Episode 97

Coping with Climate Anxiety – with Dr Alexandra Knight

Have you heard of, or are you experiencing, eco-grief or climate anxiety?

For many STEM researchers, including those in the mathematical and data sciences, this is becoming a very real thing as they explore and tackle problems and questions about the environment and climate.

But just how serious of a problem is this for the STEM community?

A group of women, who met as part of their involvement with the Homeward Bound project, have decided to team up and find out. They just completed of survey of researchers to find out how climate change is affecting the people who study it.

In this episode, we explore some of what they have already uncovered. Plus, some tools and some messages of hope they have for anyone who might be experiencing these feelings

Our guest is Dr Alexandra Knight – an Ecologist and Environmental Sociologist at Charles Sturt University.

Our host for this episode is Rose Crocker, an applied mathematician with the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

NOTE: We understand this discussion may affect some of you. If so, scroll down on this page. We have provided a list of contacts and resources for climate anxiety and eco-grief support

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Additional Links

For anyone who requires assistance, a list of contacts and resources for climate anxiety and eco-grief support can be found below:

  1. Australia: Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or contact here  and/or Climate Resilience Network
  2. Europe: See links to Climate cafes here, or  National Suicide Prevention Hotline, call 3114
  3. New Zealand: the Good Grief Network or Lifeline NZ, call 09 5222 999 (Auckland) or 0800 543 354
  4. United Kingdom: National Suicide Prevention Hotline, call 0800 689 5652
  5. USA: national Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 or Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, call 988

Resources specific to managing feelings of climate anxiety and eco grief include:

  1. Dealing with climate anxiety: tips, tools and resources’ from The Climate Council
  2. ‘Coping with climate change distress from the Australian Conservation Foundation, The Climate Reality Project Australia, Australian Psychological Society and Psychology for a Safe Climate
  3. A guide for parents about the climate crisis’ by the Australian Psychological Society

More information about the Climate Anxiety Survey conducted by this team.

Dr Alexandra Knight and the team involved in this project are all a part of the latest cohort of the Homeward Bound Project: https://homewardboundprojects.com.au/hb8/

Pictured below is the team involved in this climate anxiety survey project: (Top row, left to right): Dr Alexandra Knight, Jessica Leck, Georgia Watson, Dr Helen McGuire; (Bottom row, left to right): Dr Charis Teh, Dr Katharina Fabricius, Dr Susi Seibt

Bonus Track: Dr Alexandra Knight talks about her research on frogs and starting a PhD later in life:

Links to Dr Alexandra Knight’s research:

Knight Alexandra R., Watts Robyn J., Allan Catherine, McDonald Simon, Lappin Natasha (2024) Habitat features important for the conservation of the endangered Sloane’s Froglet (Crinia sloanei) in peri-urban environments. Wildlife Research 51, WR23032.

Knight, A.R., Allan, C. Intentional Ecology: Integrating environmental expertise through a focus on values, care and advocacy. Humanities and Social Science Communications 8, 290 (2021).



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