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Ostrom and Nagenda awarded Cozzarelli Prize

Elinor Ostrom (left) and Harini Nagendra

Elinor Ostrom and Harini Nagendra, research associates with the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change at IU Bloomington, have been awarded the Cozzarelli Prize from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for their article, "Insights on linking forests, trees and people from the air, on the ground and in the laboratory."

The Cozzarelli Prize recognizes papers of outstanding scientific excellence and originality. The award is named for PNAS's late Editor-in-Chief Nick Cozzarelli, whose motto -- "blast ahead" -- expressed his support for scientists who break from conventional assumptions in their research and conclusions.

The article provides an overview of findings from a long-term, interdisciplinary, multiscale, international research program that analyzes the institutional factors affecting forests managed under a variety of tenure arrangements. The program analyzes satellite images, conducts social-ecological measurements on the ground, and tests the impact of structural variables on human decisions in experimental laboratories. Evidence from all three research methods challenges the presumption that a single governance arrangement will control overharvesting in all settings.

Ostrom is a professor of political science, and of public and environmental affairs, as well as co-director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. She is also the founding director of the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity at Arizona State University.

Nagendra is the Asia research coordinator for CIPEC and adjunct fellow with Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment in Bangalore, India. CIPEC staff Joanna Broderick, editor, and Sean Sweeney, remote sensing specialist, aided in the technical aspects of the article. The majority of funding for research and support came from the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation and a Branco Weiss Fellowship.