University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

UDaily: CBEAR awards $300,000 to fund 12 behavioral science projects

UDaily: CBEAR awards $300,000 to fund 12 behavioral science projects

CBEAR – the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research, which is operated jointly by the University of Delaware and Johns Hopkins University – is awarding more than $300,000 to 12 behavioral science projects that will examine the performance of various public policy approaches to agricultural-environmental problems. The center completed its request-for-proposals process in September 2015. The selected projects aim to explain the complex human responses to agri-environmental policies implemented by government, with the goal of helping to design better public programs.

Kent Messer, co-director of CBEAR and the Unidel Howard Cosgrove Chair for the Environment at the University of Delaware, said, “In these outstanding proposals, the overriding question asked, and answered, is ‘What works?’ For example, does an existing subsidy for conservation of land actually result in a larger amount of land being preserved? If not, why not? What kind of incentive might work better?”

Paul Ferraro, co-director of CBEAR and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School and Whiting School of Engineering, added, “The results of these funded research projects will be available within two years and can directly affect how agri-environmental programs are designed in the U.S. and globally.”

Many of the nation’s most pressing problems — climate change, droughts, floods, fires, polluted air and water, endangered species, shrinking agricultural and natural lands — have direct links to the intersection of agriculture and the environment.