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Student research regarding a link between GDP and environmentalism among citizenry to be presented at annual forum

Washburn University student Adam Michael Teel, of Hutchinson, will give the presentation, "GDP per Capita and Environmentalism: Is Growth the Reason for Change?" at The Washburn Apeiron:  A Forum of Student Research, Scholarship and Creativity on Friday, April 18.

Teel is a senior and is pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in political science. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi national honor society and previously participated in a study abroad program in Havana and Pinar del Rio Provence, Cuba.

In the research abstract, he noted: "As nations such as China and India are industrializing and developing economically and politically, concerns over environmental quality are emerging. Calls from the international community for increased accountability and regulation are met with concern from developing nations about how costly environmental restrictions may impact their development. Some argue that developed nations, having already met basic material human needs such as food, water, and shelter, have individuals who are post-materialist in their ideological perspective, or rather their concerns vary greatly from those individuals in developing countries who care primarily about satisfying these basic material needs, no matter the cost to the environment (Inglehart 2000, 2008). This study seeks to determine if positive feelings toward environmentalism (a post-materialist ideal) tend to increase with the increase in gross domestic product per capita in a country. Logistic regression results indicate that there is not strong statistical association between GDP per capita and positive feelings toward environmentalism. The findings of the study are limited by data availability, and future studies would do well to consider how levels of pollution and culture may impact environmentalism in a country."

This presentation will fulfill a portion of the Washburn Transformational Experience opportunity, for which Teel must demonstrate excellence in scholarly and creative activity, community service, leadership or international education. The WTE was established to provide baccalaureate students with the opportunity to make a difference to others or society through enhanced learning designed to complement traditional college studies.

The Apeiron allows students from all disciplines to present their work in an environment that closely resembles the professional conferences and performance venues of their chosen area of study.  Seventy-one students are participating in the forum and entries include poster presentations, oral presentations, exhibitions and performances. To learn more, please visit


Dena Anson, university relations, 785.670.1711