Message from the Director, Mark Lubell
The mission of the Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior (CEPB) is scientific analysis of the interactions among policy institutions, human behavior, and political decisions in the context of environmental and natural resource conflicts. Through developing and testing theoretical models from social science, CEPB seeks to derive practical lessons that can be used to improve environmental policy.
Most professors don’t post audio recordings of lectures online, despite the technical obstacles and time cost to doing so being near zero. That’s a shame. Listening to recorded lectures has tremendous flexibility that in-person lectures lack and, based on my experience, can significantly boost student efficiency and learning gains. The following is a sample of benefits I’ve noticed while taking an upper-division undergraduate evolutionary biology course entirely through audio recordings and pdf’s of lecture slides.
Benefits of listening to recorded lecturers versus attending class:
- It’s more efficient. Using Window Media Player’s playback speed slider, I can listen at 1.4 – 1.8x the original speed. This allows me to go through an 80 minute lecture in 55-65 minutes
- Do it at my convenience
It was great to connect with Bob Bertsch today, from North Dakota State University. He is a communications specialist who runs a podcast called "Working Differently in Extension". We had a conversation about the idea of Extension 3.0, and how it relates to the traditional model of Cooperative Extension. It was very interesting to hear how he is thinking about some of the same ideas, and facing some of the same challenges in forwarding the idea. Click here for a direct link to the podcast.
What kinds of vineyards are getting certified as sustainable? How do farmers learn about sustainability certifications? And if farmers aren't getting paid more for certified grapes, what are the motivations? All this and more in our latest policy brief on sustainable viticulture.
We just completed a paper on Extension 3.0 that will be submitted to the journal Society and Natural Resources. We are officially circulating the pre-publication as a CEPB white paper (see attachment). Here is the abstract:
I just returned from a nice junket to beautiful (at least in the fall…) Maine where I gave talks at Bowdoin College and University of Maine. Both institutions were impressive for different reasons, and I met a lot of fun people. The Q&A periods of the talks highlighted three important and hard questions about network science that all of us should think about how to answer.
Would this grocery cart, outfitted with a reflection of your face, make you buy more produce? Recent research suggests it would.
We are remarkably social creatures, evolutionarily tuned to our local environments to an extent we rarely appreciate. Change someone’s environment, you changed their behavior.
Policies that ignore the nuances of human psychology, that assume Homo sapiens and Homo economicus are roughly the same beast, will never reach their hoped-for level of impact.
On the other hand, policy makers who engage with behavioral science will find low-cost, low-opposition measures that are often jaw-droppingly effective.
It is nice to have the Center's research reach a broader audience. In this case, the research on climate change and agriculture headed by Meredith Niles. Check out the Capital Public Radio interview
Lines up to four hours. Piles of garbage and human waste. Dead bodies by the side of the route. Fights between climbing groups. Welcome to Mt. Everest in 2013, and a tragedy of the commons at the top of the world.
A recent article by National Geographic highlights the increasing crowds and environmental problems on Everest. I've never climbed Everest(and don't plan to...), and I'm betting that Elinor Ostrom and Garret Hardin have not climbed there either. But Everest highlights core issues in environmental governance that they would surely recognize.
Two recent media articles have highlighted the climate change and agriculture project in New Zealand. Today the New Zealand Dominion Post- a Wellington, policy-oriented newspaper, published an article titled, "Rules Worry More than Droughts-Study", highlighting survey results from the Hawke's Bay and Marlborough New Zealand studies. The research found, in part, that New Zealand farmers, just like California farmers, are most concerned about climate related risks from government regulations and economic impacts than biophysical impacts related to water and temperature. Yesterday, Radio New Zealand ran a radio interview with Meredith Niles, the PhD student conducting the research study.
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ruralnews/audio/2557676/mid... (Interview begins at 2:20)
New Policy Briefs Highlight Existing and Future Farmer Practices to Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change
Today the Center is pleased to release two new policy briefs from the Agriculture and Climate Change Project. The briefs focus on understanding the climate change adaptation and mitigation practices that farmers in New Zealand have already adopted and are likely to adopt in the future. The data comes from a series of interviews and a telephone survey conducted in Hawke's Bay and Marlborough, New Zealand in the Autumn of 2012.