Jason ''Jake'' Hawes

Jason ''Jake'' Hawes Profile Picture
Home Department:
Forestry & Natural Resources

Mentor / Lab:
Zhao Ma

Specific Research Area / Project:
Natural Resources Social Science - Resilient Coupled Natural-Human Systems

Undergraduate Institution:
Purdue University
Lab / Personal work-related websites:
Personal Website

Research Profile:

Broadly, my research is focused on understanding resilience in social-ecological-technological systems. During my time in the ESE program, I've worked with a tremendously diverse group of faculty that have given me the opportunity to pursue research in a variety of disciplines. While side projects have allowed me to dive into fields from resilience engineering to service learning, my thesis research is focused on agricultural adaptation to water scarcity in the American West. In other words, what we want to know is, "How do farmers change their practices when there's less water available for irrigation?" Specifically, my work with Dr. Ma and collaborators in Idaho seeks to apply a multi-methods approach to understanding farmers' responses and decision making related to a new policy enforcing water use cuts throughout the Eastern Snake agricultural basin. To do this, we are employing interviews, surveys of farmers, and computer simulation in the form of agent-based modeling. This multi-methods approach is allowing us to paint a more complete picture of adaptation to water scarcity in the basin. We believe that this work will enhance the collective understanding of agricultural adaptation to water scarcity, a process that will be fundamental to the resilience of the global food system for the foreseeable future.

Jason ''Jake'' Hawes Research Picture

About Me:

When people ask me how I like it at Purdue, I respond simply: I signed up for two more years, so I must like it a lot. I did my undergraduate work in Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue. During that time, I learned through undergraduate research and a service learning project in the Dominican Republic that I was really interested in questions of human behavior that engineering didn't fully equip me to answer. From there, I moved on to ESE and the Ma Lab in Purdue's Forestry and Natural Resources department, studying Natural Resources Social Science. During my time at Purdue, I've felt empowered to contribute to the cutting edge of research on a more economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable world. While I am excited to continue that work in a PhD program elsewhere, I will always be thankful for my time in West Lafayette, and I'll always be a Boilermaker.


  • Purdue Service Learning Grant: sought repeatedly on behalf of Water in the Dominican Republic team—Purdue University, Center for Instructional Excellence – Received six times between 2015 and 2018
  • Purdue Climate Change Research Center Travel Grant—Purdue Clim. Chng. Res. Center—Nov. 2018
  • Blosser Environmental Travel Grant – Purdue University – Nov. 2018
  • Anderson Rotary Club – Project Supplemental Support Grant – Anderson, IN Rotary Club – August 2018
  • Purdue Climate Change Research Center Travel Grant—Purdue Clim. Chng. Res. Center—Nov. 2017
  • Chappelle Fellow—Purdue University—March 2017
  • Andrews Environmental Travel Grant—Purdue University—Nov. 2017
  • Hydrologists Helping Other Grant: sought on behalf of Water in the Dominican Republic team—Purdue University, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences—March 2017
  • Black and Veatch, Building a World of Difference Award Winner—American Water Works Association—June 2016
  • Outstanding Senior Student—Purdue University, Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering—April 2017
  • I2D Expo Top Poster Presenter—Purdue University, Innovation for International Development—April 2017
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Top Research Presenter —Purdue University—August 2016
  • Beering Scholar—Purdue University—April 2013
  • Eagle Scout—Boy Scouts of America—October 2012


