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Faculty Profile
Paul Hirsch

Paul  Hirsch

Associate Professor

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229 Marshall Hall



Women's Wear Daily - Consumers, Collaboration, and Creativity

The March for Science forced Scientists to Talk Straight to the Public

Breaking with Tradition to Increase Collaboration

Nature - Recipes for a Team

Huffington Post - Interview With a Philosopher: Really Saving the Environment


My blog at Planet Forward

My blog at Maxwell's Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration

Board Memberships and Fellowships

Editorial Advisory Board, Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies

Senior Research Fellow, National Council for Science and the Environment

Past Board Member, Association of Interdisciplinary Studies

Fellow, Arizona State University Center for Organization Research and Design

Fellow, Planet Forward, George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs


Ph.D., Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2008

M.S., Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, 2003

B.S., Biology and Society, Cornell University, 1995

Research Interests

Mental and Institutional Models for Cross-Boundary Environmental Problem Solving

Complex Trade-offs in Conservation & Development

Research Collaboration

Science in the Policy Process

Science Ethics

Inclusion of Marginalized Perspectives in Decision-Making

Select Publications

Hirsch, P. Sustainable Change in a Fractured World. (2018). 87-97 in Minteer, B., and Sahotra, S. A Sustainable Philosophy – The Work of Bryan Norton. Springer Press.

Lash-Marshall, Whitney G., Nomura, C., Eck, K., & Hirsch, P. (2017). Facilitating collaboration across disciplinary and sectoral boundaries: Application of a four-step strategic intervention.  Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies 35, 200-221.

O’Connor Robinson, M., Selfa, T., & Hirsch, P. (2017). Navigating the Complex Trade-Offs of Pesticide Use on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. Society & Natural Resources, 1-14.

Bressler, A., Vidon, P., Hirsch, P., & Volk, T. (2017). Valuation of ecosystem services of commercial shrub willow (Salix spp.) woody biomass crops. Environmental monitoring and assessment189(4), 137.

Shockley, K., Lash-Marshall, W. G., Friedman, K. B., & Hirsch, P. D. (2016). Distinguishing collaboration from contribution in environmental research. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 1-10 [link]

Zia, A., Hirsch, P., Van Thang, H., Trung, T. C., O’Connor, S., McShane, T., ... & Norton, B. (2015). Eliciting Inter-Temporal Value Trade-Offs: Deliberative Multi-Criteria Analysis of Vietnam’s Bai Tu Long National Park Management Scenarios. International Academic Forum Journal of Sustainability, Energy, and the Environment, 2(1), 41-62.

Hirsch, P. D. (2014).  Collaborative Problem Solving in a Fractured World: A Perspective on the Role of Global-Scale Institutions and Administrators in the Context of Climate Change. In S. Kim, S. Ashley & H. Lambright (Eds.), Public Administration in the Context of Global Governance. UK: Edward Elgar [link]

Manno, J. P., Hirsch, P., & Feldpausch-Parker, A. M. (2014). Introduction by the Onondaga Nation and activist neighbors of an indigenous perspective on issues surrounding hydrofracking in the Marcellus Shale. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 4(1), 47-55 [link]

Zia, A., Norton, B. G., Metcalf, S. S., Hirsch, P. D., & Hannon, B. M. (2014). Spatial discounting, place attachment, and environmental concern: Toward an ambit-based theory of sense of place. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 40, 283-295.

Hirsch, P. D., & Luzadis, V. A. (2013). Scientific concepts and their policy affordances: How a focus on compatibility can improve science-policy interaction and outcomes. Nature and Culture, 8(1), 97-118 [link]

Hirsch, P. D., & Norton, B. G. (2012). Thinking like a Planet. In A Thompson and J. Bendik-Keymer (Eds.), Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change: Human Virtues of the Future. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press [link]

Hirsch, P. D., Brosius, J. P., O’Connor, S., Zia, A., Welch-Devine, M., Dammert, J. L., ... & Hitchner, S. (2013). Navigating complex trade-offs in conservation and development: an integrative framework. Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies, 31, 99-12 [link]

Hirsch, P. D., Adams, W. M., Brosius, J. P., Zia, A., Bariola, N., & Dammert, J. L. (2011). Acknowledging conservation trade‐offs and embracing complexity. Conservation Biology, 25(2), 259-264 [link]

McShane, T. O., Hirsch, P. D., Trung, T. C., Songorwa, A. N., Kinzig, A., Monteferri, B., ... & Welch-Devine, M. (2011). Hard choices: making trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and human well-being. Biological Conservation, 144(3), 966-972 [link]

Zia, A., Hirsch, P., Songorwa, A., Mutekanga, D. R., O'Connor, S., McShane, T., ... & Norton, B. (2011). Cross-scale value trade-offs in managing social-ecological systems: the politics of scale in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania. Ecology and Society, 16(4), 7 [link]

