Jess Rudnick

profile picture of rudnick


I am a fifth year PhD Candidate in the Graduate Group in Ecology.  My research interests focus around the human dimension of agricultural-environmental issues. For my dissertation work in California, I have been closely studying farmer decision-making on nitrogen management for its importance to water quality, soil health and greenhouse gas emissions. Through surveys, interviews, participant observations, and thorough stakeholder involvement in the research process, I am investigating pathways to more sustainable nitrogen and water management in our complex farming landscape. Beyond this work, I am also interested in global smallholder agricultural systems and their climate change adaptation strategies, urban greening and food justice movements, and transformative farming futures.  I am passionate about science communication, scientist engagement with public policy, and expanding equitable access and opportunity to science education, from youth to higher ed. Prior to coming to UC Davis, I received my bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis and worked with community development organizations on urban farming projects in St. Louis, Missouri.