Joe Arvai

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University: 
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Unit: 
Natural Resources & Environment
Department: 
School of Natural Resources & Environment, and Ross School of Business
Title: 
Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise and Director, Erb Institute
Phone: 
(734) 647-3891
Short bio: 

Joe Arvai is the Director of the Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan; he is also the Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise in the School of Natural Resources & Environment, and the Ross School of Business.  In addition to his position at the U of M, Joe is a Senior Researcher at the Decision Science Research Institute in Eugene, OR, and he is an Adjunct Professor in Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Joe was Professor and Svare Chair in Applied Decision Research at the University of Calgary. While at the University of Calgary, he held appointments in the Department of Geography, the Institute for Public Health, the Institute for Sustainable Energy Environment and Economy, and the Haskayne School of Business. 

Research summary: 

Joe is an internationally recognized expert in the risk and decisions sciences; his research has two main areas of emphasis: First, his research is focused on advancing our understanding of how people process information and make decisions, with a specific emphasis on how people make tradeoffs. Second, Joe and his research group conduct research focused on developing and testing decision-aiding tools and approaches that can be used by people to improve decision quality across a wide range of environmental, social, and economic contexts.

Joe’s research is applied, and accounts for decision-making by a broad spectrum of public and stakeholder groups, as well as by technical experts, business leaders, and policy makers.  His work also focuses on choices made by people individually, and when working in groups.  Likewise, he conducts his research across a wide range of contexts, ranging from environmental risk management, to consumer choice and policy-making.  In addition to Joe’s academic work, he is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chartered Science Advisory Board, and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Environmental Change and Society. 

Recent publications: 

Bessette, D., J. Arvai, and V. Campbell-Arvai. 2015. Expanding the reach of participatory risk management: Testing an online decision-aiding framework for informing multi-attribute choices. Risk Analysis. In press.

Hedijani, R.. D. Bischak, S. Dugar, and J. Arvai. 2015. Intrinsic motivation, external reward, and their effect on overall motivation and performance. Human Performance. In press.

Kenney, L., J. Arvai, M. Vardhan, and D. Catacutan. 2015. Bringing Stakeholder Values into Climate Risk Management Programs: Decision Aiding for REDD in Vietnam. Society and Natural Resources, 28: 261-279.

Kenney, L., D. Bessette, and J. Arvai. 2015. Improving decisions about energy strategies in developing communities: A case study from Canada’s north. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 58: 855-873.

Arvai, J. 2014. The end of risk communication as we know it. Journal of Risk Research, 17: 1245-1249.

Arvai, J. 2014. An appeal for smarter decisions. Policy Options, 35: 40-43.

Arvai, J., D. Kellon, R. León, R. Gregory, and R. Richardson. 2014. Structuring international development decisions: Confronting tradeoffs between land-use and community development in Costa Rica. Environment, Systems & Decisions, 34: 224-236.

Bessette, D., J. Arvai, and V. Campbell-Arvai. 2014. Decision support framework for developing regional energy strategies. Environmental Science and Technology, 48: 1401-1408.

Campbell-Arvai, V., J. Arvai, and L. Kalof. 2014. Motivating sustainable food choices: The role of nudges, value orientation, and information provision. Environment and Behaviour, 46: 453-475.

L’Orange-Seigo, S., J. Arvai, S. Dohle, and M. Siegrist. 2014. Predictors of risk and benefit perception of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in regions with different stages of deployment. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 25: 23-32.

Palen, W.J., T.D. Sisk, M.E. Ryan, J.L. Arvai, M. Jaccard, A. Salomon, T. Homer-Dixon, and K.P. Lertzman.  2014. Consider the full impacts of oil-sands development. Nature, 510: 465-467.

Gregory, R., J. Arvai, and L. Gerber. 2013. Structuring decisions for managing threatened and endangered species in a changing climate. Conservation Biology. 27:1212-1221.

Dohle, S., V. Campbell-Arvai, and J. Arvai. 2013. Consumer-perceived risks and choices about pharmaceuticals in the environment: A cross-sectional study. Environmental Health. 12: 45.

Richardson, R.B., D. Kellon, R. León, and J. Arvai. 2013. Using choice experiments to understand household tradeoffs regarding pineapple production and environmental management in Costa Rica. Environmental Management, 127: 308-316.

Arvai, J., R. Gregory, D. Bessette, and V. Campbell Arvai. 2012. Decision support for the development of energy strategies. Issues in Science and Technology, 28(4): 43-52.

Arvai, J. and K. Post. 2012.  Risk management in a developing country context:  Improving decisions about point-of-use water treatment among the rural poor in Africa.  Risk Analysis, 32: 67-80.

Keywords: 
decision aids; decision theory; decision making; risk; environment; sustainability; development; climate change; consumer behavior; health; energy; systems