Leahy, Jessica

Leahy, Jessica
University of Maine

Jessica Leahy is an Associate Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at the University of Maine. Her research examines environmental attitudes and behaviors towards forests, forestry, and other natural resource management topics using a social psychology and communication approach. Her research program encompasses forest landowner decision-making processes; the role of social capital and trust in public involvement, participation, and citizen science; and the influence of media and educational campaigns on attitudes and behavior.

Leahy’s SSI research team is investigating the complex relationships between stewardship ethics, sense of place, and intentions to develop forested land. Findings from this research could impact the current and future actions of private landowners as they relate to forested land. If policy makers or state and federal agencies are made aware of the issues that private landowners face, as well as potential trends in development, more thorough engagement efforts and policies could be designed to prevent the permanent loss of Maine’s forest resources.