- Water governance
- Social-ecological system dynamics
- Network analysis
- Sustainable development
- Integrated water resources management
Jacob Hileman's research focuses on water governance and social-ecological networks
Hileman’s research broadly focuses on how the structures of collaboration among actors engaged in governance of natural resources influences core governance processes, including cooperation, social learning, and resource distribution. He is currently working with Örjan Bodin to understand how interactions among social and ecological variables – modeled as coupled social-ecological networks – impact governance processes and outcomes across multiple scales, and also identify strategies for improving the “fit” between environmental governance challenges and institutional responses. The empirical context for these various research projects ranges from Latin America to Sweden.
In his research Hileman frequently draws on complex social-ecological systems theory to frame questions and identify study variables. He also employs both qualitative (e.g. case study comparison) and quantitative (e.g. network analysis) methods to test hypotheses. He believes strongly in the value of interdisciplinary approaches to scientific problem-solving, and his research experiences inside and outside of academia blend methods and tools from the fields of watershed hydrology, natural resources management, political science, human ecology, international development, and sustainability science.
Hileman received his PhD in Hydrologic Sciences from the University of California, Davis in 2016, under the mentorship of Mark Lubell. His dissertation research addressed the unique challenges to water governance at the local and regional levels in Central America, and specifically centered on the roots of conflict, collective action, and stakeholder network structures. He designed and implemented his dissertation research in conjunction with practitioners working for the Global Water Initiative.
Prior to graduate school at UC Davis, he received a BSc in applied science and engineering from James Madison University in 2008.
Awards and achievements:
- Fullbright scholar
News articles with Hileman, Jacob
Research news | 2020-11-13
For change to happen, large companies need help from interest groups around them
The clothing industry is dominated by a clutch of powerful companies, but interest groups around it are crucial in efforts to make it more sustainable
Research news | 2020-04-15
Big networks are shaped by key individuals
For a network of seemingly disconnected actors to function properly, intermediaries are essential. A new approach reveals their influence
Research news | 2019-12-18
Conflicts might be better than watered down collaborations
Why conflict is to be expected in the process of transitioning to good water governance, and why it is okay
Research news | 2019-10-28
Centre collaborates with L'Oréal on sustainability in the cosmetics industry
Collaboration will assess how the cosmetic industry leader‘s activities can deal better with the global environmental problems highlighted by the planetary boundaries