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Sarah Anderson

Associate Professor - Environmental Politics


Curriculum Vita

Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and

Department of Political Science

4510 Bren Hall

University of California

Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131

Information for Prospective PhD Students

Center for Social Solutions to Environmental Problems


Phone: 805-893-5886
Fax: 805-893-7612




Sarah Anderson is an Associate Professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has three main research agendas: 1) the role of political parties in influencing policy outcomes; 2) the effect of bureaucratic delegation on policy implementation; and 3) the mobilization of the public for environmental action. Her current research focuses on how the public drives agencies' wildfire prevention and the role of moral language in politics. She serves as director of the nascent center for Social Solutions to Environmental Problems at UCSB. Those interests are reflected in her experience in Washington, D.C., where she worked as a U.S. congressman's legislative assistant and also researched legislation to brief members of the House National Parks and Public Lands Subcommittee. In addition to a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University, she holds an M.S. in Economics from Stanford University and a B.S. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



Agency Structure and the Distribution of Federal Spending with Matthew Potoski. 2016. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 26(3): 461-74. doi:10.1093/jopart/muw002

Legislative Institutions as a Source of Party Leaders' Influence with Daniel Butler and Laurel Harbridge. 2016. Legislative Studies Quarterly. Appendix.

Citizen Science as an Approach for Overcoming Insufficient Monitoring and Inadequate Stakeholder Buy-in in Adaptive Management: Criteria and Evidence. Aceves, E., Adeyemi Adeleye, Darcy Bradley, William Brandt, Patrick Callery, Marina Feraud, Kendra Garner, Rebecca Gentry, Yuxiong Huang, Ian McCullough, Isaac Pearlman, Sara Sutherland, Whitney Wilkinson, Yi Yang, Trevor Zink, Sarah Anderson, Christina Tague. 2015. Ecosystems 18(3): 493-506. doi: 10.1007/s10021-015-9842-4. Blog

The Policy Consequences of Motivated Information Processing among the Partisan Elite with Laurel Harbridge. 2014. American Politics Research 42(4): 700-728. DOI: 10.1177/1532673X13511658 Commentary Blog

Delaying the Buck: Who Wins from Bargaining Delay? with Jonathan Woon. 2014. Congress & the Presidency 41(1): 25-48. DOI: 10.1080/07343469.2013.852273

Critical components of uncertainty communication in life cycle assessments of emerging technologies: Nanotechnology as a case study with Sheetal Gavankar and Arturo A. Keller. 2014. Journal of Industrial Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12183

An Assessment of Sector Separation on the Gulf of Mexico Recreational Red Snapper Fishery with Jessica Doerpinghaus, Katie Hentrich, Molly Troup, Aristopheles Stavrinaky. 2014. Marine Policy 50(A): 309-317. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2014.06.007

The Electoral Politics of Disaster Preparedness with Jaime Sainz-Santamaria. 2014. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy 4(4): 234-249. DOI: 10.1002/rhc3.12044

Technical Management in an Age of Openness: The Political, Public, and Environmental Forest Ranger with Heather Hodges and Terry Anderson. 2013. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 23(3): 554-573.

Ecosystem Service Tradeoff Analysis: Quantifying the Cost of a Legal Regime with Kristin Carden, Crow White, Steve Gaines, & Chris Costello. 2013. Arizona Journal of Environmental Law & Policy 4(1).

Perspectives on disconnects between science and management in post-fire treatment in the Western US with Xiaoli Chen, Nathan Emery, Elizabeth S Garcia, Erin J. Hanan, Heather Hodges, Tyronne Martin, Matthew A. Meyers, Lindsey E. Peavey, Hui Peng, Jaime Sainz, Kellie A. Uyeda, Christina Tague. 2013. Environmental Management 52(6): 1415-1426. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-013-0165-y

Invitation Phone Calls Increase Attendance at Civic Meetings: Evidence from a Field Experiment with Scott Hock and Matthew Potoski. 2013. Public Administration Review 73(2): 221-228.

Policy Domain-Specific Ideology: When Interest Group Scores Offer More Insight. 2012. Politics and Policy 40(6): 1182-1202.

The Political Economy of Wildfire Management: Saving Forests, Saving Houses, or Burning Money with Terry L. Anderson. Forthcoming. In Wildfire Policy: Law and Economics Perspectives. Edited by Karen M. Bradshaw and Dean Lueck. RFF Press.

Political Bargaining and the Timing of Congressional Appropriations with Jonathan Woon. 2012. Legislative Studies Quarterly 37(4): 409-436. Blog

Complex Constituencies: Intense Environmentalists and Representation. 2011. Environmental Politics 20(4): 547-565.

Incrementalism in Appropriations: Small Aggregation, Big Changes with Laurel Harbridge. 2010. Public Administration Review 70(3): 464-474.

Revisiting Adjusted ADA Scores for the U.S. Congress, 1947-2007 with Phil Habel. 2008. Political Analysis 17: 83-88. doi: 10.1093/pan/mpn015.



Working Papers

Legislative Holdouts with Daniel M. Butler and Laurel Harbridge

Risk Salience, Public Pressure, and Agency Action: Wildfire and the Management of Public Lands with Matthew Wibbenmeyer and Andrew Plantinga




Adjusted ADA Scores, 1947-2007


The Excel file includes nominal and adjusted ADA scores for each member of Congress from 1947-2007. The file also includes annual nominal and adjusted chamber means and medians. Adjusted ADA scores were estimated by Sarah Anderson and Philip Habel using the method introduced by Groseclose, Levitt, and Snyder, "Comparing Interest Groups Scores across Time and Chambers: Adjusted ADA Scores for the U.S. Congress" American Political Science Review 93: 33-50.

Citation: Anderson, Sarah and Philip Habel. "Revisiting Adjusted ADA Scores for the U.S. Congress, 1947-2007." Political Analysis 2008. doi:10.1093/pan/mpn015






Environmental Politics and Policy


Environmental Policy Analysis


Survey Design and Environmental Public Opinion


Congressional Decision-making and the Environment


Other Projects

2015 UCSB Environmental Politics Conference

Conference on the Politics and Economics of Wildfire

Crossroads Project on Psychology, the Environment, & Public Policy