Dr. Jessica Mikels-Carrasco
As a social scientist, Jessica focuses on applying social psychological theory and methods to addressing human/environmental issues.
While studying primate behavioral ecology of New World monkeys in Suriname, Jessica began developing an interest in how complex socio-cultural issues shape how we as individuals and as a society interact with the natural world. Since that time, she has worked on a number of different projects aimed at uncovering these complex interactions and finding culturally appropriate solutions to complex human/environmental problems.
Jessica’s research became increasingly translational in nature. She created and ran an urban neighborhood ecology program for at risk youth, providing avenues of access to the natural world for those with limited access. Her research also considered such topics as how people respond to different types of media coverage of climate change, and how to improve visitor engagement with natural resource issues in zoos, aquariums and museums. Most recently, she completed a large scale project on the environmental sociology of children, uncovering how young kids construct the idea of nature and their attitudes and identities surrounding the natural world.
Jessica completed her doctorate and master’s in sociology at the University of Notre Dame, as well as master's and bachelor’s degrees in anthropology at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Kansas, respectively.