What is Science Governance?

As a member of the Delta Science Program's Science Advisory Committe, I'm currently engaged in a planning process called the "Science Needs Assessment" (SNA).

CEPB on Black Lives Matter

The faculty, students, researchers, and staff of the UC Davis Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior stand in solidarity with the Black community. We condemn white supremacy, police brutality, and the politics of racism, fear, and hate. Black Lives Matter. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are the most recent illustrations of the systemic racism and injustice that permeate every aspect of our society--including academia.

Why Hamilton Matters for Polycentric Governance

Happy New Year 2020!  I went to San Francisco last weekend and saw the amazing musical Hamilton. You should definitely go!  I also spent half of Dec 31, 2019 editing a paper on the spread of conflict in polycentric governance systems, where we are particularly concerned about how conflict and cooperation within one policy forum may spread like a virus to other forums.  I think the idea of "seconds" in the duels performed in Hamilton, may help us think about conflict in polycentric systems, along with the role of "collaborative" governance.

Post-doc Position: Sea Level Rise Governance Networks

The UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy seeks a post-doctoral fellow in Governance Network Analysis and Climate Adaptation under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Lubell.  The position will be for one year residence with possible second year renewal depending on funding. The position will begin in January 2020, or as soon as possible after that time. Salary ranges from $50,760 to $59,100 annually depending on experience.

French Fries, Social Networks, and Climate Change

Did you know that french fries, climate change, and social networks are closely related? I just had to write about this fascinating story that I heard on NPR about potatoes in Idaho. "In all my years of raising potatoes and trying to squeeze in the harvest before the weather causes damage, this is the earliest we've seen a widespread frost of this magnitude," says the potato farmer being interviewed.

PG&E: Cause, or Symptom?

I woke up this morning in Davis, California to the sound of high winds and the taste of dry, brittle air. Neighboring communities in the Sierra foothills and various Western ranges are experiencing a planned power outage, as the investor-owned private utility PG&E shuts down their system in an attempt to avoid catastrophic wildfires like the Camp Fire.

Podcast: Environmental Justice and SGMA

Groundwater is a really important resource in California. It's depended on by many as a primary water source, and it's used as a backup water supply during droughts. Until recently, groundwater had no laws governing it's use. In 2014 California passed a set of laws to regulate the use of groundwater to help prevent overdraft. In this podcast, CEPB undergraduate researcher Evelyn Shu examines issues related to environmental justice in the context SGMA

Are Farmers Really Elk?

Bottom line: No, farmers are not elk. However, could they adapt to climate change like elk? A new study from UC Berkeley examined how annual elk migrations from valleys to the high country and back again are triggered by proximate environmental cues such as emergence of spring vegetation. Since climate change is shifting the timing and geography of those environmental cues, the researchers expect the elk to shift their ranges in order to adapt. These adaptive strategies can help the elk population keep up with climate change, although there will be ripple effects through the broader ecosystem given the importance of elk in the overall set of ecological interactions in places like Yellowstone National Park. Could farmers and agriculture follow a similar adaptive strategy?

Challenges and opportunities for integrating small and rural drinking water stakeholders in SGMA implementation

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is an historic opportunity to achieve long-term sustainable groundwater management and protect drinking water supplies for hundreds of small and rural low-income communities, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. Past research indicates that few of these communities are represented in the Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) formed to implement the new law. This raises questions about the extent such communities are involved in groundwater reform and potential concerns about how small and rural drinking-water interests are being incorporated into Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). Our new report summarizes results of interviews with more than thirty small (< 10,000 people), low-income community representatives in the San Joaquin Valley providing an important window into community perspectives on, and experiences with, SGMA implementation. How and why are communities involved with SGMA or not? What challenges and opportunities exist for increasing community involvement with SGMA implementation?

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Governance Conference: Research and Practice

The Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior and the Department of Water Resources organized a conference to connect researchers and practitioners working on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in California. The conference was held on February 6th, 2018 at the University of California Davis and assembled 55 social science researchers as well as practitioners from in and out of the state.

What do affiliates do? A round up of recent activity

CEPB has a number of affiliated faculty who make occasional appearances at lab meetings or contribute sporadically to the email listserve conversations.  It might be difficult to tell from those interactions with the lab alone, what it is that we do.  In response to that question, here's a short list of some of the issues that I and the other members of the Quantitative Biology & Epdemiology Lab have been working on this year.  These are all on-going projects.

Policy Brief: Citizen Perceptions of Sea-Level Rise


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.