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Political Science
College of Liberal Arts

Derek Kauneckis, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Derek Kauneckis

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., Public Policy, Indiana University at Bloomington, 2005
  • M.S., International Agricultural Development, University of California, Davis, 1997


Prof. Kauneckis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is currently the Director of Graduate Studies, Advisor for the undergraduate minor in Renewable Energy, and affiliated faculty in the Graduate Program in Hydrological Sciences.

He teaches public policy, public finance, policy analysis, research methods, and environmental policy. Prof. Kauneckis is the recipient of numerous teaching and mentoring awards and consults with government agencies, private firms and non-profit organizations.

Research Interests

Prof. Kauneckis' research focuses on the design of governance institutions and how rule structure influences decision making and policy outcomes. Current research projects examine state-level science and technology policy, local government climate change policies, and institutional change and water policy.

Prof. Kauneckis' research has been supported by Fulbright, National Science Foundation, National Oceans and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Class Materials

  • Seminar in Public Policy
  • Research Methods in Political Science
  • Seminar in Government Budgeting
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Renewable Energy Policy
  • Interdisciplinary Modeling
  • Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Policy
  • Global Environmental Policy
  • Public Financial Administration
  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Law
  • Land and Water Resource Policy

Selected and Recent Publications

  • 2014 forthcoming, Ostergard, R. and D. Kauneckis, "Health Security and Environmental Change" in The Routledge Handbook of Health Security, eds. S. Rushton and J. Youde, New York: Routledge.
  • 2014, Kauneckis, D., "Researching Complex Governance Arrangements: The Impact of the Ostrom Legacy on Research Methods and the Analysis of Institutional Design." Policy Matters: 53-61.
  • 2013, Kauneckis, D. and M. Auer, "A Simulation of International Climate Regime Formation." Simulation & Gaming, 44 (2-3): 302-327.
  • 2012, Berry, K., L. Saito, D. Kauneckis, and K. Berry, "Perceptions of Success Regarding Cooperation for Water Quality Issues in Western US Interstate Watersheds." Regions and Cohesion, 2(2): 57-82.
  • 2012, Saito, L., F. Fiedler, B. Cosens, and D. Kauneckis, "Visions of Interdisciplinary Graduate Education in Water Resources". In Toward a Sustainable Water Future: Visions for 2050. W. Grayman, D. Loucks and L. Saito, eds. American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA. pp. 196-206.
  • 2012, Tessendorf, S., H. Lazrus, T. Heikkila, I. Ferguson, J. Arrigo; S. Attari, C. Cianfrani, L. Dilling, J. Gurdak, S. Kampf, D. Kauneckis, C. Kirchhoff, J. Lee, B. Lintner, K. Mahoney, S. Opitz-Stapleton, R. Pallav, A. South, A. Stubblefield, and J. Brugger, "Catalyzing Frontiers in Water-Climate-Society Research: A View from Early Career Scientists and Junior Faculty." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 93(4): 477-484.
  • 2011, Kauneckis, D. and M. Tosun, "Examining the Theoretical Linkages between Climate Change, Food Security and Migration." Border-Lines: Food Security and International Migration. 5: 69-89,
    United Nations World Food Programme and Latino Research Center.
  • 2009, Kauneckis, D. and D. Halsing, "Integrating the Social Sciences in Research Planning." In An
    Integrated Science Plan for the Lake Tahoe Basin: Conceptual Framework and Research Strategies, Z. Hymanson and M. Collopy, eds., U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. pp. 303-367.
  • 2009, Kauneckis, D. and A. York, "Participation in Voluntary Forest Conservation Programs: An Empirical Evaluation of Private Landowners' Decisions." Environmental Management, 44(3): 468-484.

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