Dr Darrick Evensen


Research group:
Social & environmental psychology
029 208 76262
Tower Building, Park Place

Research summary

I bring an interdisciplinary focus to my research and teaching, relying on theories and methods from sociology, philosophy, communication, ethics, and psychology.  I engage issues with substantial real-world policy implications.  My current research interests include:

  • Public perceptions and social representations of energy development (including unconventional fossil fuels and renewables)
  • Perceptions of how to best transition to a less carbon-intensive energy system (including acceptability of associated costs)
  • The role of ethical considerations and social identity in motivating attitudes towards energy development and energy transitions
  • Approaches to integrating social scientific and humanistic understanding and ways of knowing

These research foci are manifested in my current work at Cardiff University on a project examining public perceptions of costs associated with energy system change (funded by the UK Energy Research Centre) and a project exploring the implications of the experience of shale gas development in the US for the future of shale gas development in Europe (funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme).

Teaching summary

I am not currently teaching at Cardiff University; in previous posts as an assistant professor at Oberlin College and an instructor at Cornell University (both in the United States), I taught courses in environmental risk, environmental communication, environmental ethics and philosophy, research methods for social science (qualitative and quantitative), and an introduction to environmental studies course.

Selected publications (2014 onwards)


Full list of publications


Media activities


Research group

Social and Environmental Psychology (http://psych.cf.ac.uk/research/social_env_psy/)
Understanding Risk Research Group (http://www.understanding-risk.org/)
Sustainable Places Research Institute (http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/research/sustainable-places)
Energy Systems Research Institute (http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/energy-systems-research-institute)

Postgraduate research interests

If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information regarding my postgraduate research, please contact me directly (contact details available on the 'Overview' page), or submit a formal application here.

Current students


Previous students


Undergraduate education

Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, A.B. cum laude, Public Policy and International Affairs, 2006

Postgraduate education

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, Ph.D., Natural Resources, August 2014

  • Dissertation: ‘Fractured discourse: Social representations of shale gas development via hydraulic fracturing’

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, M.S., Natural Resources, 2011

Awards/external committees

National and International
2015             AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship (declined)
2012             EPA STAR Fellowship ($126,000)
2010             ISSRM Best Student Paper Award
2008             Doris Duke Conservation Leadership Fellowship ($25,000)

Cornell University
2013             James Slevin Teaching Prize, Knight Writing Institute ($500)
2013             Gertrude Spencer Teaching Award, Knight Writing Institute ($350)
2013             Harold Saperstein Sermon Contest, winning sermon ($1,800)
2012             Buttrick-Crippen Fellowship, Knight Writing Institute ($22,000)
2012             Cornelia Ye Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, Center for Teaching Excellence ($500)
2011             Graduate Teaching Assistant Fellowship, Center for Teaching Excellence ($1,000)
2011             Graduate Research Summer Fellowship ($4,800)
2010             Distinguished Leadership Award, Dean of Students
2009             Distinguished Student Volunteer Award, Dean of Students
2007             Cornell University Graduate Fellowship ($42,000)


Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom

  • Research Associate, July 2015 – present; School of Psychology, Understanding Risk Research Group

Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, USA

  • Visiting Assistant Professor, July 2014 – June 2015; Environmental Studies Department