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Dr. Jesse Abrams

Associate Professor, Natural Resource Policy and Sustainability

I hold Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Forest Resources from Oregon State University and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from New College of Florida. Between 2004 and 2007, I worked for the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University. After receiving my doctoral degree in 2011, I spent two years as a visiting assistant professor at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington and five years as a research associate at the Ecosystem Workforce Program, Institute for a Sustainable Environment at the University of Oregon. I have also held various non-academic positions with the National Park Service, Missouri Department of Conservation, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and other organizations.


I am the chair of the Warnell School's Diversity Committee and serve on Warnell's Teaching Effectiveness Committee. I represent Warnell on UGA's Sustainability Steering Committee and the Executive Committee of UGA's Center for Integrative Conservation Research. Since 2021 I have been serving as an elected member of the Council of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASNR). Additionally, I am on the Editorial Advisory Board for the journal Forest Policy and Economics and the Editorial Board for Land Use Policy.

  • Ph.D., Forest Resources, Oregon State University, 2011
  • M.S., Forest Resources, Oregon State University, 2004
  • B.A. Environmental Studies, New College, 1998
Awards, Honors and Recognitions:

Lilly Teaching Fellow, 2019-2021

Selected Publications:

Rojas, C., B. Boley, L. Mach, and J. Abrams. 2023. Expanding protected areas: A case for repairing intergenerational social capital rather than taking the path of least resistance. Journal of Sustainable Tourism.

Abbasnezhad, B., J. Abrams, and J. Hepinstall-Cymerman. 2023. Incorporating social and policy drivers into land-use and land-cover projection. Sustainability 15(19): 14270.

Kee, D., J. Abrams, T. Aldworth, C. Schultz, C. Kooistra, and H. Huber-Stearns. 2023. The Shared Stewardship strategy in the southern United States: Lessons learned. Journal of Forestry 121(4): 303-306.

Essen, M., S. McCaffrey, J. Abrams, and T. Paveglio. 2023. Improving wildfire management outcomes: Shifting the paradigm of wildfire from simple to complex risk. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 66(5): 909-927.

Hohbein, R. and J. Abrams. 2022. Conservation, human-wildlife conflict, and decentralised governance: Complexities beyond incomplete devolution. Conservation and Society 20(4): 293-303.

Sarmiento Rodriguez, F., R. Chávez Velásquez, C. Aguirre Merino, and J. Abrams. 2022. Desarrollo sustentable y regenerativo de los paisajes socioecológicos de montaña: Montología del Chimborazo como referente insigne del cambio global [Sustainable and regenerative development of the productive mountain socioecological landscapes: Montology of Chimborazo as badge referent of global change]. Antropologías del Sur 9(17): 121-145.

Córdoba, D., J. Abrams and T. Selfa. 2022. Achieving palm oil sustainability under contract: Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and family farmers in the Brazilian Amazon. Current Research in Environmental Sustainability 4: 100160.

Kooistra, C., C. Schultz, J. Abrams, and H. Huber-Stearns. 2022. Institutionalizing the U.S. Forest Service’s Shared Stewardship Strategy in the western United States. Journal of Forestry 120(5): 588-603.

Abbasnezhad, B. and J. Abrams. 2022. Testing the applicability and credibility of the High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) toolkit: A systematic global review. Small-Scale Forestry.

Bernsen, N.R., M.S. Crandall, J.E. Leahy, J. Abrams, and C.R. Colocousis. 2022. Do rural youth want to stay rural? Influences on residential aspirations of youth in forest-located communities. Community Development 53(5): 566-584.

Gutierrez Garzon, A.R., P. Bettinger, J. Abrams, J. Siry, and B. Mei. 2022. Forest sustainability in state forest management plans: A content analysis. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 41(1): 92-113.

Selfa, T., V. Marini, and J. Abrams. 2021. Place attachment and perceptions of land use change: Cultural ecosystem services impacts of eucalyptus plantation expansion in Ubajay, Entre Ríos, Argentina. Ecology and Society 26(4): 44.

Schultz, C., J. Abrams, E.J. Davis, A. Cheng, H. Huber-Stearns, and C. Moseley. 2021. Disturbance shapes the US forest governance frontier: A review and conceptual framework for understanding governance change. Ambio 50: 2168–2182.

Steen-Adams, M., J. Abrams, H. Huber-Stearns, C. Bone, and C. Moseley. 2021. Leveraging administrative capacity to manage landscape-scale, cross-boundary disturbance in the Black Hills: What roles for federal, state, county, and non-governmental partners across large landscapes? Journal of Forestry 120(1): 86-105.

Sanders, A., E. Nielsen, and J. Abrams. 2021. Does information and deliberation affect ecosystem service judgments? Evidence from tree plantation expansion in Argentina. Society and Natural Resources 34(11): 1433-1448.

Judice, A., J. Gordon, J. Abrams, and K. Irwin. 2021. Community perceptions of tree risk and management. Land 10: 1096.

Chapin, J., J. Abrams, T. Timberlake, C. Schultz, A. Evans, and M. Fernández-Giménez. 2021. Operationalizing resilience on US national forestlands: A quantitative analysis of environmental impact statements. Society and Natural Resources 34(10): 1394-1411.

