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Joseph L. Fisher Dissertation Awardees


Stephie Fried, Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, University of California, San Diego. Fried is working on climate change and the macroeconomy.

Evan Herrnstadt, Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, University of Michigan. Herrnstadt is conducting research on bridging natural resource/environmental economics and industrial organization fields by examining firm behavior in the presence of environmental regulation.

Eric Lewis, Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, University of Michigan. Lewis is focusing on the economics of the onshore oil and gas industry.


Adrian Lopes, Cornell University (Applied Economics and Management), for dissertation research on poaching and species protection, with an application to elephants in southern Africa.

Lala Ma, Duke University (Economics), for dissertation esearch on improving estimates of the value of brownfields cleanup, by taking into account how much information households have about the site and anticipated future clean-up.

Erica Myers, University of California, Berkeley (Agricultural and Resource Economics), for dissertation research on the “energy efficiency gap”: looking at asymmetric information between landlords and tenants and between home buyers and sellers as possible sources of an efficiency gap.

Ashwin Rode, University of California, Santa Barbara (Economics), for dissertation research on lobbying and permit allocations in the EU Emissions Trading System, and on institutions and the resource curse.

Richard Sweeney, Harvard University (Kennedy School), for dissertation research on effects of environmental regulations (reformulated gasoline rules) in the oil refining industry, testing the Porter Hypothesis and looking at dynamic firm decision-making.


Peter Maniloff, a Ph.D. student in Environmental Science and Policy at Duke University, is completing his dissertation on volatility and environmental policy: ethanol and oil price shocks, price containment in GHG cap-and-trade, and environmental liability.

Nicole Ngo, a Ph.D. student in Sustainable Development at Columbia University, is completing her research on air pollution and health in New York City and Nairobi.
Paul Scott, a Ph.D. student in Economics at Princeton University, is completing his dissertation, which models crop choice decisions and applies those results to evaluate the effects of potential regulations of greenhouse gases from agriculture. 


Michael Madowitz, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics at the University of California, San Diego, is finishing his research on the riskiness of environmental and energy taxes at the state level (i.e., how sensitive revenues are to business cycles) and how to modify such taxes to yield a more stable revenue source.
Alison Sexton, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, is pursuing research on how air quality alerts affect individuals’ decisions about how much time to spend outdoors.
W. Reed Walker, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics at Columbia University, is completing his research on connections between traffic congestion, emissions, and health, and on long-run wage changes for workers who lose jobs in industries affected by environmental regulations.


Samuel Dastrup, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics at the University of California, San Diego, is completing his research on factors influencing consumer decisions to install solar panels and on how solar panel installations affect home values.
Koichiro Ito, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley, is finishing his research on how consumer demand for water and electricity respond to price changes and other incentives for conservation.
Elisheba Spiller, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics at Duke University, is completing her research, which advances the methodology used to measure how gasoline prices affect household driving and vehicle purchase decisions.


Tyler Felgenhauer, a PhD student in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is completing his research on the simultaneous implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation, and implications for international policy.
Chieh Ou Yang, a PhD student at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, is finishing his research on development of risk transfer instruments for managing catastrophic financial risks, including those potentially associated with natural resource, environmental, and climate-related events.


Hunt Alcott, a PhD student in the Department of Public Policy, Harvard University, will complete his research on energy demand, including household electricity demand and the response of the US auto industry to changes in Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.
Chad Lawley, a PhD student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland, will complete his research on non-indigenous species and US trade policy to examine the extent to which border inspections are determined by protectionist versus risk-reduction motivations.
Heather Sander, a PhD student in the Department of Geography at the University of Minnesota, is completing her degree in conservation biology by using spatial modeling to examine the ecological and economic effects of changes in land use in the St. Paul, Minnesota metropolitan area.


