531 S. College Avenue, Newark, DE

A USDA Center of Excellence

Applying behavioral insights and experimental designs to improve programs related to agriculture and the environment.

Evidence-based Policy

Develop evidence-based policy relevant to voluntary Agri-Environmental Programs

Behavioral Economics

CBEAR conducts lab and
field experiments to test hypotheses from the behavioral sciences. 

Research Network

CBEAR expands and enhances the human capital of scholars and practitioners for
generating high-quality evidence about improving agricultural programs.

Disseminate Knowledge 

To help design better agri-environmental programs, CBEAR packages
the insights that it and other researchers develop and shares this information with program administrators, policy makers and the media.

Thank You For Joining Us For Our First Ever CBEAR Fellows Virtual Seminar Series!

If you missed any of the four seminars, head over to our CBEAR YouTube page to hear talks from Dr. Shelia Walsh Reddy, Dr. Jim Cox, Dr. Tongzhe Li, and Dr. Kelly Davidson! A special thanks to postdoctoral researcher Dr. Laura Paul at the University of Delaware for her efforts in pulling this series together. 

Head Over to YouTube to Watch the Seminars!
Center for Behavioral & Experimental Agri-Environmental Research (CBEAR)

Why Behavioral Science?

Insights from the behavioral sciences are revolutionizing
the way in which government programs are designed and delivered, and we are bringing this revolution to agrienvironmental programs. A “test, learn, adapt” strategy helps programs be their best, achieve greater levels of program participation and satisfaction, and achieve improved environmental outcomes, all while reducing costs.

Enhancing the Evidence Base

To create evidence-based programs, CBEAR has been conducting randomized field experiments across the US. On the map below, we highlight the zip codes where CBEAR field experiments have generated evidence that can make agri-environmental programs more cost-effective.


CBEAR Leadership Team

Paul Ferraro

Mark Masters

Outreach Director


Paul Ferraro

Kent Messer



Co-Headerquartered at

Johns Hopkins University
Albany State University
University of Delaware

Postdoctoral Researchers & Fellows

at top research and land-grant colleges and institutions


Latest News & Innovations

Improving NRCS’s Efforts to Sell Conservation

In a meeting between CBEAR and USDA employees from different agencies*, people had conflicting opinions about what approach would work best in a new outreach program on soil health.

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Increasing Voluntary Support for NACD

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is funded by voluntary contributions from its member Conservation Districts. These contributions are used to provide districts with representation at the national level. Despite these collective benefits, not every district contributes the suggested annual contribution amount, and many do not contribute at all.

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FPAC Training

CBEAR created a training course that synthesizes the latest scientific knowledge about human behavior for the USDA Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) staff. The course contains three modules: Why Farmers[…]

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