Matt Davis, PhD

Matt began teaching full-time at Dominican in 1994. His doctoral training was in social ecology, an interdisciplinary concentration combining research from the social sciences with expertise in the geological forces that create earthquakes and volcanoes and his dissertation focused on earthquake preparedness in southern California. In 2003 he conducted the first study of public perceptions of risk from volcanic hazards at both Mt. Vesuvius and Mt. Etna in Italy and has been involved in more in-depth, follow-up studies of residents of metropolitan Naples and the nearby Campi Flegrei.

Matt has also completed research on public awareness of and response to tsunami hazards in Northern California, as well as a study of public perceptions of risk for volcanic hazards at Mt. Rainier, Washington in collaboration with colleagues from GNS Science, New Zealand. Most recently, he completed two studies evaluating the psychological impact of participation in the Get Ready Marin and Marin County CERT disaster preparedness programs.


University of California Irvine, PhD, Social Ecology
College of William & Mary, MA, Experimental Psychology
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, BA, Psychology 

Research Interests

Matt is interested in how people view their risk from natural hazards, how these perceptions relate to disaster preparedness, and how to motivate at-risk populations to prepare.

Matt has also conducted research on tolerance for differing political attitudes and is interested in the topics of social influence, media psychology, and the psychology of travel.

Contact Information