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Madhavan Speaking on Climate Change Risk Perceptions

Poornima Madhavan 11  3554c

Poornima Madhavan

Poornima Madhavan, assistant professor of psychology at Old Dominion University, will present "Decision, Risk Perceptions and Rising Sea Levels" in the fall seminar series of ODU's Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography (CCPO) at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10.

Madhavan, who also is affiliated with ODU's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center, has done research to find out why many Americans do not feel a personal connection to the issue of climate change, and often mistrust the scientific predictions of sea level rise. The purpose of the research is to shed light on factors that inhibit climate change communications, and to suggest ways to create a sense of urgency required for public discourse and action on this subject.

This research, which has been supported by a grant from the ODU Office of Research and conducted in conjunction with the university's Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative, has revealed insights into how people understand the risks and psycho-social impacts of sea level rise. It has also identified factors underlying the community's ability to cope with the threat of sea level rise, the psycho-social barriers that limit action and the role that social science can play in adapting to this problem.

The seminar is free and open to the public. It will be held in Room 3200 of the CCPO headquarters in the Innovation Research Park Building 1. A reception with refreshments will start at 3 p.m.

Madhavan, who received a doctorate in engineering psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005, has general research interests in decision making processes in environments that embody risk, stress, uncertainty and time constraints.