The University of Maine, (MS) Ecology and Environmental Science, 2015
Utah State University, (BS) Environmental Studies, Minor in Sustainable Systems, 2012
Climate change adaptation, conservation, globalization, international political institutions, land-use change, modeling, political ecology, remote sensing applications
I am fascinated by the political ecology and economy of land use and climate change—specifically, the mechanisms by which institutional arrangements are developed, what consequences they might have on the landscape, and what these changes mean for resource-dependent livelihoods.
My current research is focused on the intersection of environmental policy and land use, primarily climate change adaptation policies as direct drivers of land use change in California and the US. My dissertation explores the effects that CA’s cap and trade programs have on forests in the US. Large emitters in CA are required by law to reduce the amount of carbon they release into the atmosphere each year. To make compliance a little bit easier, they can offset a percentage of their reductions by incentivizing forest landowners to increase the amount of carbon that is stored in their lands. This is important because the program is still quite young, and my hope is that my research will inform ways to improve it in the future.
I believe that emerging challenges associated with environmental change and globalization span disciplinary boundaries and necessitate interdisciplinary methodologies to better our understanding of biophysical, social, and political-economic dimensions. I enjoy exploring emerging methods and currently utilize a suite of theoretical frameworks and tools, such as remote sensing, big data, cloud-based tools, and various types of modeling.
Prior to beginning my Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, my MS thesis work examined community-based forest management policies and the aggregate effects that decentralization, socioeconomic variables, and individual attitudes have on the forested landscape in the buffer zone of Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Stapp, J. R., Lilieholm, R. J., Leahy, J., & Upadhaya, S. (2016). Linking attitudes, policy, and forest cover change in buffer zone communities of Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Environmental Management, 57(6), 1292-1303.
Waring, T. M., Sullivan, A., & Stapp, J. R. (2016). Campus prosociality as a sustainability indicator. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 17(6), 895-916.
Adhikari, S., Shrestha, S. M., Singh, R., Upadhaya, S., & Stapp, J. R. (2016). Land use change at sub-watershed level. Hydrology Current Research, 7(3), 1–5.