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

Raymond Clemencon
Global Studies

Dr. Clemencon’s policy research has focused on international environmental institutions, sustainable development, and globalization. Currently, he is examining how different countries define and try to operationalize the concept of sustainable development. He examines the political processes that determine the allocation of funds for climate change in different countries (for both multilateral mechanisms like the Green Climate Fund and the GEF, as well as for bilateral efforts). Dr. Clemencon also researches the domestic sources that determine a country’s ability to provide leadership in the climate negotiations.

Christopher Costello*

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

Robert Deacon*

Dr. Deacon’s research focuses on natural resource economics, environmental economics, and the political economy. He examines of the effects that different political systems have on the use of natural resources, environmental quality and the provision of public goods. More specifically, he has focused on the use of property rights systems to manage fisheries and marine habitat protection.

2008 Julian Simon Fellow
Property and Environment Research Center
University Fellow, Resources for the Future

Olivier Deschênes

Dr. Deschênes’ research focuses on economic and health impacts of global climate change, adaptation to climate change, and the relationship between energy markets and labor markets. More specifically, his current projects include the impacts of climate change in India and the effect of electricity prices on the labor market. He also is currently studying the role of the diffusion of residential air conditioning in reducing heat-related mortality in the United States.

Research Associate and Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research
Research Fellow, Institute for the Study of Labor
Research Associate, Broom Center for Demography

Roland Geyer

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.

Osherenko Gail
Marine Science Institute

Osherenko’s research focuses on coastal and ocean law and policy, including property rights and sea tenure, the public trust doctrine, marine spatial planning, and the California coastal management regime. She was a principal investigator in the NCEAS working group on Ocean Ecosystem-Based Management: the role of zoning. She has published extensively on co-management of natural resources and indigenous peoples in Siberia, the Northern Sea Route, Canada, and Alaska. She is currently exploring the use of film and media in environmental education and has had two films in the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, including “Dark Side of the Loon” ( and “Arctic Expedition” (

Jeffrey Hoelle

Hoelle’s research include economic and ecological anthropology, and conservation and development in Latin America. He is currently focused on understanding the economic and cultural factors that contribute to the expansion of cattle raising in the western Amazon state of Acre, Brazil. The project also examines the symbolic practices and preferences for a cattle-centered rural life that are expressed in cauboi (cowboy) and contri (country) popular culture in Acre. His interest in the economic, ecological, and cultural relationships between humans and cattle in Amazonia provides the foundation for an emerging research project comparing “cattle cultures” in the Americas, Africa, and India. His forthcoming book is titled Rainforest Cowboys: The Rise of Ranching and Cattle Culture in Western Amazonia.

Environmental Humanities Initiative

Charles Kolstad

Dr. Kolstad’s research interests are in information, uncertainty and regulation, with much of his applied work in the area of climate change and energy markets. His policy-related focus within these fields is climate change and energy markets.He has been a Convening Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), is a founding Co-Editor of the OUP journal Review of Environmental Economics & Policy and serves as an advisor to the State of California on their greenhouse gas cap and trade program.

Brandon Kuczenski

Dr. Kuczenski’s research in industrial ecology concerns how researchers, firms, and policy makers assess the environmental impacts of products and consumption decisions and how they share that information with stakeholders and with the public. His research focuses on Life Cycle Assessment, including the use of modern Web-based technologies for sharing life cycle inventory information, and techniques for protecting the privacy of confidential information during publication. He also studies the environmental implications of waste management, recycling, and extended producer responsibility. Institute of Energy Efficiency

Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research

Gary Libecap*

Dr. Libecap’s research interests include common pool resource problems and how property rights institutions (private, group) can or cannot address them. Current research addresses the demarcation of land, water rights, and water markets for water allocation and management, as well as the use of rights-based arrangements in fisheries.

Melvyn Manalis
Environmental Studies

Professor Manalis’s research interests surround the development of quantifiable sustainability measures, as well as integrated energy planning, industrial ecology, and green nuclear energy. He is also a member of the Economics and Policy Solutions Group that strives to understand the environmental and economic impact of energy efficiency advancements and investigate the range of ways that research, economics, and the environment interact to find policy solutions that proactively shape the market for the benefit of society.

