Socioeconomic Innovations

C-CHANGE work on socioeconomic innovations focuses on promoting rural and urban socioeconomic development while also spurring investment in long-term care of land, water, wildlife, and other natural assets. We do this by:

  • Building connections between scientists and entrepreneurs
  • Developing business cases for valuing farm labor and ecosystem services
  • Fostering markets for renewable agricultural goods and services

The Socioeconomic Innovations effort is led by Dara Wald.


[PHOTO]Suraj Upadhaya




“The most exciting change I see is a land-use combined with community and conservation-friendly solutions that allow us to be productive and look for areas where we see bounties of biodiversity.”

— Suraj Upadhaya, Postdoctoral Associate at Iowa State University

Fall soybeans and prairie strips

Success Story

This was a fun paper to work on. I was really excited when manuscript reviews came back with these remarks from the editor, “This is one of the best papers I have seen this year that takes a science matter and has solid useful policy results.”

Photo by Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University

Highlighted Publication

Developing farmer typologies to inform conservation outreach in agricultural landscapes
Suraj Upadhaya, J. Gordon Arbuckle, Lisa A. Schulte

Land Use Policy, doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.105157

[PHOTO]J. Gordon Arbuckle




J. Gordon Arbuckle is a Professor of Sociology and an Extension Sociologist at Iowa State University.

[PHOTO]Cover crops, photo by Jeremy Singer.

Success Story

My research indicates that farmers who are actively involved in watershed management groups and other conservation networks are more likely to adopt conservation practices like cover crops.

Photo by Jeremy Singer

Highlighted Publication

Conditional Causal Mediation Analysis of Factors Associated With Cover Crop Adoption in Iowa, USA
Danhyang Lee, J. Gordon Arbuckle, Zhengyuan Zhu, Laurie Nowatzke

Water Resources Research, Volume 54, Issue 11, pages 9566-9584, doi: 10.1029/2017WR022385