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Sustainability Studies grad student presents analysis of 2011 drought

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
October 1, 2012

Erin Dorothea Dasher, a sustainability studies graduate student at Texas State University-San Marcos, will present an analysis of consumer responses to the 2011 Texas drought at the 2012 International EcoSummit in Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 2.

The presentation is based on data from her 2012 thesis survey of Texas consumers that was distributed in January, immediately after the worst single-year drought in Texas. Part of the survey focused on Texas consumers' beliefs regarding the drought’s cause, their awareness and knowledge of the drought and their environmental attitudes. The data collected by the survey was analyzed to demonstrate Texas consumer’s awareness and knowledge of the 2011 Texas drought.

The study demonstrates that Texas consumers are fairly evenly divided about the cause of the drought, but none of the respondents have enough information on the drought. The presentation focuses on the need for consumer education about drought, especially severe drought events. Consumers who believe human behaviors contributed to the drought feel personally prepared to do something about consumption behaviors. However, the lack of awareness among many consumers about the severity or extent of the drought highlight the clear need for awareness campaigns that would educate Texas consumers about drought and identify what they can do to personally help mitigate its effects.

For more information, contact Gwendolyn Hustvedt at gh21@txstate.edu.