UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

ARE Welcomes Dr. Jamie Hansen-Lewis to Faculty

Nov. 6, 2019

The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) is proud to welcome Dr. Jamie Hansen-Lewis to our faculty as an assistant professor. Dr. Lewis, a specialist in environmental and development economics, earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in economics from Brown University in Rhode Island and B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she worked at the World Bank for two years, spending time in Sudan, Cameroon, and Washington, DC. She found the work rewarding yet challenging and sometimes under-appreciated. Jamie realized that an academic career would be a good fit for her and that research was her favorite component of the hands-on work at a development NGO, so she pursued a Ph.D. in economics.

“Development and environment both go back to more long-standing subjects that have interested me since high school,” she explained. “I got really caught up in environmental issues in my high school science classes. And I think development is a natural intersection; it’s the frontier of environmental issues. It is a forefront where resource and climate challenges intersect with the challenges of poverty - so it was a natural match.”

Some of Dr. Hansen-Lewis’ research relies on remote-sensing technology that measures pollution and resource use. Jamie said that she never assumed remote sensing would be a part of her research focus, but a professor at Brown gave her the good advice to study this valuable research tool.

“I thought it was very interesting so I took more course work in it and kept looking for ways to leverage it in my research. Eventually, I began to find applications for it that were successful.”

Being a part of UC Davis ARE was the obvious choice for Hansen-Lewis, who cited the department’s world-renowned faculty in both of her fields of interest. In addition, she knew that the university is an outstanding place to teach with a diverse group of talented students.

Hansen-Lewis will begin teaching in the 2020 spring quarter. She is most looking forward to teaching environmental economics to graduate students as “it will be fun for me to synthesize everything that I have learned to share with students.”


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