Karina Schoengold named Associate Director

Karina Schoengold

The Nebraska Water Center recently named Karina Schoengold as the new Associate Director.  In this role, Dr. Schoengold will assist the director in the administration of the Center as well as take a leadership role in coordinating multi-disciplinary grant proposals to federal/state agencies and private/non-profit donors.  As Associate Director, Dr. Schoengold will work directly with faculty and staff to form teams of researchers with complimentary expertise in developing large research and extension proposals to address some of the critical water problems of the state.

“I started working in water resource economics as a graduate student in California,” Schoengold said, “and I find the interdisciplinary nature of water research to be fascinating. As an economist, most of my work is related to incentives, policy design, and improving water management. I have been affiliated with the Nebraska Water Center since I started working at UNL, and have regularly participated in NWC activities and projects. I enjoy collaborating with researchers and stakeholders from a variety of fields, and the NWC position is an excellent opportunity to enhance existing collaborations and build new ones. I enjoy developing partnerships to address important issues, and the NWC is a place where I can be effective in doing so.”

Dr. Schoengold will begin her time as Associate Director by focusing on building connections.

“The University of Nebraska already has dozens of accomplished researchers and talented educators in many disciplines that work on topics that are relevant to water management.” Schoengold said. “However, many of these individuals may not know about the range of other work being done in Nebraska, and where there may be important connections. One of my first priorities is to learn more about the broad range of work on water at the University of Nebraska so that I can use that knowledge to help create teams that can address relevant water issues. In my experience, teams are most successful when they develop a long-term collaboration, and I will help create those collaborations. Decisions about water management and water policy typically have a human aspect, and one of my priorities is to include economics and other social sciences within teams to increase the impact that scientific research has on behavior, policy, and outcomes. In addition, for research to be relevant, it is important to include stakeholders such as the Natural Resources Districts and other water programs within the state in the process of defining priorities for water research.”

The Associate Director position is a 20% appointment, and Dr. Schoengold will serve the other 80% of her appointment by continuing her role as a professor of Agricultural Economics.

Dr. Schoengold joined the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2005. She has a Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley in Agricultural and Resource Economics (2005), and a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Economics and Mathematics (1998).

Her research program relates to a range of agri-environmental policy issues, with a significant focus on water and soil management. Specifically, she is interested in how individuals make decisions regarding the use of scarce and/or polluting inputs, and how policy design affects those decisions. Her research has been funded by a range of programs, including NSF, USDA-NIFA, USDA-ERS, USGS, and the Water for Food Daugherty Global Institute at the University of Nebraska.