Kimberly Wolske




im Wolske is a research associate in the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago and an affiliated researcher with the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago (EPIC).  Her work draws on the fields of environmental, social, and cognitive psychology to examine the behavioral dimensions of energy and climate change issues, with an eye toward improving the design of public-facing policies and programs.  For the past five years, she has collaborated with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative) to investigate motivations and barriers to residential rooftop solar adoption. Her other primary area of research explores how the framing of climate change and its solutions influences public support for mitigation and adaptation policies. This research has investigated, for example, whether the perceived distance of climate change impacts influences the perceived threat of climate change, and thus support for mitigation policies; whether learning about carbon dioxide removal technologies creates a moral hazard that dampens support for mitigation; and more broadly, what attributes of energy and carbon storage technologies influence public perceptions of risk and support.

Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Dr. Wolske worked at the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan and as an independent consultant to Opower (now Oracle), a company that uses behavioral insights to influence residential energy demand. She holds a BA in environmental studies from Connecticut College as well as an MS in natural resource policy and behavior and a PhD in environmental psychology, both from the University of Michigan. 


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