Jessica Rudnick is an environmental social scientist focused on better understanding human decision-making and behavior change around complex social-environmental issues. She completed her PhD and MS in Ecology at UC Davis, where her focus was on farmer behavior and agriculture-environmental governance. In her position at the Delta Stewardship Council, she is focusing on 1) building a collaborative social science community in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; 2) synthesizing existing data on stakeholders' uses, values and perceptions of the Delta as a place; 3) establishing longitudinal monitoring of the 'social health' of the Delta through recurring surveys and focus groups with key stakeholder groups; and 4) extension programs that focus on community capacity-building for policy engagement and youth environmental policyeducation and training opportunities.
- Human decision-making
- Environmental governance
- Policy engagement
- Natural resource management
As an applied environmental social scientist, Rudnick is committed to collaborative and policy-relevant research that engages key stakeholders throughout and leverages multiple methods (surveys, interviews, participant observations) to better understand human decision-making and behavior change around complex social-environmental issues. Her current research is synthesizing multiple existing datasets around the human uses and values of the Delta region. She is also establishing longitudinal surveys and focus groups to monitor and evaluate different communities’ perceptions, values and uses of the Delta over time.
Extension and Outreach
Rudnick’s current extension projects include building a policy engagement tool box that aids communities in engaging in policy processes and working with state, regional and local governments to improve transparency and equitable access to their public engagement processes.
Rudnick, J., Niles, M.T., Lubell, M., Cramer, L. 2019. A Comparative Analysis of Governance and Leadership in Agricultural Development Policy Networks. World Development, 117. pp. 112-126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.12.015
Lewis, J., and Rudnick, J. 2019. The Policy Enabling Environment for Climate Smart Agriculture: A Case Study of California. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 3: 31. pp. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2019.00031
Méndez-Barrientos, Linda Estelí, DeVincentis, A., Rudnick, J. et al. 2020. Farmer Participation and Institutional Capture in Common-Pool Resource Governance Reforms. The Case of Groundwater Management in California. Society & Natural Resources, pp. 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2020.1756548
Rudnick, J., DeVincentis, A., Méndez-Barrientos, L.E. 2016. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Challenges Diversity of California’s Farms. California Agriculture, 70, 4. https://doi.org/10.3733/ca.2016a0015
Rudnick, J., Lubell, M., Khalsa, S., Brown, P. A Farm Systems Approach to Sustainable Nitrogen Management: Understanding Farmer Adoption of Multiple Best Management Practices in California. Accepted Agriculture & Human Values, January 2021.