Dr. Michael Sorice

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Dr. Sorice is an Associate Professor in the Department of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation. He currently teaches a graduate course entitled Social Ecological Systems. Dr. Sorice’s Conservation Social Science Lab examines personal, social, and structural characteristics that influence people’s choices in the face of biodiversity and habitat loss, invasive species, and landscape transformation. His research program focuses on explaining resource use decisions and the ways these decisions can be shaped to favor environmental integrity. Much of Dr. Sorice’s work focuses on the role of decentralized governance approaches that address environmental issues from the bottom up (e.g., volunteer associations and payments for ecosystem services).

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Recent interdisciplinary research projects consider human-nature feedbacks in:

  1. freshwater systems where nutrient fluxes influence water quality;
  2. island environments where full cooperation of landowners is needed to eradicate invasive species;
  3. landscapes where land management decisions facilitate landscape conversion and degradation in rangelands;
  4. agricultural operations where increased pollinator services may also be associated with cultural ecosystem services; and
  5. rural America where endangered, threatened, and imperiled species rely on private lands for critical habitat.



Recent Relevant Publications

Barnes, J.C., M. Sketch, A.R. Gramza, M.G. Sorice, R. Iovanna, and A.A. Dayer. 2020. Land use decisions after the Conservation Reserve Program: Re-enrollment, reversion, and persistence in the southern Great Plains. Conservation Science & Practice.

Rajala, K., M.G. Sorice, V. Thomas. 2020. The meaning(s) of place: Identifying the structure of sense of place across a social-ecological landscape. People and Nature

Fitchett, L., M.G. Sorice, K.M. Cobourn, K.J. Boyle, J. Klug, and K.C. Weathers. 2020. Pathways to enhanced lake integrity: A framework to assess effectiveness of local lake associations. Lakes & Reservoirs

Ward, N.K., L. Fitchett , J.A. Hart, L. Shu, J. Stachelek, W. Weng, Y. Zhang,…M.G. Sorice,…et al. 2019. Integrating Fast and Slow Processes Is Essential for Simulating Human–Freshwater Interactions. Ambio 48: 1169–1182.

Cobourn, K. M., Cayelan C. Carey, K. J. Boyle, C. Duffy, H. A. Dugan, K. J. Farrell, L. Fitchett, P. C. Hanson, J. A. Hart, V. R. Henson, A. L. Hetherington, A. R. Kemanian, L. G. Rudstam, L. Shu, P. A. Soranno, M. G. Sorice, J. Stachelek, N. K. Ward, K. C. Weathers, W. Weng, and Y. Zhang. 2018. From concept to practice to policy: modeling coupled natural and human systems in lake catchments. Ecosphere 9(5): e02209.

Sorice, M.G., K. Rajala, and U.P. Kreuter. 2018. Understanding management decisions of absentee landowners: More than just presence-absence. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 71(2): 159-162.

Sorice M.G., C. J. Donlan, K. J. Boyle, W. Xu, and S. Gelcich. 2018. Scaling participation in payments for ecosystem services programs. PLoS ONE 13(3): e0192211.