BioBuild Fellow, Dr. Mo Hu, Successfully Defends PhD Dissertation!

Congraulations, Dr. Hu! 

Dr. Hu's dissertation entitled, "Preference Construction and Decision-Making for Green Infrastructure: How Do Behavioral Interventions Influence Choice and Neurocognition?" was successfully defended on 26 October 2021. 

The abstract: 

Green stormwater infrastructure uses connected green space to manage the stormwater in the environment where humans live. It also brings multiple sustainability benefits. However, the pace and the scale of green infrastructure implementation are still limited. Cognitive barriers are cited as the most profound because they intensify other barriers during design and decision-making. Stakeholders involved in the decision-making process must weigh the risks and benefits that green infrastructure provides. This dissertation aims to better understand how stakeholders perceive green infrastructure, how much they weigh risks and benefits, and test interventions to aid the decision-making process to promote more green infrastructure design. A survey with discrete choice modeling and experiments using neuroimaging to measure change in brain activity were conducted to explore preference construction and decision-making about green infrastructure. The survey found critical factors that influence the public’s preferences for green infrastructure. The neuroimaging experiments demonstrated that two small modifications in choice, (1) telling students about a municipal resolution in support of green infrastructure and (2) priming students to think about sustainable design first, were effective to change engineers’ perceptions and brain activities during design and decision-making about green infrastructure.