Amy K Wolfe

Society, Energy, and Environment Group Leader

Amy’s work emphasizes social, institutional, and behavioral aspects of a wide array of society-technology interactions. She has studied many facets of these types of interactions for varied technologies and issues over the course of her over 30-year career at ORNL. Current examples include a multi-national laboratory activity focusing on behavioral and institutional change to achieve lasting energy and resilience goals; a collaborative effort to reduce operational fuel consumption among warfighters in the Marine Corps and Army through behavior change; and a social and institutional analysis biosafety policies, perspectives, and practices associated with synthetic biology R&D. Past work includes such topics as societal implications of emerging nanoscale and bio-technologies; acceptability of remediation and energy-saving technologies; decision making processes for contentious environmental and technological issues; risk perceptions, communication, management, and decision-making; and linkages between the products of science and technology R&D and their intended users. Virtually all of her work is collaborative and interdisciplinary. Wolfe has Masters in Regional Planning and doctorate in Anthropology degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.


Awardee, Knoxville YWCA Tribute to Women, Science and Technology (2002)
Corporate Nominee, Knoxville YWCA Tribute to Women, Science and Technology (2001, 2002)
DOE Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee, Natural and Accelerated Bioremediation Research Subcommittee, member (2000–2002)
Society for Applied Anthropology, Environmental Anthropology Project, advisory committee member (2000–2002)
Award of Merit for Technical Publications (Informational Material), East Tennessee Chapter, Society for Technical Communication (2000, 2001)
Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, E. TN Chap., Assn. for Women in Science 1996 Elective offices:
- American Anthropological Assn., Nominations Committee 2000–2003
- Society for Applied Anthropology, Secretary 1996–1999
- Soc. for Applied Anthropology, Nominations & Elections (Chair, 2004–06, 1995–96) 2004–2006; 1994–1996
- East Tennessee Chapter, Society for Risk Analysis, Secretary 1991