Courtney Hammond Wagner is a postdoctoral scholar in sustainable groundwater management at Stanford's Water in the West program. As an environmental social scientist, Courtney's research broadly aims to understand how we design incentives, rules and policies to change behavior in water resource dilemmas, improve community well-being and enhance ecological outcomes. At Water in the West, Courtney is studying California's groundwater policy to examine how regulatory mandates and incentives shape water managers' decision making. Specifically, Courtney is interested in two aspects of California's 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) policy process: the mandated use of climate information in groundwater sustainability plans and the role of incentives for managed aquifer recharge on agricultural lands. The goal of this research is to improve our understanding of policy approaches for achieving sustainable management in groundwater-dependent regions.
Courtney received a Ph.D. in natural resources from the University of Vermont where she examined policy design for declining water quality from agricultural nutrient runoff, and a BA in social psychology from Dartmouth College in 2011. At the University of Vermont, Courtney was a graduate student fellow at the Gund Institute for the Environment and had a graduate research fellowship through the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded Economics for the Anthropocene program. Courtney has received a number of academic fellowships and grants to support her research, including an NSF East Asia Pacific Summer Institute Fellowship in 2016, the University of Vermont Thomas J. Votta Fellowship for Environmental Best Practices, USGS National Institutes Water Resources Graduate Research Grant, and Graduate Research Fellowship at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in Annapolis, Maryland.