Judith A. Layzer
Associate Professor of Environmental Policy and Head, Environmental Policy and Planning Group, Department of Urban Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Expertise & Civic Involvements
Layzer studies environmental politics and policy in the United States. She is best known for her research on (1) the role of science in environmental policymaking; and (2) the effectiveness of innovative approaches to policymaking, such as planning at a regional scale, collaborating with stakeholders, or relying on information or incentives to change behavior. Her newest book investigates conservatives’ impact on policies to address air pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change. A current research project seeks to create a template for analyzing urban sustainability programs – to create systematic, real-time assessments of the effectiveness of those programs that will be useful to municipal decision makers.
Open for Business: Conservatives’ Opposition to Environmental Regulation (MIT Press, 2012). Analyzes the impact of conservative activism on U.S. environmental policy and politics.
"Integrated Water Resources Management in the United States: The Chesapeake Bay Program" International Journal of Water Governance (2012). Evaluates the extent to which the Chesapeake Bay Program has improved environmental management in the Chesapeake Bay region.
The Environmental Case: Translating Values Into Policy, 3rd ed. (CQ Press, 2012). Provides an analytic framework for understanding how environmental policy is made at the federal, state, and local levels.
"What Works and Why? Evaluating the Effectiveness of Cities’ Sustainability Initiatives," (with ), American Political Science Association Meeting, Washington, DC, September, 2010. Describes a project that aims to provide real-time analyses of urban sustainability programs.
Natural Experiments: Ecosystem-Based Management and the Environment (MIT Press, 2008). Investigates the extent to which regional-scale planning in collaboration with stakeholders yields environmentally beneficial results.
"Deep Freeze: How Business Has Shaped the Global Warming Debate in Congress" in Business and Environmental Policy: Corporate Interests in the American Political System, edited by Michael E. Kraft and Sheldon Kamieniecki, eds. (MIT Press, 2007), 93-125. Explains the role of business in shaping the legislative debate over climate change.
"Fish Stories: Science, Advocacy, and Policy Change in New England Fishery Management" (with ). 34 1, no. 1 (2006): 59-80. Explains the shift from permissive to restrictive management in the New England groundfish fishery.
Talks and Briefings
- "The Promise and Pitfalls of Ecosystem-Based Management," keynote delivered at the Sustainability Solutions Initiative annual meeting, University of Maine at Orono, September 26, 2011.
- "What is a ‘Rational’ Decision on Geoengineering?," MIT Geoengineering Symposium, Cambridge, MA, October 30, 2009.
- "The Low-Carbon City: Do Urban Energy Initiatives Reduce Cities’ Carbon Footprints?," MIT Energy Initiative, Singapore, January 22, 2009.
- "Opportunities in Infrastructure and Built Environment," (with Sarah Slaughter, moderator, and Milton Bevington and Bill Sisson), panelist at MIT Sloan 2008 Convocation, Cambridge, MA, October 6, 2008.
- "Urbanization and the Environment: Governance, Technology, and Infrastructure," presentation delivered in preparation for the World Bank’s 2010 World Development Report, Berlin, Germany, September 28, 2008.
- "Green Works," Service Employees International Union, Chaska, MN, May 3, 2007.
- "Deep Freeze: Science, Politics, and Global Warming," United States Geological Survey, Western Region Public Lecture Series, Menlo Park, CA, June 1, 2005.