Regents Professor of Sociology and
Laurence L. and Georgia Ina Dresser Professor

Dr. Riley Dunlap 


   464 Murray Hall
   Stillwater, OK 74078-4062
   (405) 744-6108 (phone)
   (405) 744-5780 (fax)


   SOC 5463 - Seminar in Environmental Sociology T 4:30-7:10pm MUR 439






  • Environmental Sociology
  • Climate Change
  • Social Movements
  • Political Sociology
  • Public Opinion


  • B.A. in Sociology, San Francisco State College
  • M.S. in Sociology, University of Oregon
  • Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Oregon

Riley Dunlap is one of the founders of environmental sociology, a field established in the mid-70s. His empirical research has had three major foci: (1) Environmental concern, including trends in public opinion on environmental issues; cross-national comparisons of citizen concern for the environment; and the nature and sources of environmental attitudes, beliefs and worldviews; (2) The environmental movement, particularly the evolution and current status of American environmentalism, public support for the environmental movement, and the development of international environmentalism; and (3) Climate change, especially public opinion regarding human-caused climate change, political polarization over climate change and the nature and sources of climate-change scepticism and denial.

In addition to his empirical work, Dr. Dunlap is regularly invited to write overviews and assessments of environmental sociology for various handbooks and encyclopedias, most recently for the 2nd Edition of the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Elsevier 2015).

Besides co-editing American Environmentalism (Taylor and Francis, 1992), Public Reactions to Nuclear Waste (Duke University Press, 1993), the Handbook of Environmental Sociology (Greenwood Press, 2002) and Sociological Theory and the Environment (Rowman-Littlefield, 2002), Dr. Dunlap has published over 160 journal articles and book chapters. His 2011 article with Aaron M. McCright, "The Politicization of Climate Change," received "The Sociological Quarterly Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award" and is the 8th most cited article in Sociology published between 2010 and 2014 (ASA Footnotes, December 15, pp. 9-10).

Dr. Dunlap has served as President of the International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Environment and Society, and as Chair of the American Sociological Association's Section on Environment and Technology, the Rural Sociological Society's Natural Resources Research Group, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems' Division on Environment and Technology. He serves on the editorial boards of eight scholarly journals, including Nature Climate Change, Environmental Politics, Environmental Sociology and the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences.

From 2010 to 2014 Dr. Dunlap served as Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Task Force on Sociology and Global Climate Change. He is senior editor of the volume produced by the Task Force, Climate Change and Society: Sociological Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Dr. Dunlap was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2000 for his contributions to the establishment of the field of environmental sociology, and elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in 2010 for his research on environmental attitudes, beliefs and worldviews. He received the Excellence in Research Award from the Rural Sociological Society in 2002, and a DaVinci Fellow Award from the Oklahoma DaVinci Institute in 2010. In 2012 he received the William R. Freudenburg Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences for his career-long contributions to environmental sociology and environmental studies, and a Regents Distinguished Research Award from OSU in recognition of his scholarly contributions.

Most recently he was the 2015 Henrietta Harvey Distinguished Lecturer at Memorial University, Newfoundland and a 2016 Distinguished Scholar/Lecturer at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center in Annapolis.