Division 34, the Society for Environmental, Population, and Conservation Psychology, asked the candidates the following questions. They were asked to provide answers to each question below in 150 words or fewer. 1. What do you view as the most important issues that APA needs to address in areas relevant to environmental, population, or conservation psychology?
It would be important to allow Division 34 to guide the organization as to what the most important issues are that APA needs to address. This is one reason we have experts in the divisions – to help guide the larger APA on specific matters of concern for our organization and the world in which we live. Sustainability should be central to APA’s approach to environmental, population, and conservation psychology. I have seen the critical value of sustainability in my life, growing up on a farm where we rotated crops to protect the living environment for future crops. This mindset is important when considering psychology’s role in large environmental issues like global climate change. Research in environmental and conservation psychology directly relates to climate change, as it could play a key role in understanding the relationship between humans and nature, which could be used to encourage widespread pro-environmental and sustainable behaviors.
2. If elected, please specify how you would address these issues in education/training, science, public interest and/or practice?
APA has transformed to develop initiatives across our traditional directorates. This transformation will help promote collaborative and innovative approaches across education/training, science/applied psychology, public interest, and practice to address large questions in environmental, population, or conservation psychology. My middle daughter, Meredith Prescott, and her partner, Griffin Morin, have studied Public Health/Sustainability and Psychology, respectively. They have worked for organizations like the National Park Service and AmeriCorps that integrate environmental conservation and youth development. Their interests represent an example of this type of collaboration, which utilizes synergy between areas of interest to tackle large issues. Division 34 has highlighted the synergy of psychology and environmental issues reflected in the online teaching manual by Drs. Britain Scott and Susan Koger, Teaching Psychology for Sustainability. APA has initiated the Global Psychology Alliance https://www.apa.org/international/networks/global-psychology-alliance, which provides an ideal venue for partnering internationally to develop and implement innovative environmental, population, or conservation psychology approaches. 3. What is the base of your election platform and your proposed initiative(s) to address the issues you outline above?
My desire is to form a large diverse organizational umbrella under which all psychologists bring their unique mixture of age, race, religion, cultural background, geography, socioeconomic status, physical difference, sexual orientation, gender identity, political perspective, and theoretical orientation united by our love of the discipline of psychology and our agreed-upon strategic plan. Under this umbrella, we will continue to strive to hear and respond to the varied voices of all psychologists, meeting their unique needs and helping them obtain necessary resources to develop to their full potential. As APA President, I will include, connect, and unify people, and I will mobilize others to create positive, timely impact in environmental, population, and conservation psychology not only for our psychologists and organization, but also for our community, nation, and world. I will look forward to joining with the experts in Division 34 and our internal and external partners to accomplish this mission.