  • Hawes, J. K., Conkling, E. N., Casteloes, K. S., Brazeau, R. H., Salehi, M., & Whelton, A. J. (2017). Predicting Contaminated Water Removal From Residential Water Heaters Under Various Flushing Scenarios. Journal - American Water Works Association, 109(8), E332–E342.
  • Alwang, A., Busse, M., Caprio, A., Fenton, M., Hawes, J., Kanach, A., McElfresh-Sutton, A. (2017) Water Supply in Developing Countries: A Reflective Essay. Purdue Journal of Service Learning, 4(1).
  • Hawes, J.K., Erwin, A., McWherter, B., Nixon, R., Popovici, R., Rathjen, M., Ma, Z. (Under Review, Submitted: Jan. 2019). A Review of Grassroots Global Governance. Society and Natural Resources.
  • Hawes, J.K., Burnham, M., Hillis, V., Running, K., Ma, Z. (In-Preparation). Agricultural Vulnerability to Enforced Water Scarcity: A Case Study in Southeastern Idaho. Projected Submission: Spring 2019
  • Hawes, J.K., Busse, M., Singh, S., & Blatchley, E.R. (In-Preparation). Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Direct and Indirect Solar Water Disinfection Processes in Developing Countries. Projected Submission: Summer 2019
  • Hawes, J.K. Ma, Z., Burnham, M., Yu, D. (In-Preparation). Agent-Based Modeling as an Exploratory Tool in Agricultural Adaptation? A Case Study in Policy-driven Water Scarcity. Projected Submission: Summer 2019
  • Hawes, J.K. Ma, Z., Burnham, M., Nyssa, Z. (In-Preparation). Revisiting Agricultural Adaptation Decision-making: Lessons learned from the Eastern Snake Plain Water Rights Settlement. Projected Submission: Summer 2019
  • Hawes, J. K., Caprio, A., Domenech, J., Johnson, B., Kanach, A., LeMaster, P.B., Payne, L. (In-Preparation). International Service Learning for Water Security: Comparing literature, practitioner conceptualization, and case study implications. Projected submission: Spring 2020
  • Hawes, J.K. Ma, Z., Steele, D., Johnson, D., Burnham, M., … (In-Preparation). Integration of the Social and Natural Sciences: A Review of the NSF Coupled Natural-Human Systems Program. Projected Submission: Summer 2020


  • Hawes, JK, Kanach, A. How we got here: A look back at the historical motivations and trends shaping the Water Supply in Developing Countries team. Course: CE 597.
  • Hawes, JK. Safe Water in Developing Countries: Rethinking Water Supply from the Lab to Las Canas. September 2016. Presentation to the Environmental and Ecological Engineering External Advisory Council, Purdue University.
  • Ma, Z, Hawes, JK, Clarke, M, Nixon, R, Domenech, J. Introduction to Natural Resources Social Science. October 2017. Course: Introduction to Natural Resources and Environmental Science.
  • Schirm, V, Hawes, JK, Russel, M. Introduction to Deep Leadership and Applying for International Scholarships and Grants. September 2018. Course: EEE 290, Professional Development Seminar.
  • Hawes, JK, Zhao Ma, David Yu, and Morey Burnham. Using empirically-grounded agent-based modeling to assess decision-making theories for farmer adaptation to water scarcity. International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, 19 June 2018, Snowbird, UT. Oral Research Presentation.
  • Hawes, JK, Zhao Ma, David Yu, and Morey Burnham. Understanding farmer adaptation to water scarcity and climate change: Improving decision-making in agent-based models of coupled natural and human systems. American Association of Geographers, Annual Conference, 11 April 2018, New Orleans, LA. Oral Research presentation.
  • Hawes, JK, Whelton, AJ. Premise Plumbing Decontamination: New Lessons from the Field and Purdue University’s Pilot-Scale Testing Facility. Water Quality Technology Conference, 15 Nov, 2016, Indianapolis, IN. Oral Research Presentation.
  • Hawes, JK, Whelton, AJ. Water Heater Cleaning Following Chemical Contamination Incidents: Examining Effectiveness and Evaluating a Recent Model. AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition, 22 June 2016, Chicago, IL. Oral Research Presentation.
  • Hawes, JK, Caprio, A, Busse, M. Water Supply in the Dominican Republic. Innovation for International Development Lab Exposition, 1 April, 2017. Awarded Top Poster Presenter.
  • Hawes, JK, Blatchley, E. Direct and Indirect UV Disinfection: Life Cycle Impacts for Use in Developing Countries. Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Symposium, 4 August, 2016. Awarded Top Oral Research Presentation.
  • Coleman, J, Hawes, JK, Whelton, AJ. Implications of pH and Temperature for Water Quality Impacts in PEX pipes. AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition, 22 June 2016, Chicago, IL. Oral Research Presentation.
  • Hawes, JK, Ma, Z., Yu, D., Burnham, M. Theory-Driven Agent-Based Modeling. SESYNC Annual Symposium, June 2018. Poster Research Presentation by Zhao Ma.


  • Ecological Sciences and Engineering Annual Symposium – Co-Chair – Fall 2017 to Spring 2018 –
  • Organized Session – Lead Author and Organizer – ISSRM 2019 – Session title: Examining multi-scalar adaptation to social-ecological change in food-energy-water systems (FEWS)
  • International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASNR) Student Affairs Committee – Professional Development Committee – Fall 2017 to Present
  • Water in the Dominican Republic Service Learning Project – Participant, Design Lead Fall 2016 to Summer 2018, Consultant, Fall 2018 to Present

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