WSU Vancouver professor receives $100,000 to study climate policies

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 10:10am -- brenda_alling

Mark StephanVANCOUVER, Wash. – Mark Stephan, associate professor of political science at Washington State University Vancouver, is part of a collaborative research team receiving a National Science Foundation grant for a three-year study on state and local climate risk governance.

Stephan is co-investigator, along with Dorothy Daley, associate professor of public affairs and environmental studies at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. The principal investigator is Troy D. Abel, associate professor of environmental policy at Western Washington University in Poulsbo.

WSU Vancouver’s share of the grant, $99,646, will fund data collection and field work in six states as well as the hiring of a research assistant for the three years of the grant. Western Washington University will receive $218,121, and the University of Kansas, $227,255.

“In the United States, in contrast with other countries, state and local governments and businesses are taking the lead in developing climate mitigation and adaptation policies, while the federal government has had a limited role until recently,” Stephan said. Only this year did the Obama administration propose greenhouse gas emissions for power plant emissions.

“Yet social science research to date has largely ignored the results of the thousands of different efforts by governments and facilities to reduce their climate footprint,” Stephan said. “Our research will help assess how these efforts are working.”

The research team will present results from its initial analysis on Friday, Aug. 29, at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. After analyzing the greenhouse gas emissions from mare than 7,000 facilities in nine sectors (power plants, refineries, etc.), the preliminary results suggest that greater reductions in emissions are occurring in states with active governance related to climate change.

Research results over the next three years will be publicly disseminated though a website, mobile phone app, webinars and media outreach.

The NSF is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense. It has funded Stephan’s research twice previously.

WSU Vancouver is celebrating 25 years of creating access to higher education in Southwest Washington. For 25 years, students have chosen WSU Vancouver for its scenic campus, small classes, close personal attention, topnotch faculty, accessible location and reasonable costs. At WSU Vancouver, students gain much more than a degree—they gain a brighter future.

# # #

Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communications, 360-546-9601,

Mark Stephan, associate professor of political science, 360-546-9467,

Share the news: