Heather Cann

Heather Cann  Profile Picture
Home Department:
Political Sciences

Mentor / Lab:
Dr. Leigh Raymond

Specific Research Area / Project:
Environmental policy

Undergraduate Institution:
The University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada
Lab / Personal work-related websites:

Research Profile:

Hello! I’m a fourth year graduate student with the Ecological Sciences and Engineering Program, within the department of Political Science. I’m interested most broadly in environmental politics and the cultural politics of environmental issues. My background is in English and Environmental Studies, so I always knew that I wanted to immerse myself in interdisciplinary work at the graduate level - but until my final year of undergrad, I never expected to end up in political science! Ultimately I came to feel very strongly that one of the most powerful ways to “change the world” was by understanding the broader systems of institutions and norms that shape human behavior. So political science has been my home base for the past several years.

While I’m interested in a wide range of topics, from environmental justice to issues of global governance, my most recent work has focused on the cultural dynamics of climate change and local-level policy change. For example, I’ve been looking at climate change skepticism in the United States: both from the "top-down" (the political machinations of fossil fuel interests, for example) and "bottom-up" (the psychological mechanisms of denialism) perspectives. Another ongoing project that I’ve been working on with my advisor, Leigh Raymond, is exploring state-level response to EPA’s Clean Power Plan and how different stakeholder groups shape the climate-energy policy landscape.

About Me:

One of the experiences I’ve most enjoyed here at Purdue has been the opportunity to lead undergraduate courses. Having the opportunity to design and implement my own course was a challenging but hugely rewarding experience both professionally and personally. I’ve taught an Introduction to Environmental Policy class several times (both online and in the classroom) and it’s always interesting and fun! It had never occurred to me that I would enjoy teaching so much, but having the chance to share ideas with students, facilitate classroom discussions, and interact with them in general has been so memorable, and helped me learn too! The students come from many different disciplines and backgrounds, and as an intro class we cover a wide-range of material, so it’s another excellent opportunity for semester-long interdisciplinary learning.


  • Teaching Academy Graduate Teaching Award: 2015-2016
  • College of Liberal Arts PROMISE Award: 2016
  • Purdue Climate Change Research Center - Graduate Student Travel Grant: 2015
  • Ecological Sciences and Engineering - Lynn Fellowship: 2013-2014


  • Cann, Heather W., and Raymond, Leigh S. 2016. “The Scientists and the Consumers: Science versus Policy Impact Framing in Conservative Thinktanks”. Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference. April 7-10. Chicago, IL.
  • Cann, Heather W. 2015. “Across the Blogosphere: Framing Climate Change Skepticism in Traditional and Online Communication Landscapes”. Western Political Science Association Annual Conference. April 2-4. Las Vegas, NV.
  • Cann, Heather W. 2015. “Local Food in the Balance? The Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and Food Sovereignty”. Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference. April 16-19. Chicago, IL.


  • Purdue Climate Change Research Center (PCCRC) Grad/Post-Doc Group
  • Committee Member (Fall 2015/Spring 2016)

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