Adena Rissman, Professor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Current lab members
With a background in wildlife and urban forestry, my research at UW combines my interests in ecology with social science in natural resources management and conservation. I am currently working on a project to better understand new landowners in Wisconsin and determine the needs and timing for outreach efforts based on where and when real estate transfer occurs on the landscape. I have a B.S. in Natural Resources Conservation: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation and a M.S. in Environmental Conservation: Forest Resources and Arboriculture, both from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Ana Fochesatto, Nelson Institute PhD, email@example.com
What can we do to transition to a just food system? How can we best care for the land and its people? There are many tools and ideas at our disposal to address these social and environmental problems. My research focuses on transitioning to perennial-based agriculture systems in the Upper Midwest. I study the barriers and opportunities, benefits, and drawbacks of these grass-based systems, and how people are mobilizing to transition to them. I’m interested in the ways that humans interact with the environment to build strong resilient communities with governance systems that support food sovereignty. I come to this study with a B.A. in Political Science and Anthropology and an M.A. in Anthropology, Applied Community and Economic Development.
Yu Lu, Forestry PhD, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sustaining Food-Energy-Water-Ecosystems (FEWE) is important for society and the environment. However, FEWE has complex tradeoffs and synergies, and such interactions are difficult to anticipate with abrupt and slow changes, including climate change, market risks, and policy changes. My research focuses on FEWE nexus governance, understanding farmers’ and policy actors’ perceptions on FEWE security, learning how they respond to changes, and analyzing how FEWE nexus governance networks affect decision-making processes under the changes. I have a B.A. in Agricultural and Forestry Economics & Management from Beijing Forestry University and a Ph.D. in Environmental Management from Peking University. In addition, I was a visiting student at UC Berkeley.
Adena’s involvement on MS/PhD committees
Jon Breschak, Forestry PhD
Sarah Carter, Forestry PhD
Kathryn Anderson, Sociology PhD
Chris Hamilton, Forestry PhD
Jessica Long, Environment and Resources MS completed in 2011, now pursuing PhD
Melissa Motew, Environment and Resources PhD
Erik Olsen, Environment and Resources PhD
Jessica Price, Environment and Resources PhD
Christine Anhalt, Conservation Biology & Sustainable Dev’t MS, graduated 2011
Andrea Bachrach, Water Resources Management MS, graduated 2011
Nina Chaopricha, Environment and Resources PhD Preliminary Examination
Kelly Crosset, Forestry MS, graduated 2011
Tiffany Grade, Conservation Biology & Sustainable Development MS, graduated 2011
James Hook, Water Resources Management MS, graduated 2010
Marty Pfeiffer, Environment and Resources MS, graduated 2010
Marie Russo, Conservation Biology & Sustainable Development MS, graduated 2011
Former lab members
I am interested in the intersections between working lands, conservation, and public policy. I am currently examining the social and ecological outcomes of private land conservation and the ways in which sustainable agriculture practices are promoted through conservation easements. I have a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Georgia.
My PhD research focused on understanding how citizen science operates within complex social-ecological systems. Specifically, I examined the motivations for public participation in science, patterns of volunteer participation, factors influencing trust in citizen science data, and volunteer perceptions of data. I also hold a B.A. in Biology and Psychology from Ripon College and a M.S in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For more recent updates and to contact me, please visit my website.
Molly Daniels, Nelson Institute MS, email@example.com
My research combined social, ecological, and policy sciences. I researched the various relationships between public policy, natural resources, and private land management practices. My work utilized mapping, analytical technologies, and qualitative methods to better define the factors impacting wildland fire management in the Northern Rockies. I have a dual-B.A. in Human Rights and International Studies from the University of Dayton. Twitter: @__madventureKaycie M. Waters, Wildlife Ecology PhD, firstname.lastname@example.org
My research focused on conservation of private lands through engagement and education with new private landowners in Wisconsin. I hope to identify the gaps in information that new landowners would like to see filled, and help create outreach materials that aim to fill those gaps. I have a B.S. in Renewable Natural Resources: Wildlife Conservation from the University of Arizona and a M.S. in Agricultural Education from the University of Arizona.
Owen Selles, Forestry and Nelson Institute MS, email@example.com
I am interested how forest disturbance and composition are driven by land ownership and conservation efforts. I studied the conservation and monitoring of privately-owned forests in Wisconsin and the effectiveness of tools like tax policies, working forest conservation easements, and forest certification. I am originally from North Carolina and earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from UNC Chapel Hill and a Masters in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Cornell University.
Chloe Wardropper, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies PhD, firstname.lastname@example.org
I am an environmental governance and management scholar with a focus on water resources. I have experience working on land and water sustainability issues in the federal government and academia. I completed my PhD in Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with funding from a National Science Foundation (NSF) IGERT fellowship and NSF Water Sustainability and Climate grant. My dissertation was on the use of environmental measurement in policy formation and implementation, and the role of multi-scalar decision making in Upper Mississippi River Basin water and agriculture policies. My postdoctoral research at Purdue University, funded by a grant from The Nature Conservancy, sought to better align incentives between farmers and landowners to encourage conservation on agricultural land.
