Scientists & Staff
Current ResearchSonya Sachdeva is a computational social scientist with the US Forest Service in the greater Chicago area. Staffed with scientists from a wide range of backgrounds, "People and Their Environments" is one of only a few Forest Service research work units that studies the human component of natural resource management within urban ecosystems. Scientists in the unit conduct research on wide array of topics including the impact of climate change on conservation decision-making, understanding perceptions of air and water pollution and addressing environmental justice issues in urban environments. Sonya also has an adjunct appointment with the Environmental Policy & Culture program at Northwestern University. She holds a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Michigan and a doctoral degree in Cognitive Science from Northwestern University. Her current projects involve large-scale automated text analysis of climate change coverage in the media, field assessments of the efficacy of environmental programs and behavioral experiments to study the impact of resource scarcity on conservation behavior.
- Northwestern University, Ph.D. Cognitive Science, 2010
- Northwestern University, M.S. Cognitive Science, 2006
- University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, B.S Economics & Biological Psychology, 2005
Publications & Products
- Floress, Kristin ; Sachdeva, Sonya. 2019. Novel and Controversial Methods in the Social Sciences: Introduction to Special Issue. Society & Natural Resources
- Lindsey, Greg ; Qi, Yunlei ; Gobster, Paul H.; Sachdeva, Sonya. 2019. The 606 at three: Trends in use of Chicago's elevated Rail-Trail. Proceedings of the Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning. 6(37). 14p.
- Sachdeva, Sonya ; Boghrati, Reihane ; Dehghani, Morteza. 2019. Testing the Influence of Purity-Based Interventions on Pro-environmental Behavior. Sustainability
- Arakawa, Sachi; Sachdeva, Sonya; Shandas, Vivek. 2018. Environmental stewardship: Pathways to community cohesion and cultivating meaningful engagement. In: Dhiman S.; Marques J., eds. Handbook of engaged sustainability. New York, NY: Springer International: 1-23
- Browning, Matthew H.E.M.; Kuo, Ming; Sachdeva, Sonya; Lee, Kangjae; Westphal, Lynne. 2018. Greenness and school-wide test scores are not always positively associated - A replication of "linking student performance in Massachusetts elementary schools with the 'greenness' of school surroundings using remote sensing". Landscape and Urban Planning
- Kuo, Ming ; Browning, Matthew H. E. M.; Sachdeva, Sonya ; Lee, Kangjae ; Westphal, Lynne. 2018. Might School Performance Grow on Trees? Examining the Link Between "Greenness" and Academic Achievement in Urban, High-Poverty Schools. Frontiers in Psychology
- Sachdeva, Sonja ; McCaffrey, Sarah. 2018. Using social media to predict air pollution during California wildfires. In: Proceedings of the international conference on social media and society; 2018 July 18-20; Copenhagen, Denmark. SM Society. 5 p.
- Sachdeva, Sonya; Emery, Marla R.; Hurley, Patrick T. 2018. Depiction of Wild Food Foraging Practices in the Media: Impact of the Great Recession. Society & Natural Resources
- Schertz, Kathryn E.; Sachdeva, Sonya; Kardan, Omid; Kotabe, Hiroki P.; Wolf, Kathleen L.; Berman, Marc G. 2018. A thought in the park: The influence of naturalness and low-level visual features on expressed thoughts. Cognition. 174. 12 p.
- Gobster, Paul H.; Sachdeva, Sonya; Lindsey, Greg. 2017. Up on The 606. Understanding the Use of a New Elevated Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail in Chicago, Illinois. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board
- Sachdeva, Sonya. 2016. The influence of sacred beliefs in environmental risk perception and attitudes. Environment and Behavior. 18 p. http://dx.doi.org/0.1177/0013916516649413.
- Sachdeva, Sonya. 2016. Religious identity, beliefs, and views about climate change. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.013.335 [36 p.]
- Sachdeva, Sonya; McCaffrey, Sarah M.; Locke, Dexter. 2016. Social media approaches to modeling wildfire smoke dispersion: spatiotemporal and social scientific investigations. Information, Communication & Society. 16 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2016.1218528.
- Sachdeva, Sonya; Jordan, Jennifer; Mazar, Nina. 2015. Green consumerism: moral motivations to a sustainable future. Current Opinion in Psychology. 6: 60-65.
National Research Highlights
An analysis of academic achievement within Chicago Public Schools suggests that a higher proportion of tree cover, relative to grass and other vegetation, on school yards is associated with higher math and reading scores.
Monitoring use of a new elevated trail in Chicago provides important information to city managers. Preliminary results suggest that "The 606" has created connections between historically segregated neighborhoods, meeting and exceeding city managers’ objectives.
Forest Service scientists and their partners found that crowdsourced data collected from Twitter can be used to accurately predict air quality impacts from wildfire smoke.