My research program consists of several projects that are in various stages and are centered around the question of how individuals and organizations make natural resource decisions within the context of social-ecological change.  In terms of topical areas, my lab currently works on a variety of issues, both in the U.S. and internationally, including climate change adaptation, forest management and conservation, smallholder farming and livelihood, water governance and conservation, and payments for ecosystem services.


Ongoing Projects

Synergies and tradeoffs between conservation and development

  • National Science Foundation, Geography and Spatial Sciences Program (2017-2019). PI. Co-producing environmental conservation and social equity: Is conditionality in Payments for Ecosystem Services a necessity or impediment?
  • Purdue University, Clifford B. Kinley Trust. (2017-2018). PI. Reconsidering conditionality in Payments for Ecosystem Services: Implications for human condition and social equity.
  • The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017-2019). Co-PI (PI: Linda Lee). Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in Kabul and Swat Rivers and their impact on fish populations and rural community livelihoods.

Human dimensions of invasive plant management in forest ecosystems

  • Purdue University, Center for the Environment (2017-2018). PI. Integrating psychological insights to mitigate nonnative plant invasions.
  • USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station (2015-2018). PI. Awareness, attitudes, and behaviors of family forest owners towards invasive forest plants: implications for prevention and control strategies in the Northern Forests.

Water governance and adaptation

  • Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program (2016-2018). PI. Combining societal acceptance and biophysical drivers of conservation practices to improve water quality in multi-use landscapes.
  • Adaptive water management decision making in the arid and semi-arid western U.S. (collaboration with Morey Burnham at Idaho State University)
  • Universidad Nacional de San Agustín de Arequipa (UNSA). (2018-2020). PI. UNSA NEXUS: Equitable Co-existence of Agriculture, Mining, and Regional Development in Arequipa: Realities, Barriers, and Opportunities.
  • Universidad Nacional de San Agustín de Arequipa (UNSA). (2018-2020). Co-I (PI: Laura Bowling). UNSA NEXUS: A Framework for Sustainable Water Management in the Arequipa Region.


Past Projects

  • USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (2015-2017). Co-PI (PI: Kevin Gibson). Infrastructure, access, and community: A plan to support beginning farmers in Indiana.
  • USDA Forest Service, Sustainable Operations (2015-2020). PI. Factors motivating sustainable behaviors within the USDA Forest Service.
  • USDA Forest Service employees’ views on forest management in a changing climate
  • The human and policy dimensions of carbon sequestration and soil management on private rangelands in Utah
  • The coupled human (rancher) and large carnivore (wolf) systems in the western United States
  • Effects of federal, state, and local taxes on family forest owners
  • Incorporating cumulative impact assessment into state environmental review processes in the United States
  • State environmental review policy frameworks in the United States