Lori Barrow, Forestry MS, email@example.com (Website)
My research interests focus on improving the usability of scientific research relevant to conservation planning under novel environments. Specifically, I’m interested in the educational outcomes underlying integrative graduate education programs. Over the last decade, the growing demand for an integrative approach to graduate education has catalyzed efforts to understand how to teach for interdisciplinary and engaged learning. Looming large behind this question are larger, more complex questions such as: what should students be learning and why; what motivated students to join integrative projects and what challenges do they face? My work with Dr. Rissman explores some of these questions using the National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program on Conserving Biodiversity in Novel Ecosystems. I am originally from central Illinois and earned both my B.S. in Natural Resource Management and Masters in Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management from Southern Illinois University.
Christina Locke, Forestry PhD
I am now a Research Scientist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. My postdoctoral research at UW-Madison focused on pollinator management and planning. In my PhD, I studied the influences of zoning, land-use planning, and tax policy on development patterns and forest fragmentation in the Upper Midwest. I focused on private lands adjacent to public forests, areas that are both ecologically important and are attractive sites for development. Before joining the Rissman Lab in 2009, I worked on multiple projects studying ecosystem services, pollinators, and pests in agricultural systems. Fieldwork for these projects took me to California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin’s Northwoods. I graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science.
Sean Gillon, Postdoctoral Researcher
I am now on the faculty at Marylhurst University. While working as a postdoctoral researcher, my research focused on: environmental governance; political ecological and institutional analyses of nature-society relations; and agri-food systems and agroecology. I was affiliated with the Water Sustainability and Climate Project, working with Dr. Adena Rissman. I earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz in September 2011. My dissertation research explored the social and ecological dimensions of US Midwestern biofuel production and governance.
Menka Bihari, Postdoctoral Researcher
I am now a senior business analyst with Highmark Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA. My research interest lies in exploring connections between communities, regional planning and resource conservation particularly in the context of climate change and sustainable development. I am interested in exploring the efficacy of land use planning measures in mitigating risks and hazards by enabling increased community participation. As a postdoc, I was involved in a collaborative project to assess the legal and ecological vulnerability of conservation easements in changed climate conditions. Our goal is to develop adaptive capacity to reduce the vulnerability of conservation strategies to the negative impacts of climate change, and formulate guidelines for drafting future conservation easements. Additionally, the research will identify other tools for meeting conservation objectives on private lands.
Amber S. Mase, Postdoctoral Researcher
I am now an Evaluation Associate at the UW-Madison Environmental Resources Center. As a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Water Sustainability and Climate (WSC) project, I focused on assessing the long-term Yahara2070 scenarios, as well as the outreach, from a social science perspective. I explored the usefulness of the WSC’s Yahara2070 scenarios for long-term planning and thinking in the Yahara watershed, particularly in the context of a changing climate and other ecological and social changes. Before joining the Rissman Lab in 2014, I completed my PhD in Natural Resource Social Science at Purdue University, with a focus on Midwestern farmers’ and advisors’ perspectives of climate change and agricultural adaptation. I earned an MS in Natural Resource Social Science at Purdue, and a BS in Development Sociology from Cornell University.
Chad Rittenhouse, Postdoctoral Researcher
I am now a Assistant Professor, Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Center, Dept. of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Connecticut. My research interests span landscape ecology and wildlife ecology, with a strong desire to improve science-management-policy connections. My research projects with Dr. Rissman examine the impacts of future land cover change on carbon sequestration and storage, impacts of and adaptations to climate change in forestry operations and snow-based recreation activities, and adaptation to invasive species and climate change by natural resource agencies.
Bob Smail, Environment and Resources PhDrobert.firstname.lastname@example.org
I am now working at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in the Water Division. I joined the Rissman lab in the fall of 2010 to work on a project geared towards understanding how environmental performance is measured and reported across different policy networks. This project compares top-down, devolved, and market-based governance networks for private land conservation. I also examined network approaches for targeting reductions in agricultural nonpoint water pollution. More broadly, my research interests are focused on the interaction between environmental policy, people and places. I am particularly interested in understanding how different scales and types of policy are bridged by conservation professionals and programs. I obtained my M.S. in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and my B.A. in History from Carroll University in Waukesha, WI.
Ellen Geisler, Forestry MS, email@example.com
I am now with UW-Extension in Marinette County, Wisconsin. For my MS, I studied logger perceptions and management guidelines related to seasonal environmental change, forest management, and logger economic challenges in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Before joining the Rissman Lab in 2012, I worked with beekeepers in Paraguay for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and started my own beekeeping business in Wisconsin. I earned a BA in Latin American Studies from UW-Madison in 2007.
Katelyn Budke, Research Assistant
Catherine Harris, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Blake Draper, Graduate Student Research Assistant, Certificate Program in GIS
Patrice Kohl, Graduate Student Research Assistant, Life Sciences Communication
Ryan Squires, GIS Manager
Luke Straka, Undergraduate Intern
Cory Wiltgen, Intern