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.
Iowa Public Radio recently published a short article exploring how Lodi winegrape growers are perceiving and adapting to climate change. This article is part of a larger series on climate change in California agriculture. Aaron Lange, a fifth generation Lodi winegrape grower who serves as an adviser to our Center's sustainable viticulture research project was one of the growers interviewed. The article can be viewed here: http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/1066/could-climate-change-warm-you...
Today for lab meeting the CEPB crew is reading Orjan Bodin and Maria Tengo's excellent new paper "Disentangling Intangible Social-Ecological Systems". These two scholars have been international leaders in developing theoretical and empirical approaches to studying social-ecological systems (SES). In my opinion, the concept of SES is one of the most important ideas for furthering our understanding of environmental governance and policy, and how social decisions link to environmental outcomes.
In 2011, the Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior's viticulture research team, which includes Mark Lubell, Vicken Hillis, and Matthew Hoffman, designed and administerd the third installment of the Lodi Winegrape Grower Survey. Lodi's regional grower organization, the Lodi Winegrape Commission, has a long history of advancing agriculture in the Lodi winegrape region. Over the years the LWC's policies and programs have evolved in response to the ever-changing economic, environmental, political, and social climate of California agriculture. In short, the LWC was worked hard to support the changing needs of Lodi growers. The 1998 and 2003 winegrape grower surveys played important roles in guiding this evolution by providing a scientific and empirical basis for evaluating outreach and education programs, identifying grower needs, understanding grower perceptions and opinions, and tracking grower adoption of innovative agricultural practices.
CEPB researchers and colleagues have released a new research brief--"Rancher Attitudes and Participation in Conservation Easements in California"--as part of ongoing work on a USDA-funded project on grazing management and ecosystem services.
Data were collected from a survey of 475 ranchers in California. The research brief casts doubt on the stereotype that a strong property rights orientation is a barrier to conservation easements. Although ranchers expressed a strong commitment to private property rights, these attitudes had no significant relationship to the likelihood of currently holding a conservation easement, or planning to in the future. In contrast, positive views about government’s role in conservation significantly increase rates of current and future planned participation.
SureHarvest has announced three tiers of job openings. These are exciting opportunities for students and seasoned professionals with experience in the agrifood sector. Below is SureHarvest's job announcement and web-links to applications.
SureHarvest job announcement: http://www.sureharvest.com/career.php
Not everybody reads university sponsored blogs. So I've opened a public blogosphere version of CEPB. We'll see how this works!
Today at the Center we are pleased to announce the release of two new research and policy briefs for the climate change and agriculture project. Based on the results of a survey with farmers in Yolo County, California, these briefs discuss farmer perspectives of climate change adaptation and mitigation, adoption of practices to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and future concerns related to climate change. The first brief on farmers’ climate change attitudes highlights farmer perspectives on climate change including their belief in climate change, the risks and opportunities it presents, and whether humans are causing climate change. Some of the key findings include:
• A slight majority of farmers agree (54%) that the global climate is changing. Fewer agree that global temperatures are increasing (38%) and that human activities are an important cause of climate change (35%).
Well, I'm stuck on a 7 hour layover at the Houston airport, en route back to California after giving talks on water governance at both Duke and University of Michigan. Both of these were very fun visits. So, after reviewing an interesting paper on IRWM in Southern California, I was browsing Aquafornia and came upon a story for this really interesting survey conducted by Probolsky Associates, I think paid for by the Southern California Water Committee.
Spread the word! The UC Davis Graduate School of Management and the Department of Viticulture and Enology are hosting the 12th annual Wine Executive Program. The program is geared to help wine industry professionals of all types looking to boost their wine business skills and fortify their professional network. Complete details abut the program and registration can be found at www.wineexecutiveprogram.com.
The CEPB's research team is preparing to launch our Lodi Winery Survey. Lodi is one of California's wine regions and is located in the northern Central Valley. A version of this survey will be delivered to winery managers in other regions later this winter. The survey will ask about winery managers' perspectives on winery sustainability practices, regional and state outreach and education programs, and the usefulness of various information resources. The results of this survey will be used by various vintner organizations to better serve the sustainability needs of California wineries. This is the winery version of our three grower surveys, which we have been reporting on in previous blog postings. Together, our grower and winery surveys take a systems perspective on sustainability practice adoption in the California viticulture and wine industry. We ask that our colleagues support us in survey promotion.