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Hello! I am an assistant professor in the Environmental Studies program at Binghamton University. I also hold a joint title with the Political Science department, though my home base is solely within environmental studies. Additionally, I am an affiliated faculty member with the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University.
Growing up in Minnesota, a state with plentiful natural resources and beauty, I have always had an interest in understanding the link between humans, policies, and environmental outcomes. In particular, I have been interested in the link between natural resources and economic prosperity--how can we manage resources effectively to ensure both long run environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. As an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis, I was fortunate to take two courses with economist Douglass C. North who emphasized the role of institutions in long run economic growth. Around the same time I became aware of the work of Elinor Ostrom, who challenged conventional thinking on environmental "tragedies" as being inevitable by pointing to a variety of long-enduring institutional frameworks used to sustainably manage natural resources the world over. After being fortunate enough become a doctoral student of Lin's, I earned my Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University in 2011. Since the fall of 2012, I have been on the faculty of Binghamton University.
My current research interests concern the (un)successful management of common pool resources, ranging from forests to ocean fisheries to natural gas and oil. My work has been published in Science and Marine Policy, among other journals. Currently most of my research time is devoted to unraveling the property rights over and institutional evolution of regulations governing the use of high volume hydraulic fracturing technologies in shale gas and oil plays (fracking). Along with Gwen Arnold, an assistant professor at the University California-Davis, I am working on a series of papers that explore the use of fracking from the perspective of common pool resource theory. The first paper on this research agenda was recently published in Ecological Economics, with several additional papers on the topic of fracking under review, being finalized for submission, and/or planned for the coming years.
Other current research projects include a comparative study (with Will Heller) of how electoral institutions constrain environmental policy outcomes across countries and a study (with Prakash Kashwan) on international efforts to implement carbon sequestration policies through forestry initiatives.
My teaching interests similarly revolve around environmental policies and natural resource governance. At Binghamton University, I have taught courses on Sustainability and Urban Policy (ENVI 382C, Fall 2012 & 2013), Environmental Policy Analysis (ENVI 481T/PAFF 571, Fall 2012 & 2013), Introduction to Environmental Policy (ENVI 230/PLSC 282A, Spring 2013), Global Environmental Politics (ENVI 382D, Summer 2013), and Environmental Impact Analysis (ENVI 413/513).
Below is my contact information, links to recent publications and working papers, and a link to my full CV.
Robert Holahan, Environmental Studies, Binghamton University, P.O. Box 6000, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
Selected Publications and Working Papers (For a full CV, click here)
Farrer, Benjamin, Robert Holahan, and Olga Shvetsova. 2013. Technological change, institutional stickiness, and changing political coalitions: The shift to horizontal hydraulic fracturing. Working Paper.
Last Updated: 11/14/13