Oklahoma State University

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

464 Murray Hall
Stillwater, OK 74078-4062
(405) 744-6108 (phone)
(405) 744-5780 (fax)
rdunlap v4





No classes


Environmental Sociology, Social Movements, Political Sociology, Public Opinion, Survey Research Methods


PhD: University of Oregon, 1973


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 toward climate change issues, political polarization over climate change and the nature and sources of climate-change 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. Two dozen of his articles have been reprinted in one or more books.

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.


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 a volume produced by the Task Force, Climate Change and Society: Sociological Perspectives, which will be published by Oxford University Press in August of 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. Most recently, Dr. Dunlap was named the 2012 recipient of 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 also received a 2012 Regents Distinguished Research Award from OSU in recognition of his scholarly contributions.