Bozeman, B., Slade, C. P., & Hirsch, P. (2011). Inequity in the distribution of science and technology outcomes: a conceptual model. Policy Sciences, 44(3), 231-248 [link]

Hoffmann, M., Nersessian, N., Schmidt, J., Decker, M & Hirsch, P. (2010). Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Cognitive Conditions and Tools. White Paper for NSF's SBE 2020: Future Research in the Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences [link]

Bozeman, B., Slade, C., & Hirsch, P. (2009). Understanding bureaucracy in health science ethics: toward a better institutional review board. American Journal of Public Health, 99(9), 1549-1556 [link]

Bozeman, B., & Hirsch, P. (2005). Science ethics as a bureaucratic problem: IRBs, rules, and failures of control. Policy Sciences, 38(4), 269-291 [link]


EST 705 Environment and Natural Resources Policy Analysis

EST 635 Public Participation and Decision Making

EST 640 Environmental Thought and Ethics

EST 696 Climate Change: Science, Perception & Policy

EST 321 Government and Environment

Research Projects and Funding

2013-2016       New York State Department of Environmental Conservation $280,000. Co-Pi: Application of GIS and Participatory Processes to Complex Planning in the Adirondack Park

2014-2015       Research Foundation of SUNY. $38,370. PI - Presidential Fellow Award for Networks of Excellence Initiative

2013-2014       Research Foundation of SUNY. $150,000. PI: Understanding and overcoming barriers to communication in complex socio-ecological systems: an integrative approach to interdisciplinary research, policy translation, and educational application

2012-2013       New York State Department of Environmental Conservation  $49,796. Co-Pi: An Integrative Analysis of Place and Participation: Onondaga Lake, NY

2008-2011      MacArthur Foundation. $4 million. Arizona State University Global Institute of Sustainability. Research Associate: Advancing Conservation in a Social Context –Working in a World of Trade-offs

2005-2008       NSF Program in Human Social Dynamics Program. $625,000. Graduate Research Assistant: Ecological Boundary-Setting in Mental and Eco-physical Models

2003-2005       W. K. Kellogg Foundation.  $150,000. Graduate Research Assistant: Science, Policy and Social Inequality

Current Graduate Advisees

Matthew BoltonMatthew Bolton

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Hirsch
  • Area of Study: Environmental Studies

Jon Paul BuchmeyerJon Paul Buchmeyer

  • Degree Sought: MPS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Hirsch

Weien ChenWeien Chen

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Hirsch
  • Area of Study: ESC Environmental and Natural Resources Policy

Graduate Research Topic
International Relations, Environmental Policy, Ocean Governance

Madeline ClarkMadeline Clark

  • Degree Sought: MPS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Hirsch
  • Area of Study: Environmental Studies

Breath HandBreath Hand

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Hirsch
  • Area of Study: ESC Water & Wetland Resource Studies

Personal Statement
I am pursuing a doctorate in Environmental Studies focusing on Policy, Planning, Communication and Society (PPCS). I am a transdisciplinary researcher using mixed methods research to explore entry points for collective dialog and engagement which educates and empowers communities to demand action on environmental issues. I am particularly interested in investigating environmental values as a tool for bridging divides created by politics, identity, and ideology.

Favorite Quote
“Life did not take over the world by combat, but by networking.” ― Lynn Margulis

Web Link

Web Link

Google Scholar
Web Link


Antonio KasperAntonio Kasper

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Hirsch and Weiss
  • Area of Study: Environmental Studies

Chris KoudelkaChris Koudelka

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Hirsch
  • Area of Study: Policy, Planning, Communication and Society (PPCS)

Personal Statement
Chris Koudelka is a MS student in the division of Environmental Science at SUNY-ESF. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Peace and Justice from Nazareth College and an Associates Degree in Environmental Science from Finger Lakes Community College.

Research Questions
In what ways can digital visualization techniques help us reckon with our interactions with place, both historic and colonial? To what extent do digital visualization techniques reproduce dominant narratives, and can these techniques be employed to dismantle colonial structures?

Research Interests
digital visualization and 3D modeling, landscape architecture, land use history, environmental ethics, interpretation, counter-mapping, and GIS

Kathryn McKenzieKathryn McKenzie

  • Degree Sought: MPS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Hirsch

Irene NjendeIrene Njende

  • Degree Sought: MPS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Hirsch and Whitmore
  • Area of Study: Environmental Studies

Kerri Pickard-DePriestKerri Pickard-DePriest

  • Degree Sought: MPS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Hirsch

Lauren TarrLauren Tarr

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Hirsch
  • Area of Study: Environmental Science

Owen ZaengleOwen Zaengle

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Hirsch
  • Area of Study: ESC Environmental and Natural Resources Policy