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Active

We are exploring the institutional and social factors involved with the adoption and diffusion or innovative grazing practices. This is in collaboration with rangeland ecologists who will use an experimental rangeland to measure changes in ecosystem services under different grazing strategies. Survey data will be collected from California and Wyoming ranchers to understand the factors influencing adaptive decision-making.

This project examines farmer decision-making in the context of disease management, including the influences of policy, learning, cooperation, economic factors, and individual characteristics. We are using semi-structured interviews, quantitative surveys, and behavioral experiments to better understand farmer decision-making with respect to the adoption of preventative disease-management practices in wood-canker diseases of grape, pistachio, and almond. The research is in collaboration with plant scientists developing new diagnostic tools and disease-resistant cultivars as well as economists modeling the long-term costs and benefits of the adoption of preventative management practices.

This project examines agriculture and climate change with a focus on both mitigation and adaptation. In particular, we are looking at the variables that influence farmer and agricultural industry adoption of climate change mitigation and adaptation practices. Multiple factors will affect the adoption and innovation of practices in agriculture for mitigation and adaptation to climate change including information sources, climate change perceptions, policy structures, land management strategies, and economic and market drivers. As well, we are examining the effectiveness of a variety of climate change mitigation policies including cap and trade, mandatory regulations and voluntary carbon offset markets in agriculture. This research will inform policy and program design to promote higher levels of participation within the agricultural sector and provide land managers with climate change information and an opportunity for their perspectives to be heard.

Current research is examining climate change impacts and adaptation in Hawke's Bay and Marlborough New Zealand along with a focus on the emissions trading scheme in New Zealand. This project is in conjunction with AgResearch, the largest Crown Research Institute in New Zealand. In Yolo County our multidisciplinary climate change project is assessing farmer adoption of climate change mitigation and adaptation techniques in agriculture and seeking to understand future climate change concerns and perspectives.

This project focuses on the evolution of stakeholder cooperation in the context of collaborative environmental policy in several different settings. Collaborative policy settings studied included the National Estuary Program, Integrated Regional Water Management, and regional land-use and transportation planning.

ESRA is a consulting business specializes in designing, delivering, and analyzing surveys related to environmental policy and decision-making. We conduct online/Internet and mail-based surveys, but can also help design and contract for telephone surveys. We also provide social network analysis services for environmental policy, as well as business management applications. Please contact us for a quote.

The overarching goal of this proposal is to understand the structure and dynamics of sustainable agriculture knowledge networks in California. We will analyze these networks using survey methods, cognitive maps, and computational social science. In addition to answering basic research questions, we will develop best management practices for using network concepts in agricultural education and outreach programs.

This research analyzes the interaction among policy actors as they seek solutions to to complex policy problems in multiple "governance" games. We study the local ecology of games in the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta (CA), Tampa Bay (FL), and the Parana Delta of Argentina. The research involves surveys of policy stakeholders and statistical models of policy networks. We hope to understand the factors associated with cooperation, adaptive capacity, and resilience in these complex systems.

Integrated Regional Water Management Planning (IRWMP) in California is the product of a state funded grant program, which requires diverse water management interests to participate in the collaborative development of regional water management plans in order to qualify for grant funding. Broadly, our study of IRWMP in the San Francisco Bay Area seeks to identify factors that contribute to success in collaborative, multi-stakeholder planning processes.

This is an umbrella project for several different research efforts focused on the adoption and implementation of local government environmental policies. A central theoretical focus of this project is how local government institutions such as the structure of city councils and the mayor/city manager office mediates the influence of interest groups on policy decisions. We are also interested in how the environmental and energy policies we study are connected to the broader of idea of sustainability.

The project seeks to improve understanding of the role of institutions in developing adaptive capacity to the near-term effects of climate change in the Lake Victoria region of East Africa. Key adaptive capacity issues in the Lake Victoria region include disruptions to agricultural productivity, altered flood regimes, threats to the viability of fisheries, and shifts in plant and animal habitat suitability. Within the past few decades, numerous collaborative institutions have emerged to help address these adaptive capacity issues. Our study of how these institutions contribute to policy making and policy implementation draws upon recent applications of game theory to test predictions about organizational behavior within institutional networks, as well as resilience theory to test predictions about the role of institutional arrangements in creating and maintaining adaptive capacity.

This projects investigates the role of social networks and social influence in travel behavior. Sustainable transportation programs may benefit from the incorporation of social influence through knowledge sharing, establishment of behavioral norms and peer-to-peer participation recruitment. The next phase of this ongoing resaerch will involve evaluation of social influence as a tool in pilot sustainable transportation programs.

The goal of the study is to understand how local agricultural sustainability programs, also known as "partnerships," in three American Viticultural Associations (Lodi, Napa Valley, San Luis Obispo) influence growers' social networks and adoption of sustainable agriculture practices. The primary research task is a grower survey that asks about practice adoption and program participation; we are also conducting a survey of outreach advisers such as extension advisers and viticultural consultants throughout the state.

These projects investigate water governance strategies in developing countries, mostly in Latin America. The studies examine the influence of policies and institutions that promote government decentralization and local water management on water sustainability, social equity and economic efficiency. These projects employ a mixed-methods approach to research that includes survey research, interviews, case study analysis, mapping, participatory research, among others. Current projects are located in Northern Baja California, Mexico, El Salvador and Ecuador.

We conduct experiments in multi-generational social dilemmas in which we examine the transmission of individual behaviors within and among groups of experimental participants. These experiments allow us to observe the cultural evolution of cooperation over time, including the roles of institutions, communication, and social learning. We conduct computerized experiments in a lab at UC Davis as well as online experiments using Mechanical Turk.

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