NATALIE HERBERT is a Research Scientist in the Department of Earth Systems Science at the Doerr School of Sustainability. Her research investigates decision-making in the face of environmental risk. She completed her Ph.D. in 2020 at the Annenberg School for Communication, where she researched health and science communication with a focus on communicating scientific uncertainty. Natalie was a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • PhD, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, Communication (2020)
  • MA, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, Communication
  • BA, University of California, Los Angeles, Political Science

All Publications

  • Descriptive social norms, social support, and behavioral response to climate-related and co-occurring health hazards JOURNAL OF RISK RESEARCH Santana, F. N., Herbert, N., Wong-Parodi, G. 2024
  • Improving adaptation to wildfire smoke and extreme heat in frontline communities: evidence from a community-engaged pilot study in the San Francisco Bay Area ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS Herbert, N., Beckman, C., Cannedy, C., Cao, J., Cho, S., Fischer, S., Huang, S., Kramer, S. J., Lopez, O., Lopez, S., Ouyang, D., Suckale, J., Wulf-Saena, V., Zhang, Z., Wong-Parodi, G. 2023; 18 (7)
  • Leveraging immersive technology to expand access to opioid overdose reversal training in community settings: Results from a randomized controlled equivalence trial DRUG AND ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE Herbert, N., Axson, S., Siegel, L., Cassidy, K., Hoyt-Brennan, A., Whitney, C., Herens, A., Giordano, N. A. 2020; 214: 108160


    Immersive video (e.g. virtual reality) poses a promising and engaging alternative to standard in-person trainings and can potentially increase access to evidence-based opioid overdose prevention programs (OOPPs). Therefore, the objective of this equivalence study was to test whether the immersive video OOPP was equivalent to a standard in-person OOPP for changes in opioid overdose knowledge and attitudes.A team of nurses and communication researchers developed a 9-minute immersive video OOPP. To test whether this immersive video OOPP (treatment) demonstrated equivalent gains in opioid overdose response knowledge and attitudes as in-person OOPPs (standard of care control), researchers deployed a two-day field experiment in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. In this equivalence trial, 9 libraries were randomly assigned to offer treatment or control OOPP to community members attending naloxone giveaway events. In this equivalence design, a difference between treatment and control groups pre- to post-training scores within -1.0 to 1.0 supports equivalence between the trainings.Results demonstrate participants (N = 94) exposed to the immersive video OOPP had equivalent improvements on posttest knowledge (β=-0.18, p = .61) and more favorable attitudes about responding to an opioid overdose (β=0.26, p = .02) than those exposed to the standard OOPP. However, these minor differences in knowledge and attitudes were within the equivalence interval indicating that the immersive video OOPP remained equivalently effective for community members.Community partnerships, like those between public health departments and libraries, can provide opportunities for deploying novel immersive video OOPP that, alongside standard offerings, can strengthen community response to the opioid crisis.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108160

    View details for Web of Science ID 000558768100022

    View details for PubMedID 32653721

  • The role of information avoidance in managing uncertainty from conflicting recommendations about electronic cigarettes Communication Monographs Yang, Q., Herbert, N., Yang, S., Alber, J., Ophir, Y., Cappella, J. N. 2020
  • Support or competition? How online social networks increase physical activity: A randomized controlled trial. Preventive medicine reports Zhang, J., Brackbill, D., Yang, S., Becker, J., Herbert, N., Centola, D. 2016; 4: 453-8


    To identify what features of online social networks can increase physical activity, we conducted a 4-arm randomized controlled trial in 2014 in Philadelphia, PA. Students (n = 790, mean age = 25.2) at an university were randomly assigned to one of four conditions composed of either supportive or competitive relationships and either with individual or team incentives for attending exercise classes. The social comparison condition placed participants into 6-person competitive networks with individual incentives. The social support condition placed participants into 6-person teams with team incentives. The combined condition with both supportive and competitive relationships placed participants into 6-person teams, where participants could compare their team's performance to 5 other teams' performances. The control condition only allowed participants to attend classes with individual incentives. Rewards were based on the total number of classes attended by an individual, or the average number of classes attended by the members of a team. The outcome was the number of classes that participants attended. Data were analyzed using multilevel models in 2014. The mean attendance numbers per week were 35.7, 38.5, 20.3, and 16.8 in the social comparison, the combined, the control, and the social support conditions. Attendance numbers were 90% higher in the social comparison and the combined conditions (mean = 1.9, SE = 0.2) in contrast to the two conditions without comparison (mean = 1.0, SE = 0.2) (p = 0.003). Social comparison was more effective for increasing physical activity than social support and its effects did not depend on individual or team incentives.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.08.008

    View details for PubMedID 27617191

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5008041