top of page
Businessman Working in Office_edited.jpg

How We Work

Our approach involves working together in dialogue with landowners, policymakers, and the private sector to jointly define our research with agri-

environmental program administrators. 


Finding Cost-Effective Conservation Solutions

To generate credible evidence about the impacts of conservation programs, we conduct randomized

controlled trials. 


By doing so, we are able to determine which approaches encourage landowners to participate in agri-environmental programs most cost-effectively. These studies test the cost-effectiveness of different levels of financial assistance as well as different approaches to planning and outreach.


We also test to determine whether simpler application processes can deliver higher levels of program participation and landowners satisfaction. The results of these studies help federal and state stakeholders design their programs for the greatest possible levels of success. They can also help demonstrate to policy-makers and external funding sources the rigor by which public monies are being spent and how these approaches are part of a continual process designed for program improvement.


Research Areas


Accelerating Sustainable Smart Practices

We seek to understand how to best ensure that practices persist after they are adopted.


Improving Assistance for Farmers


We use scientific methods that make the case for technical assistance within

conservation programs.

This project uses USDA administrative data and data science techniques to examine what leads to the persistence of cover crops.


Building a More Inclusive Economy

We seek to understand if precision agriculture in crop production can lower overall input use.

Our Insights

CBEAR works with conservation program administrators and their partners to incorporate behavioral insights into program designs. 


People look to what others are doing as a guide for their own behavior.

The Pull of Social Comparisons


The most sophisticated programs are the simplest.

The Costs of Complexity

Organic Beetroots_edited.jpg

It’s not just how much incentive you offer, but how you offer it.

Gains from Avoiding Losses


Innovate by running experiments in your programs

Test, Learn, Adapt

Fresh Cabbage_edited.jpg

Use this framework to strengthen your agri-environmental program with behavioral insights.


Agricultural Fields_edited.jpg

Leveraging Randomness to Boost Participation

Overweighting Small Chances

bottom of page