Master of Science in Geography, Western Washington University, 2001
Bachelor of Science in Geography, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, 1996

Tim Scharks earned a Ph.D. from the Evans School's Public Policy & Management program in 2016. He completed his degree while employed as a tenured Geography Instructor at Green River College. He has taught extensively at two- and four-year colleges on topics ranging from environmental studies and geography to behavioral economics. His past service includes terms as President of the Washington Geographic Alliance and President of the Association of Washington Geographers. While at the Evans School, Tim completed a graduate certificate at the University of Washington's Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology. 

Tim's environmental policy research is interdisciplinary, applying theory from psychology and communication to public policy. His dissertation examines emotional reactions to climate change advertising and their effect on public support for climate change mitigation policy. Tim hopes his research will inform policymakers and organizations working to communicate the urgency of environmental issues effectively.


Dissertation title: Threatening Messages in Climate Change Communication

Tim's dissertation has been nominated for the UW Graduate School's Distinguished Dissertation Award.


Current Position: 
Instructor, Department of Geography, Green River College
Environmental Policy
Quantitative Analysis
Risk Analysis
Risk Communication
Survey Methods
Dissertation title: 
Threatening Messages in Climate Change Communication
Recent Publications: 
Scharks, T., & Masuda, Y.J.(2016). Don’t Discount Economic Valuation for Conservation. Conservation Letters, 9(1), 3-4. doi: 10.1111/conl.12234

Masuda, Y.J., & Scharks, T. (2014). Fauna in decline: A big leap to slavery. Letter in Science, 346(6211), 819. doi: 10.1126/science.346.6211.819-a
Scharks, T., Bostrom, A., Reimann-Garretson, L., & Rix, G. (2014). Risk Decision Making and Seismic Risk Preparedness at North American Seaports: Analysis of a System-wide Survey.  Earthquake Spectra, 30(4), 1-19. doi: 10.1193/081711EQS199M

Dissertation Committee Members: 
Ann Bostrom (chair)
Alison Cullen
Craig W. Thomas
Stewart E. Tolnay (Sociology)
Dissertation URL: