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Policy Researchers

Geoffrey Dabelko, Ph.D., Director, Environmental Studies


Geoffrey D. Dabelko is a professor and director of the Environmental Studies Program at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. His current research and teaching focus on climate change, natural resources, and security as well as environmental pathways to confidence-building and peacebuilding, with a special emphasis on water resources. He joined the Voinovich School in August 2012 and was previously director of the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program, a nonpartisan research-policy forum on environment, population, health, development, and security issues. He continues to work with the Wilson Center as a senior advisor. Geoff is also an adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (formerly the Monterey Institute of International Studies). Geoff has held prior positions with the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Policy, and Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Geoff is co-editor with Ken Conca of Environmental Peacemaking and Green Planet Blues: Critical Perspectives on Global Environmental Politics (5th edition). He was a lead author for the 5th assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC Working Group II, Chapter 12), and member of the UN Environment Programme's Expert Advisory Group on Environment, Conflict, and Peacebuilding. He currently chairs the Ohio University Kennedy/Frontiers in Science Lecture Committee and serves on the editorial advisory board of the Ohio University Press.  He holds an AB in political science from Duke University and a PhD in government and politics from the University of Maryland.

Areas of Research: Energy, Land, Policy, Water

Sarah Davis, Ph.D. (Biology, West Virginia University)


Davis, an ecosystem ecologist with expertise in energy bioscience, biogeochemistry and eco-physiology, is an assistant professor of environmental studies. Her research analyzes greenhouse gas fluxes of managed landscapes, the potential for sustainable bioenergy development, and carbon sequestration. Active research projects include (i) an experiment testing Agave spp., a group of obligate CAM plants, as bioenergy feedstocks in semi-arid regions, (ii) a study of the environmental and economic viability of advanced cellulosic bioenergy on abandoned agricultural land, (iii) development of a model for long-term carbon sequestration in forests that incorporate age-related physiological changes and responses to climate change, and (iv) a global analysis of bioenergy resources. Davis teaches graduate courses in ecology and environmental issues and bioenergy systems.

Areas of Research: Energy, Land, Policy, Air, Data

Cheryl Hanzel, B.S. (Field Biology, Ohio University)


Hanzel is the program manager and academic advisor for the Environmental Studies program at the Voinovich School. She also works in the Voinovich School Office of Student Academic Services supporting students and working on academic and administrative issues. Hanzel has an Associate of Applied Arts and Science in Medical Laboratory Technology from Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, WA, a B.S. in field biology from Ohio University and is currently working on her Master’s degree in education.

Areas of Research: Policy

G. Jason Jolley, Ph.D. (Public Administration, North Carolina State University)


Jolley will serve as an assistant professor of rural economic development for the School beginning in January 2013. He most recently served as an adjunct assistant professor in the Kenan-Flagler Business School and as the senior research director for the Carolina Center for Competitive Economies (C3E) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He led C3E’s research activities in local/state economic development incentive policy evaluation and development, strategic planning, impact analysis, and industry cluster characterization to address issues of economic competitiveness. Jolley received his M.A. in political science from the University of Tennessee and his B.A. in economics from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Areas of Research: Data, Land, Policy

Nancy Manring, Ph.D. (Natural Resource Policy and Administration, University of Michigan)


Nancy Manring is Associate Professor of Political Science, a member of the Master of Science of Environmental Studies (MSES) Advisory Board, and the Sustainability Theme Coordinator in the College of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Manring's earlier research focused on collaborative dispute resolution in U.S. Forest Service public lands planning. Currently, Dr. Manring is investigating sustainability and climate change pedagogy, and has worked on university curriculum enhancement and new course development.  She is co-founder of the Kanawha Project, a multi-year project designed to enhance the undergraduate curriculum by integrating sustainability and climate change issues across disciplines through faculty professional development.

Areas of Research: Policy, Land

Loraine McCosker, M.S. (Environmental Studies, Ohio University)


McCosker is an advocate for environmental and sustainability education and has worked with the Environmental Studies Program since 2007, creating educational connections related to sustainability with faculty and staff on the Athens and regional campuses. McCosker coordinates the Kanawha Project, an environmental sustainability literacy project to educate faculty from diverse disciplines throughout the university. She also teaches a freshman university community class on sustainability and the introductory graduate seminar for incoming Environmental Studies students. McCosker also acts as advisor to graduate students and collaborates with the undergraduate certificate in Environmental Studies at Ohio University.

Areas of Research: Policy

Scott Miller, M.S. (Environmental Studies, Ohio University)


Miller is director of energy and environmental programs at the Voinovich School and oversees Ohio University’s Consortium for Energy, Economics and the Environment (CE3); the Appalachian Watershed Research Group; and applied research projects for the Environmental Studies program. He works with many stakeholders to shape and implement programs that elevate and enhance Ohio University’s research; serves on numerous local and statewide public and private boards to improve the natural environment of the region and accelerate the deployment of energy technology; and acts as a liaison to connect state and federal agencies and local stakeholders to the university’s resources to improve the quality of life of all Ohioans. Miller was recently named a 2010 National Energy Executive with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden Colorado; he is board chair for the University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio; he is the principle program manager for the State of Ohio’s Climate Change Action Plan in partnership with The Ohio State University; and he serves on a management team that administers Ohio University’s research and community involvement with demolition and decontamination activities at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, a cold-war era uranium enrichment facility.

Areas of Research: Energy, Land, Water, Policy, Air, Data, Shale

Michele Morrone, Ph.D. (Environmental Planning, The Ohio State University)


Morrone is a Professor and coordinator of the nationally-accredited Environmental Health Sciences program. Her research interests include: health disparities; social determinants of health in Appalachia; public perception of environmental risk; and environmental justice. She has published 3 books and more than 40 papers on topics related to environmental public health and environmental justice.

Areas of Research: Policy, Environmental Health Disparities

Mark Weinberg, Ph.D. (Political Science, University of North Carolina)


An original CE3 faculty member, Weinberg is a professor of political science, founding director of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, and faculty director of the Ohio University Executive Leadership Institute. His research interests include: public budgeting; financial management; public administration; strategic leadership; and management and performance measurement in the public and non-profit sectors.

Areas of Research: Policy

Elissa E. Welch, M.P.A. (Environmental Policy & Natural Resource Management, Indiana University)


Welch is a project manager for the Voinovich School. She serves as a coordinator for externally-funded projects and research endeavors related to energy for CE3. Additionally, Welch is a liaison between the Voinovich School and external academic, non-profit, public, and private sectors and promotes Ohio University's advanced energy expertise to enhance protection of environmental resources. Her research interests include international climate change policy, alternative energy development, carbon offsets and rural economic development and outreach.

Areas of Research: Policy, Energy

Michael Zimmer, J.D. (University of Baltimore School of Law)


In his more than 35 years of legal service, Michael Zimmer has advised domestic and international energy companies, utilities, manufacturing companies and state and local governments regarding a range of energy issues related to fuels, financing, efficiency, corporate sustainability, product analysis, renewable energy project development , microgrids, and more. Mr. Zimmer also has extensive experience working with business groups on understanding changes in energy and environmental policies and regulations, capital formation and project financing, rate design and incentives,  and advanced energy technology issues. He is regularly invited to testify before congressional committees, federal departments and agencies, and state commissions and agencies on electric energy, renewable energy, natural gas and energy tax proposals. He has served on prestigious committees, advisory boards or Boards of Directors for several energy and clean tech companies and national trade groups. His recent work has focused on energy and environmental issues in Ohio, Michigan, California, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Rhode Island for the manufacturing, buildings and commercial sectors. He holds a J.D. from University of Baltimore School of Law. For additional detail, click here.

Areas of Research: Air, Water, Energy, Policy, Advanced Energy Technologies, Microgrids, Industrial Energy