Principal Investigator

Laura López-Hoffman is a professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and an associate research professor at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona. She is also an affiliated faculty member of the UA James E. Rogers College of Law.  The objective of her research is to contribute to the development of environmental policies and institutions that protect ecosystems and sustain human well-being.
López-Hoffman CV

Research Scientist

Jonathan Derbridge is a post-doctoral fellow in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona, and a research scientist at the López-Hoffman Lab.  He is a wildlife ecologist who works on a range of applied conservation questions related to endangered populations, introduced species, migrations, and ecosystem services.  He also specializes in science communication through art and video editing.
Derbridge CV

Senior Advisor

Robert Merideth has retired as research director but remains as a key advisor to the López-Hoffman Lab. He was also the program manager of the Bridging Biodiversity and Conservation Science (BBCS) Program (an initiative of UA Research, Discovery & Innovation, the Institute of the Environment, and the Udall Center).

NEPAccess Research Director

Emily McGovern is the research director of the NEPAccess project and administrator for the Laura López-Hoffman Lab both based at the University of Arizona’s Udall Center and School of Natural Resources and the Environment. She holds degrees in geography and information science from the University of Arizona and has a background in environmental studies, policy analysis, publishing, and outreach communications.

Graduate Student

Ashley Stava is a Masters student in the school of natural resources and the environment where she studies natural resource management, environmental policy, and collaborative governance. Her research focuses on assessing Environmental Justice in the public participation process of NEPA. Ashley manages the undergraduate student team that collects the data from NEPA documents that helps train the machine learning algorithms.

Graduate Student

Alex Binford-Walsh is a Masters graduate student in Natural Resources at the University of Arizona. He has been involved in local conservation efforts including ranching, land management, and policy analysis. For his thesis, he is researching how agencies determine the effects of NEPA projects on minority and low-income communities.

Graduate student

Carly Winnebald is a Masters student in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. Her current research focuses on identifying how often and what kinds of federal actions under NEPA disproportionately impact low-income and minority communities. Her future research aims to assess the quality of alternatives considered during the NEPA process. 

Graduate student

Blaze Smith is a Masters student in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona. His undergraduate degree is in business administration from Eller College of Management. His research focuses on an economic analysis of NEPA and its valuation. Blaze also assists a small team working to better market the NEPAccess project.

UX/UI Designer

Paul Mirocha is a multi-skilled designer with an MS degree in User Experience Design (UX) from Kent State University. With 30 years of experience working in science as an illustrator, graphic designer, and web designer, he leads the usability and stakeholder outreach for the NEPAccess project. Paul has been the artist-in-residence at the University of Arizona’s Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill.

The Laura López-Hoffman Lab working group, left to right: Blaze Smith, Alex Binford-Walsh, Jonathan Derbridge, Paul Mirocha, Alexia Smith, Laura López-Hoffman, Carly Winnebald, Emily McGovern, and Jeff Dorfman.


Supervised Post-docs

NameCurrent Affiliation
John ClineMitre Corporation
Ruscena Wiederholt Everglades Foundation
Aaron LienAssistant Professor, University of Arizona
Xiao Feng  Florida State University
Mauricio Núñez-Regueiro Universidad Católica de Salta, Argentina.

Graduate Students

Ta-Ken Huang
Kimberly Baeza
Michael Kotutwa Johnson
Aaron Lien
Carrie Presnall
Claudia Reynoso
Sofia Rodriguez-McGoffin
Natalya Robbins Sherman
Matt Skroch
Colleen Svancara


Undergraduate students

Undergraduate students introduce themselves and talk about working on an interdisciplinary team