Environmental Policy, Governance and Engagement

Sarah Anderson
Bren School of Environmental Studies & Management

Dr. Anderson's research focuses on understanding how the political system affects and is affected by Environmental issues. She often focuses on wildfire management as an example of the complex governance required for Environmental problems.

Earth Research Institute

Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval
Chicano Studies

Dr. Armbruster-Sandoval specializes in urban and racial studies. He is the author of Globalization and Cross-Border Labor Solidarity in the Americas: The Anti-Sweatshop Movement and the Struggle for Social Justice and is currently working on a book titled Starving for Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity.

Javiera Barandiaran
Environmental Studies & Latin American and Iberian Studies

Dr. Barandiarán's research is focused on how science shapes environmental politics and conflicts. She has published three books, including Science and Environment in Chile: The Politics of Expert Advice in a Neoliberal Democracy (MIT Press, 2018) and Rights of Nature: Arguments for Chile’s Constitution (Ocho Libros, 2022; co-authored and in Spanish), and numerous articles, book chapters and edited volumes on topics including how markets for science erode public trust, the shortcomings of environmental impact assessments, energy justice and, most recently, the challenge of fossil fuel decommissioning. In Science and Environment in Chile, Dr. Barandiarán examines the consequences for Environmental governance when the state lacks the capacity to produce an authoritative body of knowledge. Focusing on the experience of Chile after it transitioned from dictatorship to democracy, she examines a series of Environmental conflicts in which the state tried to act as a “neutral broker” rather than the protector of the common good. She argues that this shift in the role of the state—occurring in other countries as well—is driven in part by the political ideology of neoliberalism, which favors market mechanisms and private initiatives over the actions of state agencies. Chile has not invested in Environmental science labs, state agencies with in-house capacities, or an ancillary network of trusted scientific advisers—despite the growing complexity of Environmental problems and increasing popular demand for more active Environmental stewardship. Unlike a high modernist “empire” state with the scientific and technical capacity to undertake large-scale projects, Chile’s model has been that of an “umpire” state that purchases scientific advice from markets. After describing the evolution of Chilean regulatory and scientific institutions during the transition, Barandiarán describes four Environmental crises that shook citizens’ trust in government: the near-collapse of the farmed salmon industry when an epidemic killed millions of fish; pollution from a paper and pulp mill that killed off or forced out thousands of black-neck swans; a gold mine that threatened three glaciers; and five controversial mega-dams in Patagonia. She is currently writing a book about lithium mining and through CREW published two decarbonization maps: one on California and one on Chile.

Charles Bazerman
Girvetz Graduate School of Education

Dr. Bazerman is interested in the practice and teaching of writing, understood in a socio-historic context. Using socially based theories of genre, activity system, interaction, intertextuality, and cognitive development, he investigates the history of scientific writing, other forms of writing used in advancing technological projects, and the relation of writing to the development of disciplines of knowledge. Some of his studies involve the history and organization of Environmental knowledge and communication. Most recently he has worked on how climate change knowledge enters into or is restricted within political representations and the deliberations of Congressional hearings. He was an early advocate for open access epublication and has been an active participant in the formation and current operations of the WAC Clearinghouse, now the leading publisher of book, journal, and other formats in writing studies. He has published on this experience in several chapters, documenting the process and providing lessons learned.

Carsey-Wolf Center 

Mark Buntaine
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Mark Buntaine's research investigates the sources of effective Environmental policy in developing countries, with an emphasis on the targeting and impact of foreign aid. Although many of the world's most significant Environmental problems occur in developing countries, the implementation of Environmental policies is often challenging because of inadequate resources and poor governance.

Earth Research Institute 

Sean Hastings
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Professor Hasting's research focuses on ocean policy and management. He is working on developing best fishing practices to reduce the loss of fishing gear to maintain ocean health and healthy ocean related economies. His other research interest is Protecting Blue Whale and Blue Skies Program which involves incentive based approaches to slow down large container ships along California's coast. Slower ships reduce the threat of ship strikes on endangered whales, reduce emissions of air pollutants that are hazards to human health, and reduce ocean noise impacts on ocean life. Professor Hasting also supports research with UCSB Mechanical Engineering Dept. to design balloons that float, but don't float away to reduce plastic pollution, wildfires and impacts to wildlife. The balloon work also includes an extensive social media and marketing campaign to change human behavior to reduce balloon use.

NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

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 most recent book compared the politics of carbon pricing across advanced economies, with a focus on the history of climate reforms in Australia, Norway and the United States. In addittion, Matto co-leads the Environment and Energy Transitions (EnvENT) Lab in the Department of Political Science.

Matthew Potoski
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Dr. Potoski’s research focuses on management, voluntary environmental programs, and public policy. He examines dynamics in environmental politics on a regional and global level.

Ronald Rice

Professor Rice studies, among other topics, public communication campaigns, with some emphasis on Environmental communication. In his most recent edition of "Public Communication Campaigns"; he co-authored a chapter that applies principles of social marketing to communicating about ocean sustainability. That chapter focused on developing a strategic approach to designing and implementing messages about ocean sustainability issues, such as ocean pollution, warming, acidification, overfishing, and low oxygen levels. He has also published research on college campus water bottle usage, ocean sustainability literacy, news images about climate change, and uncertainty and controversy in climate change news. In 2015, Professor Rice co-organized a day-long conference on Sustainable Science Communication and a post-conference International workshop on climate and sustainability campaigns. He also organized the 2019 Rupe conference on The Secret Lives of Plastic: Materials, Recycling, Oceans, & Communication.

Jim Salzman
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Dr. Salzman’s broad-ranging scholarship has addressed topics spanning drinking water, trade and environment conflicts, policy instrument design, and the legal and institutional issues in creating markets for ecosystem services. His most recent book, Drinking Water: A History, was praised as a “Recommended Read” by Scientific American and is in its third printing. His co-authored casebook, International Environmental Law and Policy, is in its 5th edition and the market leader with adoptions at over two hundred schools around the world.

Carsey-Wolf Institute

Eric Smith
Political Science

Professor Smith’s work focuses on U.S. public opinion and political behavior regarding energy and environmental issues. He investigates, for example, public support for or opposition to renewable energy production facilities and offshore oil drilling. He is also working on the problem of how much people know about energy and environmental issues and why people accept or reject factual claims about energy and environmental issues by scientists.

Carsey-Wolf Institute
Center for Social Solutions to Environmental Problems

Leah Stokes
Political Science & Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Dr. Stokes’ research primarily examines work on energy, climate and Environmental politics. Within Environmental politics, She focuses on climate change, renewable energy, water and chemicals policy. public policy, public opinion and political behavior in North America, with a focus on energy and the Environment. Her most recent work examines expansion and retrenchment in renewable energy policies across US states, using qualitative and quantitative methods. Her work on energy and Environmental policies has been published is Energy Policy, Environmental Science & Technology, and The American Journal of Political Science. She also researches international Environmental negotiations, particularly the Minamata Convention on mercury and the climate change negotiations.

Oran Young
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Dr. Young specializes in institutional and international governance and environmental institutions. His research encompasses basic research, focusing on collective choice and social institutions, and applied research dealing with issues pertaining to international environmental governance and to the Arctic as an international region.

Institute of Arctic Studies, Director
International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change
Carsey-Wolf Institute