Gary Evans
Gary Evans
Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor
Human Centered Design

3415 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall


Professor Evans is an environmental and developmental psychologist interested in how the physical environment affects human health and well being among children. His specific areas of expertise include the environment of childhood poverty, children's environments (housing, schools, playgrounds, toys),  cumulative risk and child development, environmental stressors, and the development of children's environmental attitudes and behaviors. 

Gary Evans is the author of over 350 scholarly articles and book chapters plus five books. Current research is focused on children's environments (e.g. schools,  housing), and the environment of childhood poverty. He is also doing work on the development of environmental attitudes and behaviors in children. Professor Evans' work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Mac Arthur Foundation, the W. T. Grant Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Swedish Work Environment Fund.

Evans, G.W. (2019). Projected Behavioral Impacts of Global Climate Change. "Annual Review of Psychology, 70", 1, 449-474.

Evans, G.W., Otto, S. & Kaiser, F.G. (2018). Childhood origins of young adult environmental behavior. "Psychological Science, 29", 679-687.

Evans, G.W. (2017). Childhood poverty and adult psychological well-being. "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113", 14949-14952.

Kim, P., Evans, G.W., Angstadt, M., Ho, S., Sripada, C.S., Swain, J.E., Liberzon, I., & Phan, K.L. (2013). Effects of childhood poverty and chronic stress on emotional regulatory brain function in adulthood. "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110," 18442-18447.

Crook, S.R., & Evans, G.W. (2014). The role of planning skills in the income-achievement gap. "Child Development, 85," 405-411.

Evans, G.W., Li, D., & Whipple, S.S. (2013). Cumulative risk and child development. "Psychological Bulletin, 139", 1342-1396.

Evans, G.W., & Kim, P. (2012). Childhood poverty and young adult allostatic load: The mediating role of childhood cumulative risk exposure. "Psychological Science, 23," 979-983.

Evans, G.W., Chen, E., Miller, G.E., & Seeman, T.E. (2012). How poverty gets under the skin: A lifecourse perspective. In V. Maholmes & R. King (Eds.), "The Oxford handbook of poverty and child development" (pp. 13-36). New York: Oxford University Press.

Evans, G.W., & Kutcher, R. (2011). Loosening the link between childhood poverty and adolescent smoking and obesity: The protective effects of social capital. "Psychological Science, 22", 3-7.

Evans, G.W. & Wachs, T.D. (Eds.). (2010). "Chaos and its influence on children's development: An ecological perspective. "Washington, DC: American Psychological Association".

Evans, G.W. & Schamberg, M.A. (2009). Childhood poverty, chronic stress, and adult working memory. "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106," 6545-6549.

Evans, G.W. (2006). Child development and the physical environment. "Annual Review of Psychology, 57," 423-451.

Evans, G.W., et. al. (2005). The role of chaos in poverty and children's socioemotional adjustment. "Psychological Science, 16," 560-565.

Evans, G.W. (2004). The environment of childhood poverty. "American Psychologist, 59," 77-92.

Professor Evans actively supports Co-Operative Extension on issues related to poverty, risk, and child development. He is on the Advisory Board for Tompkins County Action agency, the county anti-poverty agency.  He is also an advisor to the WHO and the EU on issues of children's health.

Academic Expertise: Professor Evans is an environmental and developmental psychologist interested in how the physical environment affects human health and well being among children. His specific areas of expertise include the environment of childhood poverty, cumulative risk and children, environmental stressors, and the development of children's environmental attitudes and behaviors.

Professor Evans received an Honorary Doctorate from Stockholm University in Sweden in 2006 and is a former member of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health and of the Board of Children, Youth, and Families for the National Academy of Sciences.  He is a Guggenheim Fellow, and a recipient of the EDRA Career Award.  Evans has received a Senior National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He has a Ph.D. in environmental psychology with post-doctoral training in psychoneuroendocrinology and in human development. Professor Evans has given several hundred lectures and invited talks in over 40 different countries. He is also the recipient of numerous teaching awards. 

We underestimate the role of affect and motivation in university teaching.  My approach is to try and link course materials to students' own interests and backgrounds.  When I am able to do this well, students learn.

DEA/COGSCI/PSYCHOLOGY 1500 Introduction to Environmental Psychology
Introduction to how the physical environment and human behavior inter-relate.  How are health, emotions, performance, interpersonal relationships, and organizational effectiveness, influenced by the physical environment?  We also examine the flip side of this focus.  How do human attitudes and behaviors affect the environment?  Issues of cultural and economic diversity are integrated throughout. The course is organized into four major sections, each devoted to one setting: Home, City, Work, and Earth.  Within each section various Human-Environment Relations Processes are discussed.  Each of these processes helps explain how and why human behavior and the environment inter-relate.  Two examples of HER processes are privacy and environmental attitudes. Each section ends with several case studies illustrating how these HER Processes can be put to work to improve human health and welfare, as well as the conditions of our environment. Every other week hands on exercises and projects are conducted in small discussion sections in lieu of lecture.  An optional Writing in the Major section is available to all students. 

DEA/HD 6650 Poverty, Children, and the Environment
This seminar develops an ecological perspective on poverty, examining how the physical and social contexts of disadvantage shape child development. We learn about the influence of childhood disadvantage on biology and health as well as children's cognitive and socioemotional development.  Then we examine how the settings disadvantaged children grow up in contribute to their development throughout the life course.


HE 3100 Mentoring in Higher Education
Human Ecology upperclassmen who are mentors in the College Partnership Program take this seminar as part of their preparation and support for their work as mentors with incoming students to the College. This course is also a Writing in the Major seminar. Topics include: mentoring, adult development, peer counseling, cross-cultural counseling, racism, minorities in higher education and in the professions.

Colgate University    1971  AB Highest Honors in Psychology
University of MA, Amherst 1973  MS  Psychology
University of MA, Amherst 1975  PhD Psychology
Karolinska Institute, Stockholm Sweden  1988  Post Doctoral  Psychoneuroendocrinology
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, National Research Service Award, 1999  Human Development 

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