To study the political polarization of climate change in America, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh sociologist Jeremiah Bohr knew he had plenty of data to work with … something like 3 million tweets posted by members of Congress from 2015 to the present.
What he didn’t have was enough time to analyze all that information.
That is until he landed a sabbatical for this fall, which is providing a break from teaching so he can concentrate fully on this research.
In September, Bohr spent hours identifying factors that could potentially explain how and why climate change has become so politically charged in the United States. He has considered geographic area of the country, religious demographics, political partisanship and how much a congressional district contributes to or is impacted by carbon dioxide levels.
“What I’m finding so far is that climate change seems to just be part of the culture wars,” Bohr said. “Local conditions do not seem to be driving the conversation of representatives in their congressional districts.”
As the November midterm election nears, Bohr is continuing to collect and analyze data for his project, which will culminate in a book proposal later this year.
“This type of data gathering and big data analysis is an intensely time-consuming type of research,” he said. “I’m grateful for the sabbatical. I’m loving it. It feels like I am back in graduate school.”
UW Oshkosh biology professor Gregory Adler also is on sabbatical this fall as he studies predation and dispersal of pawpaw seeds in northern Alabama.
Four faculty members are on yearlong sabbaticals in 2022-23:
- Laura Jean Baker, associate English professor, revising a book-length memoir
- Sarah DeArmond, management and human resources professor, developing online training for students to better manage stress as they begin their careers
- Michael Fonkem, associate human services leadership professor, expanding understanding of postcolonial African conflicts impacting refugees
- Gail Panske, art professor, creating new works that focus on the literal and conceptual experience of place, time and space
In the spring semester, three faculty members will be on sabbatical:
- Jaehan Bae, associate art professor, examining perceptions, practices and experiential knowledge of Asian American art teachers
- Anna Filipova, public administration professor, studying advance practice nurse utilization under temporary full practice authority and the influence of community-based and practice-related factors on advance practice nurse satisfaction and retention in rural Wisconsin
- Joseph Peterson, associate geology professor, expanding research on the paleoecology of dinosaurs from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation
Faculty development at UWO includes a variety of programs to support a broad range of research, teaching and other professional development activities