Advancing research

Advancing Research and Scholarship Day
Campus & Community / Around Campus | November 30, 2016

Environmental Voter Project founder and CEO Nathaniel Stinnett J.D. ’05 will deliver the keynote remarks at the University’s third annual Advancing Research and Scholarship Day on Monday, December 5.

The program – which is a showcase for faculty and student research – centers on the theme “Environment and Society: Research for a Changing World,” and takes place from noon to 5 p.m. in the Heights Room, Corcoran Commons. See the full program here.

“BC has faculty and students engaged in research and scholarship about the environment in nearly all of our schools, with expertise ranging from policy, social impact, health, ethics, law and of course, the natural sciences,” said Vice Provost for Research Tom Chiles, whose office organized the event. “We also have numerous student groups on campus who are actively involved in various aspects of sustainability. So it was clear to the planning committee that the 3rd annual Advancing Research and Scholarship Day should highlight this body of research.”

Nathaniel Stinnett
Nathaniel Stinnett

A lawyer, environmental advocate, and veteran political strategist, Stinnett has been named one of the nation’s 50 “environmental visionaries.” The Environmental Voter Project has used data analytics to identify 15.78 million non-voting environmentalists and applies behavioral science tools to convert them into consistent voters.

Stinnett, who Grist magazine recently dubbed “The Voting Guru,” will give a talk titled “Modern Environmental Politics: Big Data, Behavioral Science, and Getting Environmentalists to Vote.”

In a recent interview, Stinnett called voting “the highest form of environmental citizenship” and the reason the non-partisan EVP works to turn non-voting “super-environmentalists” into an actively voting political force.

“The reason so few voters care about climate change or other environmental issues is not because too few Americans care about environmental issues,” Stinnett said in an interview with the Eyes on Conservation podcast. “The reason is that environmentalists are awful voters.

“Because campaigns can only afford to talk to good voters, it made me realize we need an organization that actually doesn’t care about who is going to win the next election, but addresses this turnout problem and goes after environmentalists who don’t vote and tries to turn them into better voters.”

Chiles said Stinnett’s work not only fits with the theme of this year’s event and the presidential election cycle, but ties into the focus on “big data” at the 2015 event.

“This follows nicely with last year’s theme,” said Chiles. “Moreover, Nathaniel is an environmental visionary, whose research spans multiple disciplines that are of interest to both BC faculty and students as well as the general public.”

In addition to Stinnett’s speech at noon, the program includes presentations and a panel discussion with BC faculty whose research interests include environmental issues. Assistant Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences Jeremy Shakun, Assistant Professor of Economics Richard Sweeney, Professor of History Conevery Bolton Valencius, and School of Social Work Dean Gautam N. Yadama will make 15-minute presentations.

School of Social Work Professor of Macro Practice Tiziana Dearing will moderate a 2 p.m. panel on environmental justice, featuring Professor of Political Science David Deese, Professor of Sociology Juliet Schor, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Philosophy Holly Vandewall, Carroll Professor of Nursing Judith Vessey, and Assistant Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences Corinne Wong.

Undergraduate student researchers will showcase research projects that examined the environmental impact of killer marine plankton, carbon emissions, factory work, technology transfer practices, and climate policy. There will also be a session for undergraduate and graduate student presentations.

Ed Hayward / University Communications