Laura Carlson, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame, will present a lecture titled “Deciding to be Green” on Tuesday, October 18, at 7:30 p.m. in Cecilian Hall, located on Seton Hill University’s hilltop campus in Greensburg, Pa. A reception will be held immediately following the lecture in the Parlors. The lecture and reception are free to attend and open to the public. Parking is available on campus. Follow signage to employee parking lot. Sponsored by the Greensburg/Uniontown Notre Dame Alumni Club and Seton Hill University, the lecture is a presentation of the Notre Dame Alumni Association’s Hesburgh Lecture Series.

Carlson will discuss the use of psychology to explore humans’ relationship with the environment and focus on why and how to make everyday environmental decisions. “With the growing concern for the protection of the environment, we need to encourage more eco-friendly behavior,” said Carlson.

Carlson is a professor in the Department of Psychology and the associate dean for professional development in the Graduate School at the University of Notre Dame. Her primary research interest is in spatial cognition. She has employed empirical, computational and psycho-physiological measures to investigate the way in which objects and their spatial relations are encoded, represented and described. In addition, Carlson has begun to explore our interaction with the environment and how humans make decisions about eco-friendly behavior. Carlson has received funding extramural funding from the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Health to support her research. Currently, she serves as associate editor for the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. She has also served as associate editor for Memory and Cognition and is on the editorial boards of Perception and Psychophysics and Visual Cognition. Carlson is the secretary/treasurer of the Psychonomic Society. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Illinois.

“The Hesburgh Lecture Series is a program coordinated by the University of Notre Dame and sponsored by its local alumni clubs. The local club attempts to join with a local organization to sponsor a speaker who is a professor or dean at the University of Notre Dame,” said Milton Munk, president, Greensburg/Uniontown Notre Dame Alumni Club. “The program is currently in its 25th year of existence and is the most important outreach program sponsored by the University and its local alumni clubs.”

Offered each year through University of Notre Dame's network of more than 200 alumni clubs, the Hesburgh Lectures are delivered by University of Notre Dame faculty members nominated by their colleagues and the deans of the University’s colleges and law school. The series is named for Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C, president emeritus of Notre Dame. Father Hesburgh is considered one of the most influential figures in higher education in the 20th century. The recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal and the Medal of Freedom, Father Hesburgh has held 16 U.S. presidential appointments and been a leading force in major social issues, ranging from civil rights to nuclear non-proliferation to Third World development and immigration reform. His stature as an elder statesman in American higher education is reflected in his more than 150 honorary degrees.