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Angie Soden
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Professor awarded NSF grant for climate governance study

Thu, 08/28/2014

LAWRENCE – A University of Kansas associate professor of public affairs and administration is a recipient of a National Science Foundation grant that will fund a three-year study on state and local climate risk governance.

“Climate change is typically described as a ‘global’ challenge requiring national action and international coordination,” researcher Dorothy Daley said. “But in the U.S., many states and local governments have been more active and engaged in climate mitigation and adaptation than the federal government. This research project will examine the environmental impact of state and local climate actions to determine what works for improved environmental performance and why.”

This project brings together a team of researchers and practitioners to better understand what type of climate governance results in improved environmental performance. Dr. Daley will collaborate with Troy Abel, Western Washington University, and Mark Stephan, Washington State University-Vancouver, and the Environmental Council of the States in Washington, D.C. Research funds will support undergraduate and graduate education at all three institutions. 

The research team will present results from their initial analysis Aug. 29 at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. After analyzing the greenhouse gas emissions from more than 7,000 facilities in nine different sectors (power plants, refineries, etc.), the preliminary results suggest that even when controlling for past emission levels, subnational climate risk governance is associated with better facility-level greenhouse gas reductions.

Daley has been a faculty member at KU since 2001. She currently holds a joint appointment in the School of Public Affairs and Administration and the Environmental Studies Program. KU’s portion of the grant will be administered by the Institute for Policy and Social Research (IPSR), where Daley is a research associate. From 2003 to 2005, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“This is a great research opportunity that will directly benefit the undergraduate and graduate students I work with at KU,” Daley said. “IPSR was instrumental in securing these external funds. I am grateful for their support.”

Daley’s research explores environmental and public health decision-making with a specific emphasis on examining the causes and the consequences of public interventions. Past research projects have focused on hazardous waste policy and public participation, interagency collaboration and environmental decision-making, and state and local adoption of environmental programs. Much of her current research agenda explores the relationship between multilevel governance and environmental outcomes. 

This is Daley’s first project funded by the NSF.



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