The Environmental Policy, Planning & Sustainability Lab focuses on several research themes: collaborative processes for energy and environmental policy-making, the use of science in policy-making, international environmental governance, social innovation, andintegrated solutions to climate change.

Our research on collaborative energy and environmental policy-making processes focuses on understanding institutional opportunities and constraints to advancing sustainability, negotiation dynamics, opportunities for public participation in decision-making processes, and environmental justice. Specific projects focus on renewable energy, food, climate adaptation, and water policy.

We also work on understanding the use of science in policy-making, including questions about managing scientific uncertainty, managing conflict through knowledge production processes, and the use of innovative technologies, such as role-play negotiation simulations coupled with participatory modeling. Projects focus on coastal resiliency and water and dams.

Our international environmental governance research also emphasizes questions about negotiation processes and institutional mechanisms for managing uncertainty and conflict as applied to international water, Arctic, and climate agreements and negotiations. 

Research on social innovation explores how social entrepreneurs use market-based and institutional strategies to bring about public policy and field-level changes, in pursuit of sustainable, scalable solutions to societal needs.

Our work on integrated solutions to climate change focuses on case studies from New England of strategies to address climate change challenges that integrate adaptation and mitigation, address multiple issues together, incorporate relationships, consider systems interactions across sectors and scales, and focus on implementation. Specific cases include examples of institutional financing for clean energy, collaborative regional approaches to sustainable transportation, community energy and agricultural projects, and more.

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