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Completed PhD Dissertations

PhD in Environmental Science and Management graduates become leaders in their fields, advancing their academic disciplines and becoming dynamic change-makers in the corporate, public, and non-profit sectors. Their dissertation work combines theory with application, often producing new strategies, insights, and plans to solve environmental problems. 

The archive on this page dates back to 2015. To inquire about a dissertation project prior to 2015, please contact

Degrees Conferred 2023

Violaine Desgens-Martin: Assessing Ecological Risks of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in Central and Southern California Aquatic Environments using Modeling

Albert Garcia: Evaluating Impacts of Forests and Forest Policy: Methods and Applications using Satellite Data

Jacob Gellman: Essays in the Economics of Wildfire

Christopher Heckman: On the Importance of Roots to Eco-hydrology: The Effect of Plant Accessible Water Storage Capacity on Evapotranspiration 

Timnit Kefela: (Micro)plastics in Solid Environmental Matrices

Seonghoon Kim: Collective Reputations and Business Sustainability

Vincent Thivierge: Evaluating the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Environmental Policies for Global and Local Air Pollutants

Erin Winslow: Post-disturbance Dynamics of Branching Corals and Their Predators

Degrees Conferred 2022

William Burke: Modeling the Interconnected Effects of Fuel Treatments on Forests, Water, and Fire

Marina Feraud: N treatment in stormwater biofilters: Relationships between sequestered pollutants, environmental conditions, and N cycling soil bacteria

Qian Gao: Novel disinfection system with recyclable magnetic nanoparticles and metal ions: Evaluation with bacteria, algae, and virus

Niklas Griessbaum: Towards the Twilight of File-Centricity

Patrick Hunnicutt: Comparative Analyses of Environmental Deprivation and Political Mobilization

Jason Maier: Essays on Consumer Behavior and the Environment

Casey O'Hara: Cataloguing and mapping cumulative human impacts on marine biological and functional diversity to inform conservation management

Yang Qiu: Economic and Environmental Implications of Low-Carbon Transition in the Energy System: Case Studies on Lighting Technologies, Electricity System, and Direct Air Capture

K Rahul Sharma: Non-Financial Incentives for Pro-Social and Pro-Environmental Behaviour

Juan Carlos Villaseñor Derbez: Essays on Environmental Markets and Marine Conservation

Degrees Conferred 2021

Jiajia Zheng: Assessment of Decarbonizing Rapidly-Growing Technological Systems with a Life-Cycle Perspective

Jessica Couture: Sustainable Aquaculture for a Resource Limited Future

Samuel Collie: Social Efficiency of Natural Resource Management

Alice Lépissier: A Methodological Toolkit to Understand Complex Policy Problems: Applications to Climate Change and Illicit Finance

Jade Sainz: Incorporating Climate Variability and Change into Marine Spatial Planning for Aquaculture in the Southern California Bight

Degrees Conferred 2020

Alexa Fredston-Hermann: Causes and Consequences of Species Range Edge Shifts in a Warming Ocean

Elizabeth Hiroyasu: The Social and Ecological Dimensions of Vertebrate Management: Reintroductions and Invasions

Molly Wilson: Understanding Fish and Fisher Behavior in Coral Reef Ecosystems

Degrees Conferred 2019

W. Tyler Brandt: A Solution to One of Mountain Hydrology's Principal Mysteries: The Spatial Distribution of Snowfall

Sean Fitzgerald: Enhancing Small-Scale Fisheries Management through Data-Limited Assessment and Collaboration

Molly Lassiter: Essays in Ecological Economics

Owen Liu: Confronting Complexity in Marine Population Dynamics and Management

Joseph Palazzo: Methodological Developments in Consequential Life Cycle Assessment

Runsheng Song: Machine Learning for Addressing Data Deficiencies in Life Cycle Assessment

Timbo Stillinger: Observing Snow from Space: Snow/Cloud Discrimination & Opportunities in Water Supply Forecasting

