Animas River

Lessening humanity's impact on the environment requires structuring public decision-making processes to yield environmentally favorable and effective decisions. My research focuses on collaborative governance as a process by which environmental decision-makers can balance competing environmental and societal demands to make sustainable decisions. Because solving environmental problems requires interdisciplinary approaches, I draw on the fields of environmental governance, public management, and water resources engineering to link the design of collaborative water planning processes to their long-term performance. I use both qualitative and quantitative analysis, including surveys, econometric modeling, archival research, case studies, and ethnography.

My current research projects include:

  • identifying techniques to streamline pollution control and restoration permitting processes,
  • evaluating the environmental and economic impacts of collaboration in the licensing and operation of hydropower facilities,
  • assessing whether the collaborative development of computer simulation models affects stakeholder trust in and use of scientific information in planning processes,
  • testing the impact of grant incentives to include disadvantaged communities in collaborative regional water management, and
  • developing and evaluating techniques to measure collaboration by analyzing documents, such as through network analysis and text mining.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Ulibarri, N & Scott, T. 2016. Linking network structure to collaborative governance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, DOI: 10.1093/jopart/muw041.

Ulibarri, N. 2015. Collaboration in Federal Hydropower Licensing: Impacts on Process, Outputs, and Outcomes. Public Performance and Management Review, 38(4): 578-606. Preprint

Ulibarri, N. 2015. Tracing Process to Performance of Collaborative Governance: A Comparative Case Study of Federal Hydropower Licensing. Policy Studies Journal, 43(2): 283-308.

Ulibarri, N, Cravens, AE, Cornelius, M, Royalty, A, & Nabergoj, AS. 2014. Research as Design: Developing Creative Confidence in Doctoral Students Through Design Thinking. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 9: 249-270.

Cravens, AE, Ulibarri, N, Cornelius, M, Royalty, A, & Nabergoj, AS. 2014. Reflecting, iterating, and tolerating ambiguity: Highlighting the creative process of scientific and scholarly research for doctoral education. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 9: 229-247.

Ulibarri, N. 2011. Bridging divides for water? Dialogue and access at the 5th World Water Forum. Water Alternatives, 4(3): 301-315.

Book Reviews

Ulibarri, N. 2016. Planning for Community Resilience: A Handbook for Reducing Vulnerability to Disasters. Masterson, JH et al. (2014). Journal of Planning Education and Research, DOI: 10.1177/0739456X16649749.

Reports and Other Publications

Ulibarri, N & Emerson, K. 2016. Negotiating Science and Policy in Collaborative Hydropower Licensing. Teaching Simulation. E-PARCC Collaborative Governance Initiative. Syracuse, NY: Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration, Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

The World Bank. 2015. Government Strategies for Improving Environmental, Social and Economic Outcomes for Peru's Mining-Affected Communities. Washington, DC. Contributing author with L Ortolano and E Sanchez-Triana.

Lukacs, H, Sawe, N, & Ulibarri, N. 2015. Risk Perception and Institutional Complexity in the 2014 West Virginia Chemical Spill. Teaching Case Study. Annapolis: National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center.

Ulibarri, N. 2011. Water, Fish, and Dams on the Klamath: An Overview of the Klamath Agreements. White Paper for US Department of the Interior, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance.

Ulibarri, N. 2007. Sacred Dance in the Peruvian Highlands. ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America, 7(1): 65.