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Andrew Pattison

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Colgate University
Areas of Expertise:

About Andrew

Pattison's research and teaching interests include subnational sustainability and climate action planning, U.S. environmental politics and policy, policy learning, adaptive management of social-ecological systems, the role of science and technical information in the policy process, and issues of urban environmental justice and social equity.

In the News

Quoted by Brian Lyman in "Climate and Change: As Temperatures Rise, Expect Public Health Problems to Soar," Montgomery Advertiser, September 20, 2019.
Quoted by Amy Neff Roth in "Colgate, Community Bring Climate Issue to Local Level," Observer-Dispatch, August 6, 2017.
Quoted by Amanda Covarrubias in "Ventura Affordable Housing Residents Want Walking, Biking Opportunities," Ventura County Star, June 25, 2016.
Quoted by Colleen Cason in "State of the Unions at Play in Politics," Ventura County Star, April 2, 2016.
Opinion: "Expand Public-Private Partnerships to Increase Affordable Housing," Andrew Pattison, Pacific Coast Business Times, January 22, 2016.
Interviewed in "Butterflies vs. Dragons - Lessons in Leadership," 805 Connect, January 18, 2016.
Opinion: "The Nexus of Climate Change and Affordable Housing," Andrew Pattison (with Nicholas Birck), Ventura County Star, December 5, 2015.
Interviewed in "There are Holes in Our Buckets," California Lutheran University Magazine, November 5, 2014.
Quoted by Henry Fountain in "Sustainability Comes of Age," The New York Times, December 29, 2009.


"The Devil We Know and the Angel That Did Not Fly: An Examination of Devil/Angel Shift in Twitter Fracking “Debates” in NY 2008–2018" (with William Cipolli III and Jose Marichal). Review of Policy Research (2021).

Findings offer lessons for using computational tools in the NPF as an approach to expand analytic ability and for the operationalization of concepts such as narrative strategies and policy entrepreneurs.

"The Uneven Weight of Carbon on Policy: Toward Framework for Understanding How Greenhouse Gas Inventories Can Inform Equitable Climate Policy Design" (with Mathew Thomas Clement and Robert Habans). Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (2021).

Reviews and synthesizes the results of two local-level studies linking various types of carbon emissions data with nationwide measures of affluence. Focuses on the socio-economic dimensions of climate policy, differentiating between different sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and between different methods of collecting greenhouse gas emissions data. Demonstrates that high levels of affluence spatially displace carbon-intensive production-based emissions.

"Community-Based Climate Action Planning as an Act of Advocacy: A Case Study of Liberal Arts Education in a Rural Community" (with Christopher R. Henke and John Pumilio ). Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (2021).

Deescribes our efforts to create and cultivate a community-based multi-stakeholder group centered around local climate change planning and advocacy in a small, rural New York municipality. Emphasizes the importance of collaborative work to build new capacities, develop knowledge, and creates community commitment over the long term to advocate for municipal policies that prioritize climate change mitigation and resilience.

"Carbon Emissions and Climate Policy Support by Local Governments in California: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis at the County Level" (with Robert Habans and Matthew Thomas Clement). Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (2019): 1-15.

Examines local-level adoption of carbon emissions policies in California. Finds results are influenced by political and economic climate, with production and consumption-based emissions being distinct from one another.

"Equitable Local Climate Action Planning: Sustainable & Affordable Housing" (with Jason Kawall). Ethics, Policy, & Environment 21, no. 1 (2018): 17-20.

Discusses how the Trump administration's choice to leave the Paris Agreement creates the possibility for promising sustainability and climate action planning efforts at the state and local level, and how these efforts could also tie into affordable housing. 

"Factors Shaping Policy Learning: A Study of Policy Actors in Subnational Climate and Energy Issues" Review of Policy Research (2018).

Aims to contribute to the theoretical and methodological understanding of individual learning in the policy process by explicitly examining belief change and belief reinforcement as products of policy learning, measuring both, as well as measuring the absence of either. Indicates that extreme beliefs are associated with belief reinforcement, relative to policy actors with more moderate beliefs, and that collaboration with individuals with differing policy views is associated with belief change.

"The Pitfalls and Promises of Climate Action Plans: Transformative Resilience Strategy in U.S. Cities" (with Chandra Russo), in Resilience, Environmental Justice, and the City, edited by Beth Schaefer Caniglia, Manuel Vallee, and Beatrice Frank (CRC Press, 2017).

Focuses on social equity aspects of local climate action planning, with a focus on transformative adaptation as a resilience strategy in U.S. cities. 

"Ecological Modernization or Aristocratic Conservation? Exploring the Impact of Affluence on Carbon Emissions at the Local Level" (with Robert Habans and Matthew Thomas Clement). Society & Natural Resources 27, no. 8 (2014): 850-866.

Conducts an exploratory study at the subnational level to expose another dimension of the affluence-emissions debate. Hypothesizes that affluence is positively related to carbon emissions from consumption activities but negatively related to emissions from production activities. Suggests that the wealthiest counties are able to displace certain types of emissions, specifically those related to energy and industrial production. 

"Scaling down the "Netherlands Fallacy": A Local-Level Quantitative Study of the Effect of Affluence on the Carbon Footprint across the United States" (with Matthew Thomas Clement and Robert Habans). Environmental Science & Policy 78 (2017): 1-8.

Explores the interactions of affluence and other socioeconomic factors, carbon emissions and public policy in the United States using spatial regression models. Draws on theories from environmental sociology and public affairs frameworks. Reviews the results and discusses implications for policy, specifically in terms of cross-boundary environmental problems.

"Climate Action Planning: the Urban Equity Dilemma" (with Chandra Russo), in Systemic Crises of Global Climate Change: Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender, edited by Phoebe Godfrey and Denise Torres (Routledge, 2016).

Examines the intersections of race, gender, and class in urban climate action planning and policy in the United States.