Research

Tim Waring

Tim Waring, School of Economics, Mitchell Center for Sustainable Solutions, University of Maine

I study the emergence and spread of environmental cooperation and sustainable institutions using evolutionary theory, behavioral experiments, and agent simulations. My research has explored the dynamics of human cooperation in traditional irrigation systems in southern India, in the laboratory, in natural resource industries in Maine, in university-citizen relationships, in the local food industry and in co-operative organizations.

Evolution of Sustainability
How do sustainable behaviors, institutions and societies arise and persist? Human behavior, institutions and societies co-evolve with the environmental resources they utilize. Most of my research works to understand that co-evolutionary process. I work with a growing network of researchers and practitioners to answer this question and develop solutions for the sustainability crises we face.

Cooperation in Organizational Evolution
What role does cooperation play in the growth and evolution of organizations? I lead a research project funded by a National Science Foundation CAREER grant to study the  patterns of cooperation, preferences, and organizational structure in local food organizations over time. The goal is to deliver best-practice advice and policy input on strategies for growing a local food industry that strengthens regional economies, supports agricultural practices that benefit the environment, and grows a culture of engagement in food production, distribution and consumption.