T4947 – Psychology of Sustainability in Germany and Denmark

Hamburg, Goehrde, Lueneburg, Berlin, Copenhagen
Faculty: Elise Amel and Christie Manning
12/29/2017 – 01/21/2018

This course examines the interplay between human behavior and the natural environment in Germany and Denmark.

Academic Overview
The Psychology of Sustainability is the scientific study of the interplay between human behavior and the natural environment. Though the field is gaining momentum in the United States, it is much better established in Germany (Umweltpsychologie) and other European countries. We begin the course by examining the scientific evidence regarding environmental issues including global climate change, industrial food systems, and depletion of natural resources like fresh water, oil, and metal deposits. Then we examine psychological factors associated with decision making and conservation-related behavior. We will cover such topics as norms, values, and incentives and why they may strengthen or weaken the link between our attitudes and behaviors. We close by examining interventions designed to change human behavior. Locating the course in German cities such as Hamburg and Berlin as well as the Danish city of Copenhagen will provide ample opportunity to examine important concepts by directly observing how these strategies have been applied.

Program Fee
Cost: $5225-$5525
*Each home institution may have supplementary fees in addition to the price listed.  Comprehensive Fee includes:  Transportation and course arrangements as indicated, hotel accommodations in Multi-bedded, triple and twin rooms, continental breakfast daily, one tea, five lunches and nine dinners (subject to change).

General psychology or other introductory social science course is preferred.  Having a general background in human behavior will enhance student’s ability think about the material and to interpret their experiences in a more sophisticated way. Including students with backgrounds in social sciences other than psychology (e.g., sociology, economics, geography) brings in multi-disciplinary perspectives of human behavior.

Required Readings
Scott, B.A., Amel, E.L. Koger, S.M., & Manning, C.M.  (2016). Psychology for Sustainability (4th Edition).  Routledge Press: NY, NY

 NorthWest Earth Institute.  Choices for Sustainable Living (2nd ed.).  Portland, OR: Northwest Earth Institute.The Natural Step Primer.  Available on-line.


Short papers (2 x 25) = 50 points
Academic Journal = 75 points
Final paper = 100 points
Participation = 75 points
Total = 300 points

Course grades will be determined by the percentage of the total points possible.
A = 94-100% B- = 80-82% D+ = 67-69%
A- = 90-93% C+ = 77-79% D = 63-66%
B+ = 87-89% C = 73-76% D- = 60-62%
B = 83-86% C- = 70-72% F = Below 60%

Program Directors
Elise L. Amel
, Ph.D., University of St. Thomas (651) 962.5046, email: elamel@stthomas.edu

Christie M. Manning, Ph.D., Macalester College (651) 696-6164, email: christie.manning@mac.edu

Description of Faculty Directors
Dr. Amel earned her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She has been teaching and conducting research regarding psychology and conservation since 2004. She served as the Director of Environmental Studies at UST, co-authored the textbook for this course, and is currently the Faculty Director of the Office of Sustainability Initiatives.

Dr. Manning has a Bachelor’s degree Engineering from Tufts University and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Minnesota.  She is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and the Associate Director of the Educating Sustainability Ambassadors Program at Macalester College. Christie is co-author on the 2016 academic textbook, “Psychology for Sustainability”.

Application Procedures & Deadline
· Select the How to Apply link to start your online application.
· All applications received by your home institutions priority deadline will be sent to the faculty immediately. Applications will be taken after that deadline for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1, 2017.

Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2017

For more information on course content, contact Elise Amel
On application procedures or logistical information, contact your study abroad office.


How To Apply


Rules and Procedures 2017 (PDF)

Rules and Procedures
Each UMAIE member school has their own application process in place. The UMAIE application process is described in the attached PDF file, and the required documents are available in the How to Apply section.

Applications are accepted until October 1, 2017.
No application will be considered without ALL the required signed documents, copies and a deposit check. If you have any questions please contact your campus UMAIE Board Member.


Travel Packet

ePacket (Link)

Click the image at left to access the course Travel Packet. The ePacket contains important information about traveling abroad, including your itinerary, frequently asked questions, participant letter and culturegram.

Preliminary Itinerary will be posted by October 16.
Final Itinerary will be posted by December 7.


The Orientation process includes 3 components:
– an online self-study and quiz on the UMAIE student handbook.
– in-person orientation conducted by your faculty director(s)
– an on-site orientation upon arrival.

You are REQUIRED to participate in and complete all 3 steps within the deadlines specified below. Failure to do so may result in your removal from the course.

Student Handbook and Online Quiz

2018 Student Manual (PDF)

We have put together this handbook to provide you with helpful information for planning and spending your time abroad. The handbook is also your primary study guide to pass your online quiz. There are excellent tips in this handbook, and it is organized in a way we hope will be user-friendly and straightforward.

Please carefully read the UMAIE student handbook and complete the quiz on the UMAIE student handbook by October 20, 2017.


quiz_thumbYou can access the online quiz through your online application by logging in to your school’s study abroad website. Complete the 2018 UMAIE Participant Quiz under Assessments on your online application portal.

For students at St. Ambrose University, see your study abroad adviser for a paper copy of the quiz.

 Orientation Session

The orientation session for this course will be conducted in-person. You will be notified of the time and location of your orientation.
If you have not received notice, contact your Study Abroad Program Director.


Participants are required to bring their Student ID card with them on the course to qualify for reduced student entrances at many sites. Without your ID, you could be responsible to pay any difference in entrance fees.