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Anthony Leiserowitz, PhD


Anthony Leiserowitz is an expert on American and international public opinion on global warming, including public perception of climate change risks, support and opposition for climate policies, and willingness to make individual behavioral change. His research investigates the psychological, cultural, political, and geographic factors that drive public environmental perception and behavior. He has conducted survey, experimental, and field research at scales ranging from the global to the local, including international studies, the United States, individual states (Alaska and Florida), municipalities (New York City), and with the Inupiaq Eskimo of Northwest Alaska. He also recently conducted the first empirical assessment of worldwide public values, attitudes, and behaviors regarding global sustainability, including environmental protection, economic growth, and human development. He has served as a consultant to the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University), the United Nations Development Program, the Gallup World Poll, the Global Roundtable on Climate Change at the Earth Institute (Columbia University), and the World Economic Forum.

Lisa Fernandez

Assistant Director

Lisa coordinates program management and operations, contributes to strategic direction, and builds a sense of community for program students, staff and associates.  Previously, she worked in urban environmental conservation and sustainable development in the US and Latin America. She has served as a consultant to the United Nations Development Programme, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the World Bank. She was a Fellow at the World Wildlife Fund-USA and a City Planner implementing solid waste prevention policy for the City of New York. Her most recent publications are Toward a New Consciousness:  Values to Sustain Human and Natural Communities and Institutionalizing Sustainability in Higher Education.  She serves on the boards of the East Coast Greenway Alliance and the Farmington Canal Rail-to-Trail Association and holds an appointment on the Connecticut Greenways Council.

Geoff Feinberg

Research Director

Geoff joined the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication in 2012. Prior to this, he was a vice president at GfK North America, where he specialized in public opinion, thought leadership, social marketing, and strategic communications research. At GfK, Geoff co-founded and was the GfK director of the Associated Press-GfK Poll, which covers a range of current political and social topics and is one of the most widely reported media polls in the world, reaching upwards of an estimated two billion people monthly. He was also a chief research advisor for the Meth Project, a philanthropic organization devoted to reducing methamphetamine use among teens. In 2011, it was ranked by Barron’s Magazine as the third-most effective philanthropy in the world. In the environmental arena, Geoff served as research consultant to The Sustaining Family Forests Initiative. He has also conducted national polls on environmental topics for Yale and Stanford.

Jennifer Marlon, PhD.

Associate Research Scientist

Dr. Marlon's research focuses on public perceptions of climate change, climate literacy, and the physical aspects of long-term environmental changes – especially wildfires. Dr. Marlon is co-organizer of a science education and training program called the Dissertation Initiative for the Advancement of Climate Change Research (DISCCRS, pronounced “discourse”), which aims to establish connections among researchers focusing on the scientific and human dimensions of climate change. She holds a PhD and MS in Geography from the University of Oregon, and a BS from the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Seth Rosenthal

Project Director

Seth joined the YPCCC in August 2013.  Prior to this, he was Director of Opinion Research at Merriman River Group, where he specialized in election and issues-based opinion polling. Seth has also been the lead author of the annual National Leadership Index report published by the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.  Seth holds a B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University, and an A.M. and Ph.D. in experimental psychopathology from the Department of Psychology at Harvard. He was also a post-doctoral research fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. Seth has published research on narcissism, self-esteem, positive intergroup attitudes, and leadership.


Jody Podell

Senior Administrative Assistant

Prior to joining YPCCC, Jody was part of a team that organized national conferences and special events at Delaney Meeting & Event Management in Burlington, VT.  Jody also spent time after college at JB Sports, where she helped plan road races and charity walks including a local favorite, the New Haven Road Race.  She holds  a BA from the University of Vermont. In her free time, Jody enjoys hiking, kayaking and yoga.


