Cameron T. Whitley, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Western Washington University with expertise in environmental sociology, human-animal studies, and sex and gender. His research is guided by a central question: how do our relationships with others inform our attitudes and behaviors? Substantively, he studies issues concerning the environment (climate change, new energy development, sustainability) and wellbeing, science and technology (geoengineering, hydraulic fracturing debates), human-animal relationships (impacts on mental health, etc.), and gender and sexuality (political engagement and environmentalism).
He is currently working on a project with National Geographic Society affiliated photographers evaluating how their images influence emotional responses and how different individuals (based on demographic characteristics) respond to distinctive images. Beyond this project, he is also exploring what demographic markers among LGBTQIA+ populations (including relationship status) lead to increases in political participation broadly and environmentalism particularly. To date, his published research has explored the sustainability practices of college students, public support for plant-based diets, individual perceptions of environmental risks, the social drivers of climate-induced migration, support for new energy technologies, the demographic and political influences of greenhouse gas emissions, the place of women in conservation networks, and the importance of imagery in eliciting empathy and promoting environmentalism. He enjoys interdisciplinary collaboration and has worked with over 30 different scholars from 20 different fields in producing over four dozen publications that have been featured in journals like the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sociological Inquiry, Academic Emergency Medicine, Sociological Perspectives, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, and Clinical Chemistry. His methodological approaches include program evaluation, qualitative, and quantitative applications.