Congratulations, Sheila Reddy – 2018 CBEAR Prize for Agri-Environmental Innovation Awardee

Durham, NC  – The Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research (CBEAR) presented Sheila Reddy, Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives at The Nature Conservancy (TNC), with the 2018 CBEAR Prize for Agri-Environmental Innovation.

In explaining why Dr. Reddy was chosen for the Prize, CBEAR Outreach Director Mark Masters commented, “Sheila has been a leader in using behavioral science and rigorous experimental designs to accelerate conservation outcomes, and her efforts serve as an exemplar for evidence-based agri-environmental programs. By creating effective collaborations among academics and practitioners, she bridges the gaps that often exist between research, policy and application.”

Upon accepting the award, Dr. Reddy encouraged TNC colleagues and CBEAR to continue developing innovative, science-based approaches that enable people—e.g., landowners, farmers, voters—to take conservation action. “At its core, conservation is about people’s actions and decisions. Now more than ever, success depends on finding ways to help people overcome barriers to conservation. That is why we are committed to building our capacity to understand and address these barriers. For example, an experimental program conducted in collaboration with CBEAR and Purdue University is informing new approaches within our soil and nutrient strategy.”

CBEAR Co-Director Kent Messer, at University of Delaware, emphasized that “the efforts of TNC emphasized how programs that work for the environment work for farmers too. We can learn how best to design programs that farmers want to participate in that work for them, and for the environment.”

CBEAR Co-Director Paul Ferraro, at Johns Hopkins University, emphasized that the Prize goes to leaders who understand that developing evidence-based conservation requires that research be embedded into implementation: “We need to apply the same scientific lens to conservation implementation that we apply to natural and physical systems. Every action that is implemented as a good idea to be applied, rather than a good hypothesis to be tested, is a missed opportunity to learn. In conservation, it’s been mostly missed opportunities. With leaders like Sheila, we can do better.”


Contact: Maddi Valinski, CBEAR Program Administrator; (302) 831-8873


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CBEAR is a collaborative group of researchers that incorporates behavioral insights into agri-environmental program designs to achieve greater levels of participation and satisfaction, improved environmental outcomes and reduced program costs. Directed jointly by research leaders at the University of Delaware and Johns Hopkins University with funding from the USDA Economic Research Service, CBEAR efforts are supported by a diverse group of research professionals within academia and government from across the United States. For more information, visit


The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.



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