Gund researchers at a meeting with decision makers in Costa Rica.

Powered by Partnerships

The Gund Institute for Environment accelerates real-world solutions for society by connecting leading researchers with leaders in government, business, and NGOs.

Through policy outreach, we inform policy and management practices and enhance the role of science in decision-making. We work closely with our partners to understand global environmental challenges, develop innovative solutions, and guide smarter decisions.

Our policy outreach program is designed to:

  • Connect Gund experts with decision-makers so that Gund research has broader impacts;
  • ​Align research efforts with the scientific needs of decision-makers;
  • ​Build capacity among Gund scholars to engage effectively with policymakers.

Innovative research, solutions, and expertise

With more than 70 faculty experts, our research has informed state and national policy on a wide range of topics, including clean air, water quality, forest management, flood risk reduction, economic progress, and endangered species. Gund Policy Briefs provide research insights into pressing issues and frame policy thinking and action.

We develop partnerships that connect research with impact. Our approach in partnerships prioritizes trust, respect, and clear communication. We work with stakeholders that have diverse concerns, values, and goals, such as locally-based refugee populations, state land trusts, federal policymakers, and global companies.

Recent Policy Briefs

Sunset over Lake Champlain

Payment for Ecosystem Services

Vermont legislators convened a working group on soil conservation and payment for ecosystem services (PES) with Gund Fellows’ participation. This policy brief synthesized research on PES programs, framed agricultural policy dialogue with state leaders, and helped guide decisions about supporting farmers to improve the environment. Read the policy brief.

Image of a model map showing a high-infection scenario

Agricultural Biosecurity

Gund Fellows co-developed timely, innovative research to reduce the risk of animal diseases like coronaviruses spreading among farms. This policy brief helped to inform decision makers at the US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service, Department of State Biosecurity Engagement Program, and private sector stakeholders. Read the policy brief.

Aerial view of the Amazon rainforest

Environment and Global Health

"Big data" studies by Gund Fellows reveal how investments in nature can benefit people’s health and economic prosperity in developing countries. This policy brief summarized research evidence on health-environment links for partners, including the BRIDGE Project managed by USAID’s Forestry and Biodiversity Office. Read the policy brief.

Hands holding raw coffee beans

Growing Specialty Coffee

The Gund Institute has partnered with the Agroecology & Livelihoods Collaborative to create a more sustainable and just global coffee sector. Gund Fellows used this research brief to leverage our networks and engage NGOs such as The Specialty Coffee Association, funders, and companies in early discussions about how to address systemic inequity across the coffee value chain. Read the policy brief.


Meredith Niles
Acting Director, Gund Institute for Environment 
University of Vermont
Farrell Hall
210 Colchester Avenue 
Burlington, VT 05405 

Jay Caporale
Assistant Vice President, Corporate and Foundation Relations
UVM Foundation
Grasse Mount, 411 Main Street
office: (802) 656-3769
cell: (978) 790-1872

Policy Resources

View and download the Gund Policy Outreach Toolkit