Samantha Mertens

Samantha is a doctoral student in the Environment and Natural Resources Graduate Program, within the Environmental Social Sciences specialization. She recently graduated from California State University San Marcos where she earned both her BA and MA in Psychology. In general, she is interested in the application of social psychological theories to promote and guide pro-environmental behaviors in public and private settings. Her work focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of community outreach programs specific to residential recycling, with application to other environmental contexts. At CSUSM, Samantha’s thesis research studied the use of social influence and normative feedback interventions as a strategy for increasing residential recycling/waste diversion. More specifically, she explored effective ways to communicate social normative feedback by investigating the differential impacts of referent group specificity. In addition to this field research, she’s also worked on collaborative projects for a variety of pro-environmental domains such as water, energy, and zoo-based conservation. In her free time, Samantha enjoys visiting zoos, aquariums, and museums! She also loves being outdoors and going on hikes or nature walks.

Projects: Empowering consumers to increase recycling