Research Groups

University of California Center for Energy and Environmental Economics (UC3) – UCSB: Functions as a hub of research excellence in energy and environmental economics, providing resources to bring together outstanding scholars from all of the campuses of the University of California. Although UCE3 has a physical presence at UC Berkeley (UC Energy Institute) and UC Santa Barbara (Bren School), it is intended to serve as a catalyst for the entire UC System.

Current Projects and Collaborations

UC3 Working Paper Series: Fosters research and collaboration at all University of California campuses in the area of energy and environmental economics. Papers in this series will address new and innovative research in the combined fields of energy and environmental economics.

Ted Bergstrom*

Dr. Bergstrom’s research includes work in resource economics. He has studied such areas as using the market to control pollution, the externalities of pollution, and the effect of finite resources on the market.

Institute for Energy Efficiency

Christopher Costello
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Dr. Costello’s research focuses on natural resource management and property rights under uncertainty, with a particular emphasis on information, its value, and its effect on management decisions. He studies how to design and evaluate the performance of markets for environmental goods; specifically, he concentrates on sustainable fisheries and environmental markets.

Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research

Erica Fleishman
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Dr. Fleishman's research focuses on applications of Environmental science to management of public and private lands in the western United States. Her research explains and projects the responses of animals to changes in land cover, land use, and climate. By using predictive modeling and geospatial analysis, her research aims to develop scientifically reliable, cost-effective approaches for understanding the distribution of assemblages and species and underlying mechanisms.

Earth Research Institute

Roland Geyer
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Dr. Geyer’s research focuses on industrial ecology. His research interests include the life cycle of manufactured goods and the environmental and economic potential of reuse and recycling activities. His overarching research goal is to help develop the science and knowledge necessary to reduce the environmental impact from industrial production and consumption.

Robert Heilmayr
Environmental Studies & Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Doctor Heilmayr's research combines approaches from economics, geography and ecology to explore the way society uses and governs natural resources. His focuses include reduction in deforestation through nonstate governance, impacts of plantation forestry, and land use change in Chile. He uses a combination of theoretical microeconomic models and remote sensing to explore the impact of plantation forest expansion on natural ecosystems. Heilmayr’s current research focus is on the impact of nonstate policies to end deforestation.

Earth Research Institute

Bruno Nkuiya
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Dr. Nkuiya is interested in multidisciplinary research on Environmental and resource economics, and biology. Specifically, he collaborated with ecologists from the National Center of Ecological Analysis and Synthesis on the Ocean Tipping Points project, which is aimed at contributing to a sustainable use of marine resources prone to tipping points. He is the author of several economic papers dealing with fisheries or Environmental management under unstable Environments including political and climate regime shifts. His is currently working on optimal and strategic management of fish stocks or Environmental resources under uncertain Environmental conditions and various property rights structures.

Marine Science Institute, Sustainable Fisheries Group

Paulina Oliva

Dr. Oliva's research blends Environmental economics with labor and development economics. Her research has focused on the effects of air pollution on infant mortality in Mexico City, as well as the effects of pollution on labor supply. She is currently researching Environmental regulations with regards to automobile emissions in Mexico City.

Center for Effective Global Action

Andrew Plantinga
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Dr. Plantinga’s research focuses on the economics of land use, climate change, and forests, with emphasis on empirical modeling of land markets and the analysis of environmental policies that affect private land-use decisions. Dr. Plantinga frequently collaborates on interdisciplinary projects with researchers from ecology, hydrology, climate science, and other disciplines.

Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research

Simone Pulver
Environmental Studies

Dr. Pulver’s research investigates patterns in the environmental impacts of business, what drives those patterns, and how those drivers might be transformed. She has led NSF-funded research projects on oil industry responses to climate change, climate politics in Mexico, low carbon investments by firms in Brazil and India, and toxic pollution in American manufacturing. Her interdisciplinary research approach integrates perspectives from organizational theory, environmental and economic sociology, and global governance. Dr. Pulver also directs the Environmental Leadership Incubator.

Kim Selkoe
Ecology, Evolution, & Marine Biology & Marine Science Institute

Dr. Selkoe's research is focused on innovative solutions for issues affecting the marine environment and our relationship to it, with a focus on fisheries and the Blue Economy. Her projects are developed and carried out in collaboration with Santa Barbara's fisheries and seafood industries. With funding from Dept of Energy's ARPA-E program, she has designed and carried out a stakeholder-led mapping of the value of fishing grounds to be used when designing new kelp farms and other types of no-fishing zones. She is working to transform fish scrap waste streams from seafood processing into innovative products like soil bio-stimulants for regenerative agriculture. Dr. Selkoe also leads a public-private partnership to create the Ocean Collective, a new resource center to foster workforce training and business support for the Blue Economy that will include a kelp forest restoration project.


Douglas Steigerwald*

Dr. Steigerwald’s research focuses on frontier econometric methods at the intersection of economics, environmental science, computer science, geography, and statistics. Currently, he is researching regional price behavior in Mexican maize markets. This research examines the resiliency of markets in the face of climate change and increasing market integration and the resultant implication for food security, livelihood change, and political security.

Econometrics Research Group

Susan Stonich

Dr. Stonich currently co-directs a research project in the Mesoamerican Reef System funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Program and is working with the National Shellfisheries Association, the World Wildlife Fund Mollusc Dialogue, and the NOAA Aquaculture and Habitat Conservation Program on a project to help determine standards on North American shellfish farming that are socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable. Her other research interests focus on the conflicts between economic development and environmental conservation efforts in coastal zones, environmental justice, and vulnerability and resilience to climate-related hazards and disasters.

Casey Walsh

Dr. Walsh takes an anthropological approach to understanding political economy and the Environment. His first book, "Building the Borderlands," shows how water, land, and labor were organized to produce cotton in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. A subsequent book, "Virtuous Waters," tells the history of how mineral springs were conceptualized and used in Mexico since the conquest. His current book project, "Groundwater and Grapes in California’s Central Coast," assesses the impact of expanding wine grape cultivation on groundwater management in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. Particular attention is given to the recent capitalization of the sector, the depletion of aquifers, and the ensuing creation and implementation of laws regulating groundwater in California. This research situates the local social and Environmental dimensions of the expansion of wine grape production within global markets and climate change.