Carlie Trott

Carlie D. Trott

Assoc Professor

Professional Summary

I am an applied social psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cincinnati (UC). My research aims to bring visibility to, and work against the inequitable impacts of climate change, socially and geographically. In particular, my climate justice research agenda is driven by the questions, “What does a psychology of transformative social change look like?” and “What psychosocial and structural factors facilitate or impede processes of transformative social change?” My work draws upon theories within and beyond psychology (e.g., social movement, socio-ecological, and empowerment theories), employs community-engaged, participatory, and action-oriented research methods, and aims to center the voices and experiences of those most affected by climate change to simultaneously advance social justice and environmental sustainability.

Climate change is increasingly recognized among the most critical challenges facing humanity. The health and well-being of individuals and societies are inextricably linked to perturbations in the natural environment, and the consequences of climate change are now visible across the globe. The effects of a rapidly changing climate will be universal—affecting everyone on the planet—but unequal, disproportionately impacting the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized. Despite its scientific foundations in physical processes of the atmosphere and its primary impacts on earth systems, the causes and consequences of climate change, as well as its solutions, are profoundly social and psychological. Moreover, despite being a global phenomenon, climate change impacts and solutions are profoundly local in the sense that they are shaped—geographically and socially—by the communities within which they take place, requiring community engagement to respond to threats, build resilience, and spur societal transformation to sustainability.
An important avenue towards reducing climate change risk and vulnerability is to center the perspectives and experiences of historically and persistently excluded groups (e.g., Communities of Color; youth; older adults) who are disproportionately impacted by climate change. As a social-community psychologist, community-engaged researcher, and action-oriented scholar, my research draws upon interdisciplinary theories and frameworks and uses a variety of methods to advance climate justice through the deliberate and substantive participation of marginalized groups in climate change dialogue, decision-making, and action. Broadly speaking, my research program addresses climate justice and environmental sustainability across three primary domains: (1) Community-Led Climate Justice Action; (2) University-Community-Policy Partnerships for Sustainable Futures; and (3) Psychologies for Climate Justice.

Methodologically, my research is guided by the question, “What types of research approaches contribute to enabling—or enacting—transformative social change?”, or put differently, “How can we, as researchers, best position ourselves to bring about a more just and sustainable world through our methodological choices?” In this area, my current research explores the concept and practice of Prefigurative Methodologies, or applying means-ends consistency (i.e., “being the change”) in research and collaboration. Much of my work revolves around broad inclusivity, democratic engagement, reflective practice, methodological creativity, and social and environmental action.

I teach undergraduate and graduate-level courses in UC’s department of psychology, and I advise psychology doctoral students in UC’s Community and Organizational Research for Action (CORA) program. (I do not advise students in UC's Clinical Psychology program.)


Ph.D.: Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO, 2017 (Applied Social Psychology)

M.S.: Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO, 2013 (Applied Social Psychology)

B.A.: Columbia College Chicago, IL, 2007 (Arts Management)

Positions and Work Experience

2017 -2018 . Postdoctoral Research Fellow., Conducted research and evaluation of NSF-funded science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and outreach initiatives, with a focus on climate science and sustainability., STEM Center, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Research Support

Grant: #R40749 Investigators:Trott, Carlie 07-01-2019 -12-31-2020 UC's AHSS Faculty Research Summer Stipend Program Collaborating with Communities for Resilient Ecosystems using Arts-based STEM Education and Participatory Mapping in Jacmel, Haiti Role:PI $9,996.38 Active Level:Internal UC

Grant: #M16536 Investigators:Trott, Carlie 08-01-2019 -07-31-2020 UC's Launch Awards Spring Semester Research Launch Awards Role:PI $2,500.00 Active Level:Internal UC

Grant: #Local- and State-Level Policy Work Award Investigators:Trott, Carlie 01-01-2022 -12-31-2022 Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Multi-Phase Approach to Equity-Driven Climate Policy Planning in Cincinnati: Centering Neighborhood-level Perspectives (backdoor) Role:PI 2000.00 Hold Level:Non Profit

Grant: #DGE-2224857 Investigators:Bates, Littisha; Crowley, Brooke; Jacquart, Melissa; Morehouse, Nathan; Potochnik, Angela; Trott, Carlie 10-01-2022 -09-30-2025 National Science Foundation NSF IGE Engaging Science: Transforming Graduate Education through Public Engagement with Science Role:Collaborator 499999.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #BCS-2324505 Investigators:Trott, Carlie; Webb, Amanda; Zhong, Kuanshi 09-15-2023 -08-31-2026 National Science Foundation Supporting equitable building decarbonization through a community-engaged retrofit planning process and energy modeling platform Role:Collaborator 745553.00 Awarded Level:Federal


Peer Reviewed Publications

Trott, C. D., Weinberg, A. E., & Sample McMeeking, L. B. (2018). Prefiguring sustainability through participatory action research experiences for undergraduates: Reflections and recommendations for student development. Sustainability, 10, 1-21. doi:10.3390/su10093332 More Information

Weinberg, A. E., Trott, C. D., & Sample McMeeking, L. B. (2018). Who produces knowledge? Transforming undergraduate students’ views of science through participatory action research. Science Education, 102, 1155-1175. doi:10.1002/sce.21453 More Information

Trott, C. D., Even, T. L., & Frame, S. (2020). Merging the arts and sciences for collaborative sustainability action: A methodological framework. Sustainability Science, 15(4), 1067-1085. doi:10.1007/s11625-020-00798-7 More Information

