Gwen Arnold, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Policy
  • Energy policy and planning
  • Use and interpretation of scientific knowledge/information in environmental policy decisions and processes
Graduate Group TTP


Gwen Arnold joined the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at UC Davis in 2013. She graduated from Indiana University with a PhD in public policy, and is an affiliated faculty member at the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. Her research broadly focuses on when, why, and how scientific knowledge is integrated into policy processes, examining how institutional and social structures; political dynamics; and characteristics of problems, information, stakeholders, and decision-makers all facilitate or hinder this integration. Arnold’s current research particularly focuses on how to evaluate the functions and values wetlands provide society; how government officials who implement environmental policy access and use policy innovations; and how citizens and policy decision-makers form opinions and make choices regarding hydraulic fracturing (fracking) amidst pervasive scientific uncertainty.


Introduction to selected topics in the policy process, applications to the field of environmental policy. Develops critical reading skills, understanding of frameworks of the policy process and political behavior, and an ability to apply multiple frameworks to the same phenomena.


Alternative models of public policymaking and application to case studies in the U.S. and California.


Analysis of the physical, biological, and social interactions which constitute environmental problems. Emphasis on analysis of environmental problems, the consequences of proposed solutions, and the interaction of environmental science and public policy in creating solutions.

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