Mengya Tao: Spatial Heterogeneity in Modeling Environmental and Human Health Impacts of Chemicals

Laura Urbisci: Uncertainty Analysis in Fisheries Science: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Caroline Vignardi: Ecological implications of copper-based nanoparticles in aquatic complex matrices: Fate, behavior, and toxicity assessment

Ying Wang: Engineered Carbonaceous Nanomaterials in Legume Agroecosystems: Potential Effects and Fates

Degrees Conferred 2018

Andrew Ayres: The Common Pool, Extraction Restrictions, and the Costs of Collective Action: Three Essays on the Economics of Groundwater Management

Patrick Callery: The Role of Information and Incentives in Voluntary Corporate Provision of Public Goods

Dan Ovando: Of Fish and Fishermen: Using Human Behavior to Improve Marine Resource Management

Jessica Perkins: Improving the Usefulness of Environmental Information for Decision Making in Organizations

Yuwei Qin: Characterizing Uncertainties in Life Cycle Assessment

Daniel Viana: Management and Design of Marine Reserves and Rights-Based Management Systems in Small-Scale Fisheries

Degrees Conferred 2017

Erendira Aceves: Designing spatially explicit property rights for moving fish

Xioli Chen: Factors affecting the streamflow and in-stream nitrate concentration in semi-arid areas: sub-surface flow-generation, vertical distribution of soil nitrate and drainage properties, and the connectivity of impervious areas

Alex DeGolia: Choosing Green: Explaining motivations across different environmental behaviors

Matthew Fienup: Unintended Consequences of Environmental Policies: The Case of Urban Growth Controls

Rebecca Gentry: Marine Aquaculture Development: Spatial Management, Conservation Opportunities, and Production Potential

Ian McCullough: Exposure and sensitivity of ponderosa pine to climate change in mountainous western North American landscapes

Matthew Meyers: Fluvial Processes Affecting the Texture of a Gravel Bed with an Emphasis on Salmon Spawning Habitat

Oliver Soong: Vegetation Establishment Following Floodplain Restoration in Mediterranean-climate California

Sarah Valencia: Integrating Marine Reserves into Data-Poor Fisheries Management: Challenges and Opportunities

Degrees Conferred 2016

Darcy Bradley: Improving the management of marine top predators: population characteristics, behavior, and extinction risk

Kendra Garner: Fate, transport, exposure and environmental implications of engineered nanomaterials

Julia Glenday: Assessing hydrologic impacts of watershed degradation and restoration at different landscape positions in a semi-arid, mountainous water-supply catchment

Yuxiong Huang: Novel magnetic nanoparticle adsorbents for organic and inorganic contaminants

Bryan Leonard: The role of transactions costs in shaping the emergence and persistence of property rights regimes and their subsequent implications for sustainable resource use and environmental markets

Kyongho Son: The importance of sub-watershed variability on predicting ecohydrologic response to inter-annual climate variability and climate warming in the Sierra Nevada watersheds

Sara Sutherland: The economics of political participation and distribution in fisheries management

Degrees Conferred 2015

Adeyemi Adeleye: Influence of microorganisms and extracellular polymeric substances on the fate of engineered nanomaterials in natural aquatic systems

Joe Bergesen: Technological change in the life cycle assessment of rapidly expanding greenhouse gas mitigation technologies: case studies on thin-film photovoltaics and LED lighting

Jon Conway: Fate, transport, and implications of engineered nanomaterials in the terrestrial environment

Laura Dee:Managing ecosystem services in the face of uncertainty: what is the role of biodiversity?

Eric Fournier: The life cycle energy-water usage efficiency of artificial groundwater recharge via the reuse of treated wastewater

Steve Miller: Adaptations to changes in environmental conditions and policies

Lindsey Peavey: Uncovering the ecology of a cryptic oceanic consumer: the olive ridley sea turtle

Yi Yang: Life cycle assessment of agricultural systems with an emphasis on marginal changes, technological advances, and regional characteristics

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