Dr. Adena Rissman is a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She leads the PIE lab – People Institutions & Ecosystems – in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology. Her interdisciplinary research examines private ownership and private governance of natural resources. Private lands make up 75% of the United States and are critical for rare and endangered species habitat, water quality, and forest livestock and crop production. How, in this era of increasing fragmentation of environmental governance, are conservation policies for private lands designed, implemented, and enforced?
Dr. Rissman examines the roles of private landowners, conservation organizations, watchful neighbors, and others in private land governance networks. Property institutions and metaphors create expectations for rights and responsibilities, including whether private landowners should be incentivized or regulated to achieve conservation goals. Rissman is collaborating with social and ecological scientists and conservation practitioners on projects funded by the US Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation. She received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.