Student NameSophie Jacquemin
Faculty Mentor NameKathryn Stofer, PhD
CollegeInstitute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
MajorBiology
Research InterestsPublic Health, Medicine, Psychology, Scientific Communication, Climate Change
Academic Awards“Goals for Education Scholarship” by San Jose Earthquakes and Wells Fargo winner (2019), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Deans List (2020, 2021), Emerging Scholars Program (2021)
OrganizationsUF Club Rowing, Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity
VolunteeringBaby Gator, North Florida Regional Medical Center
Hobbies and InterestsTraveling, exploring nature, rowing, swimming, working with children

Research Project

University Faculty Perceptions of Global Warming and Public Health

My current research project is titled “University Faculty Perceptions of Global Warming and Public Health.” We often assume that college faculty believe in climate change, and understand its regional and public health impacts, because they are well educated. However, this may not be the case. I am analyzing the differences in attitudes on climate change and public health, how attitudes on these subjects influence each other, and how agricultural experience influences them. The goal of this study is to determine how college faculty members across the U.S. perceive global warming. This will be done through survey responses and eventually statistical analysis of those responses. My research mentors and I started this project together late August 2020 so I have the opportunity to see first-hand how research starts, the necessary steps, the challenges that arise, and how to overcome them. The first step of this project was to understand the different impacts global warming has had and will have on different regions in the U.S. Therefore, I conducted a literature search to understand the various ways climate change affects different regions and its influence on public health. Then, I compiled a list of randomly selected universities. I did this by using an already-made spreadsheet containing all colleges in the U.S. and their classifications. Then, I recategorized the schools to fit our needs and randomly selected one college per category, per region. Currently, I have been reaching out to human resources, IT, and Dean contacts at those schools to receive permission to conduct our research. The most crucial step in this project was creating an effective survey, which will lead to accurate responses, since our study relies on survey responses. We suspect that the type of school and its geographic location will play a role in perceptions of climate change impacts. Climate change impacts are becoming clear in all regions of the world in various aspects of life and are expected to become even more devastating. The results of this study will be crucial in educating Americans on the severity of global warming. University faculty play a crucial role in educating young people who will ultimately shape the future by deciding rights, law, policies, and regulations. The impacts of global warming must be understood and taught with urgency, which faculty have the opportunity to do. I am pursuing this research to shine a light on the lack of true understanding on climate change and its impacts so we can work to improve our circumstances.