Sander Van Der Linden

Visiting Research Associate

Sander is currently pursuing a PhD in environmental psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and joined the YPCCC in 2012 as a visiting research scholar. His doctoral work is supported by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.  As part of his PhD, Sander is conducting a nationally representative study on public climate change perceptions and behaviours in the United Kingdom. He is particularly interested in how different psychological constructs (e.g. emotions, norms,  attitudes, knowledge etc) are causally interrelated and explain and predict important climate change mitigation intentions and behaviours. In addition, his research explores how models of behaviour can be more effectively used to guide public climate change communication. Sander's research has been published in psychological journals and edited volumes and he has been invited to present his models on risk perception, communication and behavioural change at large international conferences. Before coming to Yale, Sander lived, studied and worked in England, Northern California and Boston. Originally from the Netherlands, Sander holds a BASc (Hons) degree from the University of Amsterdam (NL) and a MSc degree from Maastricht University (NL), where he specialized in the social psychology of environmental behavior.


Zena Grecni

Research Assistant

Zena N. Grecni is a 2015 Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College (class of 2008). Before entering graduate school, Zena worked for three years at the University of Hawai‘i and the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai‘i managing projects to provide state, regional, and national decision makers with actionable policy research and information to support their climate change adaptation initiatives. As Communications Coordinator for the Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (Pacific RISA) program from 2012 to 2013, she developed and implemented the communications strategy for a regional climate research partnership funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Here at Yale F&ES, Zena is centering her studies on climate change impacts and solutions, with the aim to build a solid foundation in domestic and international environmental policy analysis. Her assistantship at YPCCC is an opportunity to expand her communications experience, especially through harnessing the power of social media to build a community of citizen climate communicators. Ultimately, she hopes to return to Hawai‘i better equipped to facilitate collaboration among governments in the Pacific for island solutions toward sustainability and resilience. While shivering her way through the first semester of graduate school, Zena has enjoyed jogging to the top of East Rock Park in New Haven, kayaking on the Mill River, and listening to Hawaiian slack-key guitar music.

Bessie Schwarz

Research Assistant

Bessie Schwarz manages media and outreach analysis for YPCCC. She comes to YPCCC with extensive experience designing, running and winning national and local grassroots campaigns, as the Field Director for Environment Colorado and as the Federal Field Coordinator with Environment America. In these capacities, she has overseen the generation of dozens of press conferences and hundreds of press stories and has helped designed the national and state field strategies for both of these organizations. Since 2009, she has also directed several record-breaking citizen outreach offices across the country, raising grassroots funds and building public support for clean water, clean energy and preservation.

Bessie received her BA from Carleton College where she studied Philosophy and Environmental Studies. After graduating, she joined Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing, and awarded the Sarah Forslund Scholarship. Bessie developed her love of the environment while visiting the Rocky Mountains growing up.

Rebeka Ryvola

Research Assistant

Rebeka is a second year Masters student most interested in the connections people have with nature. She studies climate justice, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and catastrophe response. She has carried out disaster forensic research for the Red Cross Climate Centre in Malawi, is Co Director of the Environmental Film Fest @ Yale, and co leads the Environmental Justice student interest group. The highlight of her week is usually "working" alongside grade 2 farmers at the Yale Farm, rockclimbing, yoga, or talking to her parents on the phone. Oh, and of course doing social media for YPCCC.

Minna Brown

Research Assistant

Hailing from Portland, OR, Minna brings a breadth of experience in online outreach and digital strategy to YPCCC.  As a Sociology/Anthropology major at Middlebury College, she translated her passion for telling effective climate change stories into internships, conferences, and her thesis on the role of climate change journalists.  Post-college, she worked as the Outreach Director for Portland-based climate advocacy group Focus the Nation, motivating diverse groups on and off campuses to get educated, engaged and active in addressing global warming in their communities.  Moving to Burlington, VT, she broadened her communication, marketing, sales, and management skills as the Client Services Manager at Union Street Media, an online marketing and design firm.  Seeking to harness those skills specifically on climate and energy issues, Minna jumped at the chance to continue her academic studies at Yale.  Now a first year Master of Environmental Management student at FES, Minna melds her interests in sustainable business and climate communication by working on digital strategy for the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale in addition and the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.  When she's not in front of a computer screen, she's either in the kitchen whipping up something tasty, or adventuring outside.

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