The Environmental Governance Working Group at Colorado State University is a multidisciplinary community of faculty, research associates, and graduate students seeking to advance research on issues of environmental governance and sustainability. We define environmental governance as the formal and informal institutions, policies, rules and practices that shape how humans interact with the environment at all levels of social organization. This broad working definition recognizes the variation in disciplinary approaches and specific research foci. The study of environmental governance includes—but is not limited to—research on environmental policies and management practices, community conservation programs, common property resource regimes, collaborative decision-making processes, and markets for environmental goods and services. Environmental governance research may investigate particular arrangements and/or address broader questions of authority, accountability, legitimacy, participation, and fairness and equity.
EGWG was created in 2008 as a joint project of the Department of Political Science and the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University by Michele Betsill (Political Science), Tony Cheng (Forest and Rangeland Stewardship), and Peter Leigh Taylor (Sociology). Our goal is for Colorado State University to become an internationally recognized center of research excellence in the area of environmental governance. EGWG provides intellectual space for multidisciplinary dialogue on environmental governance research through study groups, seminars, e-mail updates, conferences and informal networking. We also work to enhance consideration of environmental governance issues in new and existing research initiatives at CSU. Finally, we connect scholars at CSU to national and international research networks related to environmental governance. EGWG is a member of the global alliance of research centers affiliated with the Earth System Governance Research Network.
Examples of EGWG Activities
- Michele Betsill (Political Science), Stacy Lynn (Ecosystem Science and Sustainability), Hyeyoon Park (Political Science), Stacia Ryder (Sociology) and Sharmini Gingras (Political Science) attended the Lund Conference on Earth System Governance in October 2017 and met with colleagues at Lund University to discuss an international partnership built around our common interest in environmental governance.
- EGWG hosted “IGNITE Environmental Governance” in March 2016 with guests from Lund University. Twenty scholars shared 5-minute presentations of their research.
- Five different departments in the College of Liberal Arts and the Warner College of Natural Resources hosted EGWG Coffee Hours in 2015-16 to share information on environmental governance research within their departments.
- Michele Betsill (Political Science) and Rebecca Gruby (Human Dimensions of Natural Resources) co-hosted the Front Range Conference on Environmental Governance Research with funding from the School of Global Environmental Sustainability in May 2015.
- Environmental Justice CSU, led by Tara Shelly (Sociology), Dimitris Stevis (Political Science), and Melinda Laituri (Ecosystem Science and Sustainability) was selected as School of Global Environmental Sustainability GCRT for 2015-16. This group developed through several EGWG study groups and seminar series.
- Rebecca Gruby (Human Dimensions of Natural Resources), Mike Angstadt (Political Science), Kathy Mattor (Forest and Rangeland Stewardship), Ch'aska Huayhuaca (GDPE), and Theresa Jedd (Political Science) hosted a workshop for early career environmental governance scholars in May 2015.
- Michele Betsill (Political Science), Dennis Ojima (Ecosystem Science and Sustainability) and Tony Cheng (Forest and Rangeland Stewardship) co-taught a graduate seminar on "Governance and Adaptive Capacity in the face of Climate Change" in Fall 2014.
- Stacy Lynn (Ecosystem Science and Sustainability), Michele Betsill (Political Science), and Melinda Laituri (Ecosystem Science and Sustainability) received a grant from the Colorado Water Center for a study, “From Water Scarce to Water Source: The governance of new water in the Kenyan drylands” in Fall 2014.
- The Environmental Governance in the Inter-Mountain West study group was selected as a SoGES Global Challenge Research Team in 2012-13 and continued to meet through 2014. Nine EGWG members co-authored a paper, "Transdisciplinary Research on Environmental Governance: A view from the inside” in Environmental Science & Policy (2014; vol. 42), reflecting on their experience engaging in transdisciplinary research on the changing nature of environmental governance in the Inter-mountain West region of the US.