Riley Dunlap's empirical research has three major foci: (1) Environmental concern, including trends in public opinion on environmental issues; cross-national comparisons of citizen concern for the environment; and the nature and sources of environmental attitudes, beliefs and worldviews; (2) The environmental movement, including the evolution and current status of American environmentalism, public support for the environmental movement, and the development of international environmentalism; (3) Anti-environmentalism, particularly anti-environmentalists' sources of support, ideology and tactics. In addition to his empirical work, Dr. Dunlap regularly writes assessments of theoretical developments in the field of environmental sociology.
Besides co-editing the Handbook of Environmental Sociology (Greenwood Press, 2002) and Sociological Theory and the Environment (Rowman-Littlefield, 2002), Dr. Dunlap has served as President of the International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Environment and Society and as Chair of the American Sociological Association's Section on Environment and Technology, the Rural Sociological Society's Natural Resources Research Group, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems' Division on Environment and Technology.
Dr. Dunlap was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advacement of Science in 2000, and received the "Excellence in Research Award" from the Rural Sociological Society in 2002. In the 1980s he was recipient of an "Award of Merit" from the Rural Sociological Society's Natural Resources Research Group and the "Distinguished Contribution Award" from the American Sociological Association's Section on Environmental Sociology. Since 1999 he has served as Gallup Scholar in Environment for the Gallup Organization.