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).


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

Lewis, A. L., T. D. Baird, M. G. Sorice. 2016. Mobile phone use and human-wildlife conflict in northern Tanzania. Environmental Management 58(1): 117-129.

Ramsdell, P. R., M. G. Sorice, A. Dwyer. 2016. Using financial incentives to motivate conservation of an at-risk species on private lands. Environmental Conservation 43: 34-44.

Sorice, M. G. and C. J. Donlan. 2015. A human-centered framework for innovation in conservation incentive programs. Ambio 44: 788-792.

Santo, A., M.G. Sorice, C.J. Donlan, C.T. Franck, C.A. Anderson. 2015. A human-centered approach to designing invasive species eradication programs on human- inhabited islands. Global Environmental Change 35: 289-298.

Berg, M., B. Wilcox, M.G. Sorice, J. Angerer, W.E. Fox III and E. Rhodes. 2015. Demographic Changes Drive Woody Plant Cover Trends—An Example from the Great Plains. Rangeland Ecology & Management 68(4): 315-321.

Toledo, D., U. P. Kreuter, M. G. Sorice, and C. A. Taylor Jr. 2014. The role of prescribed burn associations in the application of prescribed fires in rangeland ecosystems. Journal of Environmental Management 132: 323-328.

Sorice, M. G., C. Oh, T. M. Gartner, M. Snieckus, R. Johnson, and C. J. Donlan. 2013. Increasing participation in incentive programs for biodiversity conservation. Ecological Applications. 23(5):1146-1155.

Toledo, D., M. G. Sorice, U. P. Kreuter. 2013. Social and ecological factors influencing attitudes towards the application of high intensity prescribed burns to restore fire adapted grassland ecosystems. Ecology & Society. 18(4):9, doi: 10.5751/ES-05820-180409.

Sorice, M. G., W. Haider, J. R. Conner, and R. B. Ditton. 2011. Incentive structure and private landowner participation in an endangered species conservation program.  Conservation Biology 25: 587-596.