appointed the American Sociological Association’s lead representative to work with the Social Sciences Coordinating Committee (SSCC) of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to strengthen the use of social science perspectives in the federal government’s research on climate change. 

The USGCRP coordinates efforts of thirteen agencies including NOAA and NASA on climate change, and is responsible for the nation’s quadrennial national climate assessment.  Social scientists from these agencies have invited the American Sociological Association, American Anthropological Association, American Association of Geographers, and Society for American Archaeology to assist them in more effectively incorporating social science perspectives, methods and findings into their work.

Dunlap, Dresser Professor and Regents Professor of Sociology at OSU, will lead a team of six sociologists in collaborating with comparable teams from the other social science associations and members of the SSCC in developing white papers on topics of central concern to the USGCRP.  He will also help organize a workshop in which the papers will be presented and polished.  The goal is to help the USGCRP do a better job of dealing with the socio-cultural dimensions of climate change.

Dunlap recently chaired the American Sociological Association’s Task Force on Sociology and Global Climate Change, and is currently serving on the federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment (ACSNCA) charged with providing advice to the USGCRP regarding its congressionally mandated national climate assessments. 

He attributes his appointment to the ACSNCA, as well as his new role with the American Sociological Association, to the positive reception received by the volume produced by the task force, Climate Change and Society:  Sociological Perspectives (Oxford, 2015), which he co-edited.