Erin HamiltonAssistant Professor of Design Studies

The overarching goal of my research and teaching is the creation of environments to support effective human functioning and well-being. In this pursuit, I recognize the relationship between humans and the environments they inhabit is not unidirectional, but a true symbiosis in which environments and people are mutually sustained. Positive sustainable environments that support human functioning and well-being are ones that foster reasonable decision-making and patterns of behavior, with important implications for transforming communities to be more sustainable and just.

My scholarship lies at the intersection of sustainable design and environmental psychology, exploring how conservation behavior may be shaped through environmental and social cues in green buildings. In this work, I challenge designers to consider the enhanced possibilities for sustainable environments that promote environmentally responsible behavior with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spill over to other contexts.

Selected Publications

Hamilton, E. M., & Rane, A. (2022). Speaking their language: Does environmental signage align to personal dimensions of environmentally responsible behavior in undergraduate residence halls? Sustainability, 14(4), 2025.

Hamilton, E. M. (2021). Green building, green behavior? An analysis of building characteristics that support environmentally responsible behaviors. Environment and Behavior, 53(4), 409-450.

Cole, L. B., & Hamilton, E. M. (2020). Can a green school building teach? A pre- and post-occupancy evaluation of a Teaching Green School Building. Environment and Behavior, 52(10), 1047-1078.

For a full list of publications, see Hamilton’s CV.

A woman smiling, with long, light brown hair, wearing red glasses and a blue shirt.


  • Design Studies

Degree Program

  • BS Interior Architecture
  • MFA Human Ecology: Design Studies
  • PhD Human Ecology: Design Studies


  • PhD, Architecture and Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan
  • MS, Design Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • BS, Interior Design, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • BA, Psychology, Texas A&M University


Office: 3146 Nancy Nicholas Hall

Phone: 608-261-1003