Focused on the decades-long collective action problem of agricultural nonpoint source pollution.

My research focuses on the decades-long collective action problem of agricultural nonpoint source pollution. I am particularly interested in the role of collective action in agricultural landscapes, especially how farmers, government, and society cooperate to navigate tradeoffs between agricultural production and conservation. In addition, I study the influence of biophysical conditions, infrastructure, and monitoring data in shaping feedbacks between social and natural systems. I study these aspects of environmental governance using mixed methods of semi-structured interviews, spatial analysis, and inferential statistics.

I also participate in several interdisciplinary research communities: the American Association of Geographers, the Global Land Programme, and the International Association for the Study of the Commons. At IU, I’m also affiliated with the Environmental Resilience Institute.

Accepting PhD applications

Our lab is recruiting a PhD student to work on an interdisciplinary NSF DISES project on cover crops in the Midwest for Fall 2023 (application deadline is Jan. 1, 2023 for U.S. applicants, and Dec. 1, 2022 for international applicants). Applicants with a Bachelor's or Master's degree who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Science at IU are encouraged to apply. The ES program is interdisciplinary and work in the Yoder lab is focused on human dimensions research; applicants with experience in either social or natural science backgrounds are welcome.

The Ph.D. student will work collaboratively with an interdisciplinary research team on an NSF-funded project, "Socio-environmental dynamics determining the climate mitigation and adaptation potential of a Midwestern U.S. agroecosystem." Their work with me on the project would focus on the economic and social normative aspects of cover crops adoption in the Midwest. It will involve a mix of quantitative and qualitative social science methods. They will also be encouraged to carve out an area of the project to lead as part of their dissertation. Interested applicants should email Dr. Yoder ( directly with a brief 1-page statement on their research interests, their CV/resume, and a writing sample, before submitting a full online application (which includes additional documents). Our lab's research focuses primarily on how farmers, government, and society can work cooperatively to solve environmental problems, with a particular focus on reducing nonpoint source water pollution.