Kwaw Andam, a candidate in the joint PhD program at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, will finish his research on the effects of land use policies and environmental protection in Costa Rica.
Etienne Benson, a PhD candidate in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will complete his dissertation in environmental history on the role of wildlife telemetry (radio-tracking) on modern environmental policy development, conservation biology, and wildlife conservation.
Junjie Zhang, a PhD candidate in the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University, will finish his dissertation on empirically structured bioeconomic models of fisheries in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.


Francisco Aguilar, a PhD candidate in the School of Renewable Natural Resources at Louisiana State University, will finish his research on determinants influencing the location of manufacturers of forest products in Louisiana.
Catherine Ashcraft, a PhD candidate in the Environmental Policy Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will complete her dissertation on cooperative management and transboundary river governance for two international rivers, the Danube and the Nile.
Deepa Aravind, a PhD candidate in the Department of Management and Global Business, Rutgers University, will finish her dissertation on firms' environmental self-regulation through certifiable standards under implementation of ISO 14001 environmental management systems.


Ryan Cole Bosworth, University of Oregon, Department of Economics. Bosworth is analyzing a variety of survey data to examine health issues in his dissertation, "Demand for Preventative Public Health Policies."
Ralph Espach, University of California / Berkeley, Department of Political Science. Espach is studying three international, private environmental regulatory regimes (the chemical industry's Responsible Care program, the Forest Stewardship Council, and the ISO 14000 series of environmental management standards) in his dissertation, "Public Responses to Private Authority: State Actors and Private Environmental Regulatory Regimes in Argentina and Brazil."
Ulrich Wagner, Yale University, Department of Economics. Wagner's dissertation is "Assessing Global Collective Action for the Protection of the Stratospheric Ozone Layer," in which he examines a variety of hypotheses about determinants of countries' decisions to ratify the Montreal Protocol.


Soma Bhattacharya, Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland, is completing her dissertation on "Estimating the Value of Statistical Life in Road Safety in Developing Countries - A Case Study of Delhi, India."
Martin Heintzelman, Dept. of Economics, University of Michigan, is finishing his dissertation, "Essays on the Economics of Common Pool Resources" focusing on transboundary river systems.


Bentley Coffey, Duke University, Dept. of Economics -- Bentley is completing his doctorate on how people with severe asthma make decisions about where to live and the effects, if any, of air quality on those decisions. He seeks to add to our understanding of methodology for the valuation of air quality and in turn, offer some suggestions for improving public environmental policy.
Susana Ferreira, University of California, San Diego, Dept. of Economics -- Susana is completing three essays on environmental topics. Her first two essays address the problem of property rights and international trade in influencing rates of deforestation and the effects of these influences over time, as people's incomes, education levels, and other characteristics change. Her third essay empirically tests some hypotheses in the "green accounting" literature in which measures of a nation's total investment include the value of environmental resources. Her results challenge some of the accounting methods that the World Bank and other organization use in their approaches to green accounting.
Toshihiro Uchida, Georgia State University, Dept. of Economics -- Toshi is studying environmental policy in Japan — specifically, three different approaches to pollution remediation. He is evaluating the effectiveness of voluntary approaches to emissions reduction as encouraged by Japan's counterpart to the U.S.'s Toxics Release Inventory; the decisions by firms to adopt environmental management systems and whether and if so, how these systems affect "the bottom line;" and a variety of economic and environmental effects of eco-labeling on companies and consumers.


Zuhre Aksoy, Dept. of Political Science, University of Massachusetts. Aksoy is writing on "The Conservation of Crop Genetic Diversity in Turkey: An Analysis of the Linkages Between Local, National, and International Levels," a study of how farmers adapt to changing pest, pathogen, and environmental conditions under different national and international institutional regimes.
Diji Chandrasekharan Behr, Dept. of Natural Resources, Cornell University. Behr’s dissertation is titled "Conservation of Biodiversity in Agroforestry Systems: Institutional and Economic Dimensions of Medicinal Plant Cultivation in Kerala, India" and is a study of the role of commercialization initiatives in promoting cultivation of non-wood forest products in order to advance forest conservation.
Seung-Rae Kim, University of Texas-Austin, whose thesis focuses on the development and application of theoretical/empirical general equilibrium modeling to evaluate policy interactions affecting environmental quality, economic growth and welfare in a world of other existing policy distortions.
Fumie Yokata, Dept. of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, Harvard University. Yokata’s research is titled "The Value of Toxicological Information in Improving Children’s Health" and develops a value-of-information model to understand and measure the usefulness of various toxicological testing requirements of the U.S. EPA under the pilot phase of the Voluntary Children’s Chemical Evaluation Program.


