Julia M. Wondolleck

Associate Professor


PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (environmental policy and planning)

MCP, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (environmental planning)

BA, University of California Davis (economics)

3512 Dana


Julia Wondolleck has spent over 20 years researching the emergence and functioning of inter-organizational and community-based collaborative processes in ecosystem-scale resource management, processes that often arise in response to natural and/or social system crises. Her research focus is environmental decision-making and the structure of policy and administrative processes that promote the sustainability of ecological and human systems in the face of diverse yet legitimate interests, scientific complexity, and often conflicting and ambiguous legal direction. This research looks at both conflict and collaboration in the management of public natural resources and, in particular, the factors that promote and sustain community-based collaborative resource management processes. Current research projects include: assessing lessons for policy and practice from marine ecosystem-based management initiatives around the world; examining the experiences of Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Councils and NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Councils; determining the influence of the Federal Advisory Committee Act in public resource management; and, assessing approaches to evaluating the effectiveness of ecosystem-based management processes. Wondolleck is also examining the connections between what encourages and sustains collaborative ecosystem management initiatives and the institutional arrangements that might enable community-level adaptation to the effects of climate change.

  • 2012-2014: “Faith-based Community Forest Stewardship in the Great Lakes: Key Motivations, Processes, and Outcomes,” US Department of Agriculture McIntire-Stennis Program, $56,585, (with Cybelle Shattuck).

  • 2009-2012: “Communicating and Translating Place-based Knowledge to Improve the Practice of Marine Ecosystembased Management,” David and Lucile Packard Foundation, sub-contracted through Brown University (with S. Yaffee).

  • 2009-2010: “Developing, Evaluating and Disseminating Case Studies of Marine Ecosystem-Based Management.” $338,511. David and Lucile Packard Foundation (with S. Yaffee).

  • 2008-2009: “Planning Grant for Marine Ecosystem-Based Management Cases.” $55,790. David and Lucile Packard Foundation (with S. Yaffee).

  • 2004-2005: “Building the Capacity of Collaborative Ecosystem-Based Management Projects: Pilot Testing an Evaluation Process.” $150,000. David and Lucille Packard Foundation (with S. Yaffee).


University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School Faculty Masters’ Student Mentoring Award (2014).

Students for SNRE Outstanding Teaching Award (2001, 2003, 2010).

Book of the Year Award, International Association of Conflict Management, for Making Sense of Intractable Environmental Conflicts, (Lewicki, Gray and Elliott, eds.), co-author of Chapters 2 and 3. 

Doctoral Fellow, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

John F. Hennessey Fellow in Environmental Studies, MIT.

Select publications: 


Facilitator, City of Ann Arbor, Michigan, “Huron River and Impoundment Management Planning (HRIMP) Process” (2007-May 2009).

National Advisory Board Member, Public Land and Resources Law Review, University of Montana School of Law (2005-present).