The climate emergency demands immediate and collective action. To promote a shared understanding of the crisis more effectively, educators, librarians, journalists, climate stewards, policymakers, and concerned citizens need to know how a divided America views climate change and either takes action or does not.
Despite increasing media coverage, little research has examined the ways Americans encounter and respond to information about climate change and what factors influence their understanding of the current climate crisis. This study fills this research gap by collecting data about climate change awareness and attitudes among a sample of American adults and about their encounters with the variety of information flows that make up their information worlds. This study asks not what people in the U.S. know about climate change, but how they know it.
For even more detailed information about the study, see the Frequently Asked Questions here.
Note: This study has received SCU IRB exempt approval; Protocol ID: 23-12-2099.
On February 5, all full-time undergraduates will be sent a personalized email invitation to complete a short, 19 item survey. This survey should take 5-7 minutes to complete. One email reminder will be sent up on February 12 and the SCU survey officially closes on February 15.
Students, keep a look out for those emails! In exchange for your participation, you will have the opportunity to enter a contest for a $200 Amazon gift card. One winner will be selected from SCU.
Faculty, encourage your students to voluntarily complete the survey either in or out of class time.
Club, groups, and centers, help us promote the survey using the materials linked to on the left.
In addition to surveying a cross-section of U.S. residents, this study includes college students enrolled at 10 institutions in different parts of the country: Arizona State University West Campus, Brandeis University, Central Oregon Community College, Columbus State University, Grinnell College, Indiana University South Bend, Santa Clara University, Tufts University, University of Minnesota Duluth, and University of Washington Tacoma.
Santa Clara University Library will receive local data and a trends report specific to our student respondents in April 2024. The SCU Library will gather campus stakeholders to help discuss and reflect on our local findings, and consider implications for our campus.
In addition, a national level report analyzing the survey data from all college students and the general public will be shared on the Project Information Literacy (PIL) website in June 2024.