Sumeet Gulati, in the Agricultural and Resource Economics program at the University of Maryland, working on a very challenging model of trade and the environment;
Dennis Becker, in the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho, focusing on community involvement in environmental policymaking (one of his ideas has been adopted by the Army Corps of Engineers);
Halla Qaddumi, from Yale University and working on water management in India; and
Matt Neidell, at UCLA, whose dissertation topic is on air pollution and children's health.


Paul Ferraro, at Cornell University, researching different market-like approaches for preserving ecosystems;
Aarti Gupta, at Yale University, studying the regulation of safe use of biotechnology;
Tanya A. Heikkila, at the University of Arizona, analyzing the management of water resources in the southwestern United States;
Nathaniel Keohane, at Harvard University, considering the effects of the sulfur dioxide trading program on technological change in pollution control;
Kristin Kuntz-Duriseti, at the University of Michigan, modeling savings behavior in the context of uncertainty about climate change;
Monica Nevius, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying household energy use;
Randy Walsh, at Duke University, modeling approaches to valuing open space; and
Karl Wunderlich, at the University of Colorado, Boulder, researching transactions costs and other aspects of community-based organizations in the case of Colorado land trusts.


Juan-Camilo Cardenas, in the Department of Resource Economics at the University of Massachusetts. Cardenas’s dissertation is a study of people’s willingness to pay to preserve biodiversity. He collected his own data and conducted CV studies with the rural population in Columbia.
Anne-Juliane Hunnemeyer, in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Business at the University of Guelph, exploring ways to give financial incentives to the private sector to preserve biodiversity in Canada.
Becky Mansfield, in the Department of Geography at the University of Oregon. Mansfield’s research addresses the production, processing, export, import, marketing, and consumption of Alaskan pollock in the context of a global market in trade for the fish. Specifically, she models economic and political factors that influence the sustainability of the fish stock, bringing to bear both her geography training and economic analyses.
Mahesh Sankaran, in the Department of Biology at Syracuse University. Sankaran looks at the effects of humans on tropical ecosystems in Southern India, using tools of biology but drawing out management and economic policy implications.
Michelle Villinski, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota. Villinski’s research empirically applies and critiques the usefulness of option pricing as a management tool for water resources in California. Her work appears thoughtful – not just a rudimentary approach to filling in the formula, but a considered look at the limits and advantages of option pricing as a possible real tool for water management. She has had some practical experience working with HIID and researching water issues for the Indonesian Department of Finance.


Lilliana Botcheva, Harvard University's Department of Government. Her dissertation is titled, Regional Integration and Domestic Politics: The Influence of the EU on the Environmental Policies of East European Countries.
Andrew Miller, Cornell University's Department of Economics. His thesis consists of four essays concerning environmental externalities, including an essay on common property biomass use; a principal-agent model of environmental lawsuits against firms from the EPA over the past fifteen years; a positive political economy study of strategic behavior between regulated firms and EPA; and an endogenous growth model as a means of explaining the environmental Kuznets curve.
Stephen Holland, University of Michigan's Department of Economics. His research focuses on Set-Up Costs and Capacity Constraints in the Theory of Natural Resource Extraction.
Michael Taylor, Ohio State University. His thesis is titled, Point-Nonpoint Permit Trading Mechanisms to Reduce Costs and Increase Efficiency in Water Pollution Control.
Nancy Bergeron, University of Maryland's Agriculture and Resources Economics Department. Her dissertation is titled, Wanted Dead or Alive: An Economic Analysis of the Black Market for Endangered Species.
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