Abrams, J., S.M. Greiner, C. Schultz, A. Evans, and H. Huber-Stearns. 2021. Can forest managers plan for resilient landscapes? Lessons from the United States national forest plan revision process. Environmental Management 67(4): 574-588.

Knowlton, J.L., K.E. Halvorsen, D.J. Flaspohler, C.R. Webster, J. Abrams, S.M. Almeida, S.L. Arriaga Weiss, B. Barnett, M.R. Cardoso, P.V. Cerqueira, D. Córdoba, M.P. Dantas Santos, J.L. Dunn, A. Eastmond, G.M. Jarvi, J.A. Licata, E.E. Mata Zayas, R. Medeiros, M.A. Mesa Jurado, L.Y. Moo Culebro, C. Moseley, E. Nielsen, C.C. Phifer, E.C. Pischke, C. Schelly, T. Selfa, C.A. Silva, T. Souza, S.R. Sweitz, and C.J. Vázquez Navarrete. 2021. Birds and bioenergy within the Americas: A cross-national, social-ecological study of ecosystem service tradeoffs. Land 10: 258.

Abrams, J., H. Huber-Stearns, M. Steen-Adams, E.J. Davis, C. Bone, M. Nelson, and C. Moseley. 2021. Adaptive governance in a complex social-ecological context: Emergent responses to a native forest insect outbreak. Sustainability Science 16: 53-68.

Timberlake, T., C. Schultz, A. Evans, and J. Abrams. 2021. Integrating new and old institutions in planning for resilience: A case study of public land management in the United States. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 64(7): 1291-1311.

Gutierrez Garzon, A.R., P. Bettinger, J. Siry, J. Abrams, C. Cieszewski, K. Boston, B. Mei, H. Zengin, and A. Yesil. 2020. A comparative analysis of five forest certification programs. Forests 11: 863.

Steen-Adams, M., J. Abrams, H. Huber-Stearns, C. Moseley, and C. Bone. 2020. Local-level emergence of network governance within the U.S. Forest Service: A case study of mountain pine beetle outbreak from Colorado, USA. Forest Policy and Economics 18: 102204.

Charnley, S., H. Gosnell, R. Davee, and J. Abrams. 2020. Ranchers and beavers: Understanding the human dimensions of beaver-related stream restoration on western rangelands. Rangeland Ecology and Management 73(5): 712-723.

Denley, T.J., K.M. Woosnam, M.A. Ribeiro, B.B. Boley, C. Hehir, and J. Abrams. 2020. Individuals’ intentions to engage in last chance tourism: Applying the value-belief-norm model. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 28(11): 1860-1881.

Dunn, C., C.D. O’Connor, J. Abrams, M.P. Thompson, D.E. Calkin, J.D. Johnston, R. Stratton, and J. Gilbertson-Day. 2020. Wildfire risk science facilitates adaptation of fire-prone social-ecological systems to the new fire reality. Environmental Research Letters 15: 025001.

Gutierrez Garzon, A.R., P. Bettinger, J. Siry, B. Mei, and J. Abrams. 2020. The terms foresters and planners in the United States use to infer sustainability in forest management plans: A survey analysis. Sustainability 12(1): 17.

Gosnell, H., R. Kennedy, T. Harris, and J. Abrams. 2019. A land systems science approach to assessing forest governance and characterizing the emergence of social forestry in the Western Cascades of Oregon. Environmental Research Letters 15: 055003.

K. Jones, J. Abrams, T. Belote, B.J. Beltran, J. Brandt, N. Carter, A.J. Castro, B.C. Chaffin, A. Metcalf, G. Roesch-McNally, K. Wallen, and M.A. Williamson. 2019. The American West as a social-ecological region: Drivers, dynamics and implications for nested social-ecological systems. Environmental Research Letters 14: 115008.

Abrams, J. 2019. The emergence of network governance in U.S. national forest administration: Causal factors and propositions for future research. Forest Policy and Economics 106: 101977.

Research Areas:
Research Interests:

My work on natural resource governance and policy spans diverse forest and rangeland environments from the United States to Argentina, focusing on the participation of local communities and local- to regional-scale organizations in environmental governance, policy implementation, and institutional change. Key themes in his scholarship include: adaptive, participatory, and network governance; co-management and co-production; alternatives to traditional state- and market-led approaches to conservation and development; and the dynamics of community engagement with natural resource stewardship and conservation. 


I teach courses related to the social and political dimensions of natural resource management, including the undergraduate-level Society and Natural Resources (FANR 3400/D) and the mixed undergraduate/graduate-level course Renewable Resources Policy (FANR 4800/6800). I also offer graduate-level courses in social and political theory for natural resource management and qualitative research methods in alternating years. I am interested in innovative approaches to teaching, including experiential and collaborative teaching approaches that can be used in place of or alongside traditional lecture and discussion formats. 

Articles Featuring Dr. Jesse Abrams
Degree program's new area of emphasis offers a path combining government and the outdoors

Who decides the future of a forest?

Note: This story is part of a special issue of The Warnell Log focused on carbon.

There’s a good chance you’ve been to the head of the Flint River and didn’t know it.

Nestled in the heart of West Africa’s rainforests, the Republic of Liberia holds a rich history in the region. It also is home to millions of acres of forests, some of the last remaining West African rainforests on the continent.  

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