Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Lisa Dilling

Research Interests

I am a Professor in the Environmental Studies program and Director of the Western Water Assessment program. My research focuses on understanding how society chooses to respond to environmental risks such as climate change. I use interdisciplinary, empirical methods to study questions such as how different views about the nature of risk affect the outcomes of decision processes. I am also interested in the tradeoffs involved in implementing new policies at the local scale and understanding how science can best support robust decision making in deeply uncertain contexts.  My work has recently focused on drought and urban water management, climate change and public lands, geoengineering, and municipal policies regarding natural hazards. My research addresses the following questions that are important for societally-robust decision making for climate change:

  • What is needed to build equitable societal resilience in changing social and environmental conditions?

  • What are the drivers of adaptation to extreme weather and climate?

  • What is the role of knowledge in building adaptive capacity for climate? 

  • How important are different elements of adaptive capacity, and how do they influence each other?

  • How do the dynamics of adaptation decision making play out on the ground and affect concepts of adaptation success and resilience?

  • How do we ensure energy decarbonization and climate change mitigation policies are effective, timely, and equitable?

View Publications

Graduate Students

Will Crawford

MS student, Environmental Studies Program

 
Natalie Bennett

MS student, Environmental Studies Program

Rebecca Page

MS Student, Environmental Studies Program

Graduated 2018

John Berggren

PhD Student, Environmental Studies Program

Graduated 2017

Meaghan Daly

PhD Student, Environmental Studies Program

Graduated 2016

Rachel Hauser

MS Student, Environmental Studies Program

Graduated 2013

Kelli Archie

PhD Student, Environmental Studies Program

Graduated 2012

 
Ron LaCross

MS Student, Environmental Studies Program

Graduated 2011

Elizabeth (Failey) Wagner

MS Student, Environmental Studies Program

Graduated 2011



Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo: Daniel Mayer, Wikimedia