Dr. Jessica Nolan is a Professor of Conservation Psychology and Director of the Environmental Studies Concentration at the University of Scranton. Nolan has over 20 years of experience in environmental outreach and education, including 13 years working in higher education in Northeast Pennsylvania.
She has a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from Cornell University and graduate degrees in psychology from California State University and the University of Arkansas.
As a conservation social scientist, Nolan has worked to “give psychology away” by educating her students, environmental practitioners, and the general public about effective strategies for motivating environmental behavior changes. She has published more than a dozen articles on environmental behavior in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and has worked to bridge the gap between the world of research and practice by presenting her work in popular media outlets and at local, regional, and national conferences attended by environmental practitioners. In her Environmental & Conservation Psychology course she guides students in applying the principles of community-based social-marketing to promote environmental behaviors that have been identified by community partners.
Nolan is also the founder of Green Drinks Scranton, an informal networking group that provides a forum for folks interested in environmental issues to connect and learn from one another. Since its start in 2009, Nolan has recruited and coordinated more than two dozen guest speakers and special events on topics such as green lighting, passive solar houses, and local environmental history, among others.
Nolan has also partnered with local environmental groups such as Friends of Lackawanna, EPCAMR, and LRCA to sponsor more than a dozen co-curricular events for students and the local community in her role as Director of the Environmental Studies Concentration at the University of Scranton.
By educating students and the public to better understand the human dimensions of environmental problems and how we can motivate people to change their behavior, Nolan’s work helps move us toward a more sustainable future.
A complete list of all 2021 honorees is available here.