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.

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_field_user.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_area::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_area.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_area_text::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_area_text.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_query::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_query.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_argument_validate::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /opt/drupal6/environmentalpolicy.ucdavis.edu/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_argument_validate.inc on line 0.

Policy Brief: Citizen Perceptions of Sea-Level Rise

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 07 September 2017

Introduction

Our new policy brief reports some initial results from a household survey of SF Bay residents regarding their perceptions of sea-level rise and floodrisks, as it relates to various types of political behavior such as voting for Measure AA. 

Issue

Small, self-sufficient water systems continue to battle a hidden drought

By Amanda Fencl - Posted on 07 August 2017

[cross posted from the CA Water Blog

By Amanda Fencl, Meghan Klasic

California’s drought appears over, at least above ground. As of April 2017, reservoirs were around 2 million acre feet above normal with record breaking snowpack . This is great news for the 75% of Californians that get their drinking water from large, urban surface water suppliers. Groundwater, however, takes longer to recharge and replenish. What does this mean for the more than 2,000 small community water systems and hundreds of thousands of private well-reliant households that rely on groundwater?

Small water systems are defined in our study as those have fewer than 3,000 connections, i.e. those that are not required to file an Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP). A large proportion of small systems serve low-income communities in rural areas. These communities are burdened with high unemployment, crime, and pollution, and their water systems typically have lower technical, managerial, and financial capacity for operations. Of the approximately 13 million people living within disadvantaged communities (DAC), nearly 2 million get their drinking water from a small system. These low-income communities are disproportionately exposed to contaminated drinking water, usually from small systems that struggle to comply with regulations.

These same small systems were hit hard by the drought, and in many cases are the least prepared. The state knew this headed into the drought: “California also has small, rural water companies or districts with virtually no capacity to respond to drought or other emergencies [… a portion of the small systems]  in the state face running dry in the second or third year of a drought” (p.56, emphasis added). In contrast, urban drinking water suppliers (larger systems) are required to have a water shortage contingency plans (Shortage Plan) since the passage of the Urban Water Management Act in 1983. Aside from lower reservoir levels and toxic algal blooms, the majority of large surface water suppliers weathered the recent drought (2012-2016) without supply disruptions or other negative impacts to their customers. A 2015 survey distributed by the UC Davis Policy Institute shows that more large systems (89%) have written drought contingency plans (Plan) than small systems (63%) (manuscript in prep). When asked whether their Plan was sufficient to mitigate the drought’s impacts on water supply, 22% of large and 28% of small system respondents said it was not sufficient or only somewhat sufficient, which begs the question of how can these be improved before the next drought? 

The Governance Gap: New Report on Adapting to Sea-Level Rise in SF Bay

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 27 June 2017

As part of our NSF project on sea-level rise adaptation, I am very happy to officially release the final version of our report on governance challenges in the SF Bay Area.  This report summarizes the results of an extensive study of governance for climate adaptation and sea-level rise in the SF Bay Area, where the concept of sea-level rise adaptation also includes coastal flooding from high tides and extreme storm events. We focus on the “governance gap” that exists between the problem of sea-level rise and the implementation of adaptation solutions that increase resilience. The governance analysis was conducted in Fall 2016-Winter 2017, and is based on a qualitative case study that combines in-person interviews, focus groups, document analysis, and content analysis of interview responses. The draft report was made available to study participants in Spring 2017, along with two webinars for receiving feedback.

Mark Lubell joins Insight to discuss California's Response to US Paris Climate Agreement Exit

By Carlos Barahona - Posted on 02 June 2017

Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior director Mark Lubell joins Capital Public Radio's Insight with analysis and projections on California’s future actions.

Segment Miniplayer

California’s Response To The U.S. Exiting The Paris Climate Agreement

Polycentric Governance: A Concept Searching for a Theory

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 13 April 2017

I have just returned from the 2017 meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, where David Konisky kindly provided comments on our paper led by Jack Mewhirter (you can find the paper on the MPSA paper repository, which sadly is gated….), which demonstrated the existence of “negative institutional externalities” in the context of polycentric governance institutions. Negative institutional externalities occur when decisions made in one policy venue negatively affect outcomes in other policy venues. David commented that the existence of negative institutional externalities is a challenge to the normative assumption that polycentric governance is a superior governance arrangement to other types of “monocentric” or centralized approaches—how could this normative assumption be correct if introducing new venues has negative effects on the system?

Trump’s Silver Lining: Make Environmental Infrastructure Great Again?

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 02 January 2017

There are many reasons to be dismayed about the outlook for environmental policy under the Trump administration. His potential appointees to the Environmental Protection Agency, and Departments of Agriculture, Interior, and Energy not exactly environmental advocates. These political appointees will lead efforts to roll back many of the environmental initiatives of the Obama administration, although they may encounter resistance from career civil servants in management positions. Trump does not recognize the validity of climate science, or even “science” writ large, despite substantial research about the economic costs resulting from human damage to the environment. Overall, the Trump administration offers a gloomy forecast that will once again force the environmental community to play political defense.

How much reductionism?

By Neil McRoberts - Posted on 07 November 2016

The question of being pro- or anti-reductionist came up briefly in a recent lab meeting.  This is a re-hash of a piece I wrote a few years ago in response to a research funding allocation question that touches on that subject.  It relates to a question that was being posed by the government Agriculture/Environment department which supported much of the work I did back then.  The specific example is in the context of designing a science program to address a policy question, but I think the method may be useful at the start of the design process for any new program of research.

Tidyverse Tutorial

By Michael Levy - Posted on 17 October 2016

Last week, I gave an overview of bunch of tidyverse packages (tibble, dplyr, tidyr, ggplot, readr, purrr) to the Davis R-Users’ Group. Here is that talk (and since videos don’t display everywhere this blog is syndicated, here is the YouTube link).

I mention early in the talk that the github_markdown specification in the YAML header produces a conveniently GitHub-renderable markdown file – here that is if you’d like to follow along, or you can download the rendered R Notebook (nb.html) file, which itself includes the R Markdown file (Awesome! In the upper right of the html file, click “Code” -> “Download Rmd”).

An Ode to the Benefits of Messy Environmental Policy

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 08 September 2016

Ramiro Berardo and I recently published a new article on the structure of polycentric and complex governance systems for water management (sorry for the gated links…but see key figure inserted in this blog, where policy actors are circles, venues squares, and links represent participation).  We have been working on this project for a number of years, driven by the reality that most environmental governance arrangements involve many different actors participating in multiple policy venues, and working on interrelated problems.  Fortunately, veteran California environmental policy-maker Phil Isenberg was kind enough to provide a commentary on the article.  Among Phil’s comments are, “For those of us with some responsibility for making decisions on water and the environment and hoping to 'do good'

useR! talk on teaching R

By Michael Levy - Posted on 05 July 2016

Here is a video recording of my talk from useR! 2016 on teaching R. It’s nominally about teaching a lot of students in an intensive format, but I think almost everything translates to traditional classes. If for whatever reason this video isn’t working out for you, here is the source.

This talk was just one in a great session. I’d highly recommend:

Syndicate content