Economics and Policy Solutions Group

Matto Mildenberger
Political Science

Dr. Mildenberger’s research explores the political drivers of policy inaction in the face of serious social and economic threats posed by global climate change. Straddling comparative political economy and political behavior, Mildenberger’s work focusses on comparative climate policymaking and the dynamics of US climate opinion. His current book project compares the politics of carbon pricing across advanced economies, with a focus on the history of climate reforms in Australia, Norway and the United States.

Paulina Olivia*

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 Platinga

Andrew Plantinga’s research focuses on the economics of land use, climate change, and forests. Particular emphasis is given to the development of methods for econometrically modeling land-use decisions, the analysis of environmental policies that affect private land-use decisions, and the modeling of land development pressures. A current project, funded by the National Science Foundation, involves the development of econometric land-use models to support an integrated analysis of climate change and water scarcity in the Willamette Basin of Oregon. Additional work examines how urban growth controls affect property values and urbanization rates.

Simone Pulver
Environmental Studies

Professor Pulver’s research focuses broadly on the intersection of economic action and environmental harm and seeks to integrate theoretical frameworks from economic and environmental sociology and global environmental politics. Specifically, she has led NSF-funded research projects investigating oil industry responses to climate change, climate politics in Mexico, and low carbon investments by firms in Brazil and India. She is currently directing two new projects; one that explores changes over time in the production of pollution in three manufacturing industries in the US and the other focusing on small business responses to uncertainty in climate adaptation.

Erika Rappaport
History/Feminist Studies

Erika Rappaport’s research considers the history of mass consumer society, with a particular focus on how large-scale businesses accrue cultural and political power. While her work inititially focused on mass-retailing and the urban environment, her current project, A Global Thirst: Selling Tea in the Age of Empire, examines the relationship between the global mass consumption and production of tea on agricultural labor, societies and environments in India, South and Southeast Asia and Africa. Her book examines tea’s global history from three interconnected perspectives and she argues that tea was one of the first agricultural industries to use imperial power and resources to engage in and pay for consumer and trade advertising and political lobbying in many locations over a long period of time. The model that tea developed is still used today and is critical to understanding the role of politics and publicity in shaping the geographies, power dynamics and problems in the modern global economy.

Andrew Rassweiler
Marine Science Institute

Dr. Andrew Rassweiler is a marine ecologist who combines field experiments, data analysis, and mathematical modeling to address both basic and applied questions, mainly regarding temperate reef ecosystems. His work has been applied toward answering fishery management and marine conservation questions, using spatially explicit models to explore optimal fisheries management strategies and tradeoffs between achieving fishery and conservation goals. His models have been used in practical contexts as well, most notably in guiding the placement of marine protected areas as part of California’s Marine Life Protection Act process. Although his expertise is in community ecology, he works closely with oceanographers, geographers, and economists to better understand the many abiotic factors influencing ecological dynamics.

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..

Michael Stohl
Communication/Political Science

Professor Stohl is current involved in a project entitled: Sustainability at the Crossroads: Examining the Vulnerability of New Zealand’s Global Environmental Positioning. The research project aims to understand how interested parties, including NZ policy makers, media, and business leaders think about, frame, and prioritize environmental, social and economic sustainability issues and with what consequences.

Carsey-Wolf Institute

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.

Stuart Sweeney

Dr. Sweeney’s research interests include applied statistics and spatial analysis, research methodology, demography, economic geography, and development studies. He recently conducted a study that looked at maize, one of the most economically and culturally important crops produced in Mexico. Dr. Sweeney discovered that changes in the production of this crop, caused by increased market integration and changes in irrigated land use, can impact consumption, livelihood, and food security.

Director of the Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research

Barbara Walker
Marine Science Institute

Barbara Walker’s research focuses on political ecology and human-environment relationships related to marine and coastal resources in California, French Polynesia, and Ghana. In Ghana, her research explores the historical social and environmental antecedents of contemporary patterns of marine environmental conservation and use. In French Polynesia, her research addresses disparities among stakeholder perceptions of environmental and climate change and the challenges associated with translating multiple and often opposing perceptions into effective marine management and climate change adaptation policies. In California, Walker studies new alternative seafood marketing arrangements to understand why and how direct marketing programs are adopted by fishermen and whether these marketing arrangements might increase the sustainability of fisheries and coastal communities.

Director, Research Development, Office of Research