Katie Dickinson
Environmental and Occupational Health • Colorado School of Public Health

An environmental economist by training, Dr. Dickinson’s interdisciplinary research examines human behaviors and decision making in the face of environmental and health risks. She is particularly interested in the role of social interactions and social networks in shaping risk perceptions and behaviors. Several past and current projects have addressed problems at the nexus of environmental quality, economic development, and human health, including sanitation in India, malaria in Tanzania, and improved cookstoves in Ghana. Other branches of research look at responses to natural hazards, including wildfire and hurricanes, and vector-borne disease risks in the US. 

Katie received BS and MS degrees in Earth Systems from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University in 2008. She did her postdoctoral training as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society scholar at the University of Wisconsin from 2008 to 2010, and at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) from 2010 to 2013. Before joining EOH, Katie spent four years as a Research Scientist/Project Scientist with joint positions at NCAR and CU Boulder.  

Research Interests

  • Household energy transitions and air pollution impacts in developing countries
  • Mosquito-borne disease risks and mosquito control policy
  • Wildfire risk mitigation in the American West
  • Community perceptions of oil and gas development risks

Courses Taught

  • Environmental and Occupational Health Policy
  • Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis


  • PhD, Environmental Economics and Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
  • BS and MS, Earth Systems, International Relations minor, Stanford University

Honors & Awards

  • BS Awarded with Distinction and with Interdisciplinary Honors in Environmental Science, Technology, and Policy.

Recent Publications

  • Dickinson, K.L., Brenkert-Smith, H., Madonia, G. and Flores, N.E., Risk interdependency, social norms, and wildfire mitigation: a choice experiment. 2020. Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, pp.1-28.

  • Hannigan, M.P., Moro, A., Dickinson, K.L., Oduro, A., Banacos, N., Pfotenhauer, D., Begay, T., Agao, D., Mukherjee, A., Dalaba, M. and Coffey, E.R. 2019. Kitchen Area Air Quality Measurements in Northern Ghana: Evaluating the Performance of a Low-Cost Particulate Sensor within a Household Energy Study.

  • Kroepsch, A.C., Maniloff, P.T., Adgate, J.L., McKenzie, L.M. and Dickinson, K.L., 2019. Environmental justice in unconventional oil and natural gas drilling and production: A critical review and research agenda. Environmental science & technology, 53(12), pp.6601-6615.

  • Wiedinmyer, C., K.L. Dickinson, R. Piedrahita, E. Kanyomse, E.Coffey, M. Hannigan, R. Alirigia, and A. Oduro. 2017. Rural-urban differences in cooking practices and exposures in Northern Ghana. Environmental Research Letters 12(6): 065009.PID:11445512

  • Dickinson, K.L., A. Monaghan, I.J. Rivera, L. Hu, E. Kanyomse, R. Alirigia, J. Adoctor, R. Kaspar, A.R. Oduro, and C. Wiedinmyer. 2017. Changing weather and climate in Northern Ghana: comparison of local perceptions with meteorological and land cover data. Regional Environmental Change: 1-14. doi:10.1007/s10113-016-1082-4.

  • Dickinson, K.L., M.H. Hayden, S. Haenchen, A. Monaghan, K. Walker, and K. Ernst. 2016. Willingness to pay for mosquito control in Key West, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 94: 775-779. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.15-0666.

  • Dickinson, K.L., S.P. Pattanayak, J.-C. Yang, S.R. Patil, and C. Poulos. 2015. Nature’s Call: Health and welfare impacts of sanitation choices in Orissa, India. Economic Development and Cultural Change 64 (1):1-29. doi: 10.1086/682958.

  • Dickinson, K.L., H. Brenkert-Smith, P. Champ, and N. Flores. 2015. Catching Fire? Social interactions and homeowners’ wildfire mitigation behaviors. Society and Natural Resources 28(8): 807-824. doi: 0.1080/08941920.2015.1037034.