Trott, C. D. (2016). Constructing alternatives: Envisioning a critical psychology of prefigurative politics. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 4(1), 266-285. doi:10.5964/jspp.v4i1.520 More Information

Trott, C. D. (2020). Children’s constructive climate change engagement: Empowering awareness, agency, and action. Environmental Education Research, 26(4), 532-554. doi:10.1080/13504622.2019.1675594 More Information

Weinberg, A. E., Trott, C. D., Wakefield, W.*, Merritt, E. G., Archambault, L. M. (2020). Looking inward, outward, and forward: Exploring the process of transformative learning in teacher education for a sustainable future. Sustainability Science, 15, 1767-1787. More Information

Trott, C. D., Sample McMeeking, L. B., Bowker, C. L., & Boyd, K. J. (2020). Exploring the long-term academic and career impacts of undergraduate research in science: A case study. Journal of Geoscience Education, 68(1), 65-79. doi:10.1080/10899995.2019.1591146 More Information

Jacquez, F., Trott, C. D., Wren, A. R.*, Ashraf, L. J.*, & Williams, S. E. (2020). Dream It! Preliminary evidence for an educational tool to increase children’s optimistic thinking. Child and Youth Care Forum, 49(6), 877-892. More Information

Trott, C. D. & Weinberg, A. E. (2020). Science education for sustainability: Strengthening children’s science engagement through climate change learning and action. Sustainability, 12(16), 6400. More Information

Trott, C. D. (2019). Reshaping our world: Collaborating with children for community-based climate change action. Action Research, 17(1), 42-62. doi:10.1177/1476750319829209 More Information

Unanue, I., Patel, S. G., Tormala, T. T., Trott, C. D., Piazza Rodríguez, A., Méndez Serrano, K, & Brown, L. M. (2020). Seeing more clearly: Communities transforming towards justice in post-Hurricane Puerto Rico. Community Psychology in Global Perspective, 6(2). 22-47.

Trott, C. D., Sample McMeeking, L. B., & Weinberg, A. E. (2020). Participatory action research experiences for undergraduates: Forging critical connections through community engagement. Studies in Higher Education, 45(11), 2260-2273. More Information

Trott, C. D., Rockett, M. L.*, Gray, E.*, Lam, S.*, Even, T. L., & Frame, S. M. (2020). “Another Haiti starting from the youth”: Integrating the arts and sciences for empowering youth climate justice action in Jacmel, Haiti. Community Psychology in Global Perspective, 6(2), 48-70.

Trott, C. D. (2021). What difference does it make? Exploring the transformative potential of everyday climate crisis activism by children and youth. Children’s Geographies. Advance online publication. More Information

Trott, C. D. (2021). Youth-led climate change action: Examining multi-level effects on children, families, and communities. Sustainability, 13(22), 12355. More Information

Trott, C. D. (2022). Climate change education for transformation: Exploring the affective and attitudinal dimensions of children’s learning and action. Environmental Education Research, 28(7), 1023-1042. More Information

*Wakefield, W., Weinberg, A. E., *Pretti, E. L., Merritt, E. G., Trott, C. D. (2022). “When I act consciously, I can see a brighter world around me”: Preservice teacher readiness to support transformative sustainability learning. Environmental Education Research, 28(11), 1672-1690. More Information

*Lam, S. & Trott, C. D. (2022). Children’s climate change meaning-making through photovoice: Empowering children to learn, care, and act through participatory process. Educação, Sociedade & Culturas. Advance online publication. https/ More Information

*Rabin, J., Vaughn, L.M., Trott, C. D., & Jacquez, F. (2022). Exploring parental perceptions of early childhood education among Spanish-speaking Latinx families. Early Childhood Education Journal. Advance online publication. More Information

Trott, C. D., *Lam, S., *Roncker, J., *Gray, E., *Courtney, R. H.., & Even, T. L. (2023). Justice in climate change education: A systematic review. Environmental Education Research. Advance online publication.

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Book Chapter

Chapman, D., Trott, C. D., Silka, L., Lickel, B., & Clayton, S. (2018). Psychological perspectives on community resilience and climate change: Insights, examples, and directions for future research. In S. Clayton & C. Manning (Eds.), Psychology and climate change: Human perceptions, impacts, and responses (pp. 267-288). Amsterdam: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-813130-5.00011-4

Harman, J. J., Kaufman, M. R., Aoki, E., & Trott, C. D. (2014). Sexual network partners in Tanzania: Labels, power, and the systemic muting of women’s health and identity. In H. Pishwa & R. Schulze (Eds.), The expression of inequality in interaction: Power, dominance, and status (pp. 49-79). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi:10.1075/pbns.248.03har

Trott, C. D. (2021). Process (vs. event). In M. Baker , B. B. Blaagaard, H. Jones, & L. Pérez-González (Eds.), The Routledge encyclopedia of citizen media (pp. 331-336). London: Routledge.

Trott, C. D., *Reimer-Watts, K., & Riemer, M. (2022). In pursuit of a practical utopia: Transitioning towards climate justice. In C. Kagan, R. Lawthom, M. Richards, J. Alfaro, A. Zambrano, & J. Akhurst (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook of community psychology: Facing global crises with hope. Taylor & Francis.


climate change, sustainability, STEM, participatory action research, community research, agency, activism, prefigurative politics, children, youth, transformative change

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