Behavior Analysis for Sustainable Societies

By the BASS Board

Since the last Behavior Analysis for Sustainable Societies Special Interest Group (BASS SIG) meeting during the 2022 ABAI convention in Boston, MA, several new developments have occurred for the SIG. The SIG has a new leadership team composed of Elizabeth Meshes, Jessica Ghai, Nikol Antoniono, and Julia Fiebig. The board meets monthly and has continued to facilitate monthly community meetings. Monthly community meetings are open to all BASS SIG members via Zoom. These community meetings continue to be a space where behavior analysts come together to meet other like-minded behavior analysts to discuss issues related to sustainability and climate change, share personal experiences and professional opportunities (e.g., conferences, webinars, employment posting, etc.), and generate collaborative research and project ideas. This process is grounded in the community values outlined in the Prosocial Matrix previously completed by the group. At the end of every community meeting, BASS members commit and share an action (or actions) they intend to complete before the next community meeting. In addition, a running record of all committed actions is kept and shared during each monthly community meeting. To date, members of our community have completed 21 committed actions, with 22 committed actions still in progress. Some of these completed committed actions include identifying and connecting with local organizations to engage in sustainability practices, sharing literature about sustainability, collecting resources and information about issues of sustainability outside of behavior analysis, contacting local government officials, and expanding their opportunities with additional training (e.g., OBM coursework).

This past year several members of BASS published in behavior analytic journals or presented at relevant conferences. Elizabeth Meshes, Lincoln Kamau, and Kimberly Hoppin published Climate Change and Six Americas: What Can Behavior Analysts Do? in Behavior and Social Issues. Kimberly Hoppins and Elizabeth Meshes also published the paper, Saving the Water in California: A Call for Behavior Analytic Action in Behavior and Social Issues. Jessica Ghai presented the talk, The Environmental Behavior Scientist: Identifying & Creating Opportunities for Action, at the 2022 Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change conference. Julia Fiebig was an invited speaker at the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science’s 2022 World Conference and presented on The Heart of the Matter: Language and Connection for Sustainability. The BASS SIG also is looking to partner with the BFSR SIG to plan an event at the Denver conference for people to connect with other behavior analysts interested in sustainability work and as an effort to mitigate some of the carbon footprint generated through traveling to the conference. The SIG hopes to organize events connecting us to the local community during future ABAI conventions.We maintain social media accounts, Facebook and LinkedIn, for BASS and an online presence through our website ( and open community meeting registration using Eventbrite ( Future goals for the SIG continue to include establishing a fund that allows the SIG to award financial support to practitioners and researchers working on sustainability-related community interventions. In addition, the SIG is exploring the establishment of membership dues and pursuing fundraising efforts for this purpose over the 2023–2024 period, as well as creating CE opportunities for members. Agenda items for the 2023 SIG meeting at ABAI include recruiting help from one or two members to facilitate a more active social media presence with the SIG’s Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts and to discuss a due-based membership. Plans for the upcoming year are to increase member activity and engagement, continue monthly community meetings as a forum for collaboration, connection, and sharing of research and application, and initiate a due-based membership to support opportunities for CEs for members. Membership is open to all, and participation in the SIG offers professional connections to others interested in and working on behavior change related to sustainability and climate change issues. Adding a new SIG board member dedicated to social media has increased the BASS SIG presence, and we hope to expand this for the upcoming year.

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