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Pat Mulroy Exit Interview: Can a Water Warrior Learn to Cooperate?

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 04 February 2014

For over 20 years, Pat Mulroy has been the general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, with responsibility for securing the water supplies for the Las Vegas metropolitan region. Over that time, she earned a reputation as a savvy and tough character in water politics, where she has been involved in many of the biggest issues at the local, state, regional, and federal levels. She is retiring from her position on Thursday, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal posted an interesting exit interview. There are some real gems in this interview, which I think are worth further elaboration.

Why we need to advertise for environmental science and policy

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 09 January 2014

We just had the great opportunity to place an advertisement for the Department of Environmental Science and Policy into my favorite newspaper, High Country News. The picture on this blog is the actual advertisement. Although we made a couple of mistakes getting it together, it was fun to work on a deadline with an organization where getting something done means getting it done, right now!

Extension 3.0 is Spreading!

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 21 November 2013

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.

Extension 3.0 White Paper: Ag. Extension Should Capitalize on Knowledge Networks

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 14 October 2013

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:

Three Hard Questions about Network Science

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 20 September 2013

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.

Farmers and Climate Change Policy

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 11 September 2013

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
here
.

Governing Everest: Tragedy of the Commons at the Top of the World

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 19 June 2013

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.

Climate Smart Agriculture: Lessons from a Six-Year Old Kid

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 20 March 2013

We're in the middle of the climate-smart agriculture conference here at UC Davis, which is the third of a series of international conferences focused on how agriculture will adapt to climate change. I have met fascinating people from all over the world involved in important research and on-the-ground actions. It has been gratifying to see lots of people mentioning the importance of social science analysis of decision-making, policy and governance. In the spirit of the conference, I thought I might ask my six-year old son about water and farming. The conversation was enlightening to some of the themes of the conference:

Me: If you were a farmer growing crops with rain, what would you do if the rain stopped?

Son: I would take a bunch of watering cans and fill them up and use them on the plants.

Me: Where would you get the water for the watering cans?

How Should We Spend Our Climate Dollar?

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 08 March 2013

How should we spend our climate dollar: mitigation or adaptation?

Well, the climate change bad news continues to roll in. The Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii has recorded another large rise in CO2 emissions, raising the total to 395ppm. A new peer reviewed analysis suggests that Annex I countries (the developed countries who are party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change)would have to reduce their emissions levels to 50% below 1990 levels by 2020, to have a medium chance to keep warming at only 2 degrees centigrade.

From Brains to Cows: Hooves on the Ground at Sierra Foothills Research and Extension Center

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 06 November 2012

Great news from Ken Tate and the crew at SFREC today: the stocker cows have arrived and are starting to be placed into various experimental grazing treatments. Now you might ask, "What does this have to do with environmental policy?" The overarching goal of the rangeland management project is to understand how ecosystem services are integrated into rangeland decision-making. This is a key goal of environmental and agricultural policy throughout California and nationally, and is supported by USDA programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and CA policies like the Williamson Act. Like most other agricultural policies, these policies provide ranchers incentives to implement rangeland management practices and grazing strategies that enhance ecosystem services.

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