Children and Pollution Lead poisoning Mercury in fish
Professor Emerita Colleen F. Moore

University of Wisconsin - Madison

   Department of Psychology
(Fall 2011--Now at Montana State University, Bozeman, MT -- Limited research opportunities for undergraduates in my lab group at Wisconsin with continuing grad students; No longer accepting new grad students at Wisconsin)
Exposure Environmental Justice 

Author of Children & Pollution: Why Scientists Disagree, Oxford University Press, 2009.  

book cover

Click here for more book information
Contact Colleen Moore  
   The author is available for speaking engagements

Teaching Materials for Courses
R for Psychology 610 index: R Project Handouts for doing Analysis of Variance for Psychology in R

Psychology 411-Psychology of Environmental Issues

Psychology 411-Psychology of Religion

Psychology 610-Statistical Analysis of Psychological Experiments  ---  Index of 610 handouts

Psychology 918-Psychology of Risk

Photos of Orchids are here  
Psychology of Environmental Issues Lab

Moral Evaluations and Developmentof Social Cognition Lab

Developmental Effects of Prenatal Alcohol and Stress (with Prof. Mary Schneider)
printable vitae of Colleen F. Moore  

Vitae with links to pdfs of papers     

Professor Hiking

(photo by Jim Smith "Before the fall")
  Visit my page about children and pollution
(Click here for some orchids native to Wisconsin)
backlit fritillary
bee flower

About the Author   (email the author:
Colleen F. Moore is Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1978. She became Chair of the Psychology Department at Montana State University in Bozeman in Fall 2011. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in Psychology, with emphasis on Developmental Psychology and a minor in quantitative research methods. She currently teaches graduate courses in the design of psychological experiments and developmental psychology. She has been teaching an undergraduate course on the Psychology of Environmental Issues for 10 years. Her research currently addresses several topics including prenatal influences on later behavior (in collaboration with Prof. Mary Schneider), and how environmental attitudes are related to risk perceptions, ethical reasoning, and other aspects of judgment and decision making.
   The author is available for speaking engagements related to the contents of Children and Pollution for a small honorarium plus travel expenses. Please contact by email ( or phone (406 586-3140; best time to call mornings 7:30-9:30 am, 5-9 pm or leave a message). Local speaking engagements (Bozeman area) are without charge as a public service.
Speaking Engagement Topics:

1) Why Pollution Matters for Children's Psychological Development
    Pollution matters because exposure to certain pollutants can affect children's intellectual functioning, their social interactions and behavior, and their stress responses. This presentation provides the basics of what the research shows about how exposure to pollution affects children's behavior and psychological development. Examples will be drawn from the "best science" on exposure to lead, mercury, PCBs, noise, and community pollution disasters. (Audience: Members of the public).

2) Social Inequities in Children's Exposure to Pollutants that Alter Psychological Development
    Who is affected most by pollution and why?  Social inequities occur in children's exposures to certain pollutants that can alter behavioral and psychological development (lead, mercury, PCBs, pesticides, noise and toxic waste). What are the effects of these pollutants, and what can we do to redress environmental inequities? (Audience: Members of the public)

3) Why Cholinesterase-inhibiting Pesticides Need Study: An analogy from findings on early exposure to nicotine  
    In this presentation I argue that it is important that the psychological effects of insecticides be studied. Many insecticides inhibit cholinesterase, a key chemical involved in transmission of nerve impulses. Cholinesterase is also a gene signaler during the early development of the nervous system. Altering the level of cholinesterase has been shown to modify the development of the nervous system in subtle ways. Most American children are exposed to these insecticides, but there have been no studies of their psychological effects.
Nicotine has some effects on the nervous system that are similar to cholinesterase-inhibition (specifically, nicotine increases the activity of acetylcholine, a chemical that is also the target of cholinesterase). We have at least 3 decades of research evidence that nicotine has negative effects on children's psychological development. Because cholinesterase-inhibiting insecticides and nicotine have some similarity of chemical mechanisms in the brain, it is possible that cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides have effects on child development that are similar to the effects of nicotine. For these reasons, it is essential that the psychological effects of cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides be studied, but funding for large-scale studies is apparently not available. (Audience: The general public, and scholars from a wide range of disciplines; of special interest to developmental psychologists, neuroscientists, and those in agriculture).

4) U.S. Noise Policy and Children's Development
    This presentation gives an overview of findings on the effects of transportation noise on children's academic performance and stress responses. Research controversies in transportation noise annoyance are outlined and traced to decision criteria embedded in the research. It is shown that U.S. noise policy is inconsistent with recent guidelines for school classroom acoustical environments. (Audience: The general public and scholars from a wide range of disciplines. Of special interest to teachers, highway planners, airport administrators, developmental psychologists, speech and hearing professionals, and active members of Parent-Teacher Organizations).

(Last updated June, 2012)