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Rosina Bierbaum

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Research Professor; Roy F. Westin Chair in Natural Economics

Dr. Rosina Bierbaum is the Roy F. Weston Chair in Natural Economics at the University of Maryland in the School of Public Policy. She is also a Professor and Dean Emerita at the University of Michigan with appointments in both the School for Environment and Sustainability, and the School of Public Health.

Bierbaum’s experience extends from climate science into foreign relations and international development. Rosina served for two decades in both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government, and ran the first Environment Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She chairs the Scientific and Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility, and serves as a Science Adviser to the newly created Global Adaptation Commission. She served on President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, as an Adaptation Fellow at the World Bank, a member of the Michigan Climate Action Council, and on Michigan’s Chronic Wasting Disease Commission.

She has lectured on every continent, and in more than 20 countries. Bierbaum is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Ecological Society of America, and Sigma Xi. She received the American Geophysical Union’s Waldo Smith award for ‘extraordinary service to Geoscience’ and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Protection Award. Bierbaum serves on the boards of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Federation of American Scientists, AAAS, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, the Climate Reality Project, the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, the International Finance Corporation Business and Sustainability Group, and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.

She earned a BA in English, a BS in biology and a Ph.D. in ecology and evolution.

Areas of Interest
  • Climate change: mitigation and adaptation, science policy, development and environment
3 Credit(s)

This course explores how scientific and technical information gets used (or not used) in the formation of public policy, and how public policy influences science and technology development. Students will come away from this course with a fundamental understanding of the institutional landscape of S&T policy, the instruments of S&T policy implementation, and the processes of S&T policy decision-making. The landscape encompasses government, business, academic institutions, and NGOs. The policy mechanisms include government subsidies for research and development, enforcement of intellectual property rights, encouragement of public understanding of S&T, and much more. The processes range from direct democracy and litigation to legislative and bureaucratic decision-making. Along the way, students will examine some of the most challenging S&T-linked public-policy issues of the 21st century – climate change, energy, national security, innovation, spectrum allocation, environmental monitoring, agricultural productivity, the pursuit of sustainable economic development – and will grapple with the interlinked issues of S&T education, and the level of public participation in S&T decision making.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Rosina Bierbaum