Invitation and Participant Information

Please read the following information and scroll to the Next button at the bottom of the page to commence the survey.
You are invited to participate in our research investigating if STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) researchers and professionals experience climate anxiety and ecological grief (eco-grief), and if so, the impacts of that climate anxiety and eco-grief . We are actively engaging STEMM academics and professionals in this survey. We invite STEMM people of all career stages and professions, as well as students, volunteers and people not actively engaged in paid employment.

The survey will be launched to coincide with International Women's Day, on the 19th of March 2024. This survey will remain open for response until midnight on the 19th of April 2024.

Researchers
Chief Investigators:
Dr Alexandra R Knight, 0439 940 529, aknight@csu.edu.au
Ms Jessica L Leck, Charles Sturt University, jleck@csu.edu.au

Co-investigators:
Dr Charis Teh, University of Melbourne, charis.teh@unimelb.edu.au
Ms Georgia Watson, University of Wollongong, georgiaw@uow.edu.au
Dr Helen McGuire, University of Sydney, helen.mcguire@sydney.edu.au
Dr Katharina Fabricius, Australian Institue of Marine Science, k.fabricius@aims.gov.au
Dr Susi Seibt, University of Melbourne, susanne.seibt@unimelb.edu.au

Host Organisation
Charles Sturt University
What is the purpose of this study?
This research aims to understand if STEMM academics and professionals experience climate anxiety and eco-grief, explore the impacts of climate anxiety and eco-grief on STEMM academics and professionals, and ascertain if there are gender and age differences in this experience. It is a project undertaken by a diverse group of researchers, connected by participation in the leadership initiative Homeward Bound Projects. Alexandra Knight and Jessica Leck and their host institution, Charles Sturt University, are supporting survey logistics, confidentiality and data management.

Whilst people who experience climate related disasters can experience both chronic and acute mental health impacts, climate anxiety and eco-grief are related but distinctly separate phenomena.

Climate anxiety is defined as a heightened emotional, mental, or somatic distress in response to dangerous changes in the climate and its impacts on the environment and human existence. It is often described with terms like apprehension, fear, anger, guilt, shame, disillusionment or helplessness. While it is not officially recognized as a clinical diagnosis or mental health disorder, it is increasingly acknowledged as a valid psychological response to the threats of climate change.

Eco-grief is a feeling of despair, loss, helplessness and grief in response to the active or impending destruction of ecosystems or progressive passive loss of biodiversity, meaningful landscapes, or sites of cultural significance. Such grief is considered a natural response to loss.

Why have I been invited to participate in this study?
We invite people of all career stages and professions, as well as students, volunteers and people not actively engaged in paid employment who consider themselves part of STEMM. STEMM is a commonly used acronym describing a variety of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine.

What does this study involve?
If you agree to participate, you will be asked questions about yourself and your experiences. The questions include: two short demographic questions about yourself, four about your career, five questions about your familiarity with and experiences of climate anxiety and eco-grief and a question requesting your permission and contact details if you would like to be informed of this survey's outcomes.

All questions are optional. Completion of this survey should take up to 15 minutes.
Are there risks and benefits to me in taking part in this study?
The following survey will ask you questions about your experiences of climate anxiety and eco-grief, which may cause distress to some participants.

Questions will ask about the nature of your career, your experience of climate anxiety and eco-grief and any strategies you use to manage these feelings. Please note these questions may cause feelings of distress for some when recalling their experiences of climate anxiety and eco-grief. There is a space for you to share more details about these experiences, if you wish to. We hope that taking part in the survey may also allow reflection on useful strategies to manage these feelings.

For anyone who requires assistance, a list of contacts and resources for climate anxiety and eco-grief support can be found below:
Resources specific to managing feelings of climate anxiety and eco-grief include:
· ‘Dealing with climate anxiety: tips, tools and resources’ from The Climate Council
·Coping with climate change distress’ from the Australian Conservation Foundation, The Climate Reality Project Australia, Australian Psychological Society and Psychology for a Safe Climate
·A guide for parents about the climate crisis’ by the Australian Psychological Society
How is this study being paid for?
This study is supported by the researchers and their institutions.

Will taking part in this study (or travelling to) cost me anything, and will I be paid?
There is no payment for being involved in this study, nor is there any cost to you other than your time.

What if I don't want to take part in this study?
Participation in this research is entirely your choice. Whether or not you decide to participate, is your decision and will not disadvantage you. Only those who give their informed consent will be included in the project.

Non-participation in this research does not exclude you from access to the outcomes of this research.

What if I participate and want to withdraw later?
Once you have undertaken the survey and pressed 'Done' at the end, there is no further opportunity to withdraw your questionnaire answers, as they are not identified individually.

How will my confidentiality be protected?
This survey is anonymous. It is being undertaken using SurveyMonkey – these links go to SurveyMonkey’s privacy and security policies for more information.

The only identifying information we will ask will be an optional question to provide your email address if you wish to receive a copy of the results of this research. This will be stored separately to your responses to ensure anonymity.

If you prefer not to provide your email, the results will be available publicly once complete, and you are able to reach out to the researchers, to receive a copy at that time.

As part of Charles Sturt University’s commitment to collaborative data management, the data collected within this survey will be stored on CSU internal systems for at least 5 years post publication. This non-identifying data may be shared with other researchers as deemed appropriate. The data may be used by the researchers listed to develop further programs.
What will happen to the information that I give you?
The anonymous data collected in this study will be analysed and shared in a report, through online media and potentially in a peer-reviewed publication.

What should I do if I want to discuss this study further before deciding?
If you would like further information, please contact Dr Alexandra Knight on aknight@csu.edu.au, or any of the researchers listed at the top of this information sheet.

Who should I contact if I have concerns about the conduct of this study?
Charles Sturt University’s Human Research Ethics Committee has approved this project [Protocol Number H24012]. If you have any complaints or reservations about the ethical conduct of this project, you may contact the Committee through the Research Integrity Unit via the following contact details:
The Presiding Officer
Human Research Ethics Committee
Research Integrity Unit
Locked Bag 588
Wagga Wagga NSW 2678
Phone: (02) 6933 4213
Email: ethics@csu.edu.au

Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and investigated thoroughly, and you will be informed of the outcome.
Thank you for your interest.


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