Associate Research Professor


Contact Info

Institution: Desert Research Institute

Phone: (775) 673-7300

Address: 7010 Dandini Blvd, Reno, Nevada 89512, US


Research Disciplines

  • Forest Management

  • Ecosystem Services

  • Natural Resource Management

  • Water Resources

  • Community Planning

  • Conservation Planning

  • Economy

  • Environmental Policy

  • Landuse and Development

  • Modeling and Simulation

  • Political Science/Policy/Public Administration

  • Statistics

  • Sustainable Tourism

Research Interests

resilience; environmental governance; climate adaptation; climate change; interjurisdictional cooperation; socio-ecological systems; institutional design; river systems management; local governments climate adaptation; waste systems; extreme weather; institutional analysis; common pool resources; network theory; policy analysis; National Science Foundation (NSF); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); policy design; urban forestry; urban resilience; water resources




I’m currently an Associate Research Professor in the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences at the Desert Research Institute (DRI).  I hold a M.S. degree from the University of California at Davis and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Indiana University at Bloomington, with a focus on Environmental Policy.  I have over two decades of experience in the environmental field.  My research focuses on environmental governance – a broad interdisciplinary approach that examines how specific institutional structures interact with human behavior and community characteristics to lead to environmental outcomes.  My research draws from a variety of approaches to public policy analysis including institutional analysis, socioecological systems (SES), and theories of policy change.  I collaborate closely with practitioners and policymakers toward understanding how to improve decision making and environmental impacts.  Recent research has looked at urban heat mitigation strategies, the use of climate modeling in river systems management, local government climate adaptation networks, native climate adaptation and resilience planning, innovation in organic waste systems, scenario development for extreme weather events, and data sciences for community climate resilience.  I currently serve as an external advisor for the Department of Homeland Security’s Resilient Infrastructure Planning and Development Working Group (RIPDWG), and have served on the Professional Education Advisory Committee for the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), as subject matter expert for American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange assisting community planners with climate adaptation and resiliency, as well as have advised on tribal and local government climate adaptation planning efforts.  I am the recipient of numerous teaching and mentoring awards.  I have been fortunate to received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), among others.  I teach courses on resilience theory and practice; environmental policy; climate change policy; science, technology and innovation policy; and policy analysis.


  • 2005, Ph.D., Public Policy, Indiana University, Bloomington. Minor: Global Environmental Change. Fields of Specialization: Environmental Policy, Public Policy, Comparative Politics.
  • 1999, ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
  • 1997, M.S., International Agricultural Development, University of California, Davis.
  • 1991, B.A., Anthropology, University of California, Davis.