Environmental Policy

Silvia Secchi

  • Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Policy Research Program
  • Associate Professor, Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences


Silvia Secchi is an associate professor in the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She joined the UI faculty in 2017 after serving nine years at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where she was an assistant and then associate Professor in the Department of Agribusiness Economics until 2014. From 2014 to 2017, she was an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Resources, and the Director of the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Environmental Resources and Policy. She is a natural resource economist by training, and her work typically combines methodologies from the social sciences, the natural sciences and engineering. She has published on the environmental impacts of agricultural land use change in the Corn Belt, particularly water quality and carbon, and the interplay between agricultural, conservation and energy policies in the region. She has also researched farmers’ attitudes towards conservation, multifunctional floodplain management and targeted reconnection, invasive species management, and mitigation and adaptation to climate change in the agricultural sector. At UI, she is a core faculty member in the campus-wide Water Sustainability Initiative. Secchi is also interested in the methodology, pedagogy and epistemology of interdisciplinary inquiry. In particular, she is interested in the mentoring and training of graduate students, fostering the creation of new knowledge in interdisciplinary teams, and promoting effective science and policy communication, both internally within teams, and externally when engaging with stakeholders, funders and society at large. 

Research Interests

  • Environmental impacts of agriculture
  • Water sustainability
  • Floodplain policy
  • Conservation policy
  • Adaptation and mitigation to climate change
  • Land use science
  • Integrated modeling

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Economics, Iowa State University, 2000
  • M.Sc., Agricultural Economics, University of Reading, Reading, U.K., 1995
  • Laurea, Economics, Universit√† Commerciale L. Bocconi, Milan, Italy, 1993