Agricultural and Resource Economics M.S.

AREC Graduate Students

Program overview

The program in Agricultural and Resource Economics leads to the Master of Science degree and offers students the perspectives and skills necessary to understand and work in the general fields of applied economics, agricultural and food economics, resource economics, environmental economics, agribusiness, or government sectors of the economy. Also, a strong intermediate level of training is offered so that students may continue graduate work and obtain a PhD degree. Students completing the M.S. degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics are expected to acquire: 

  • theoretical knowledge in microeconomics and primary data collection necessary to complete human dimensions research; 

  • quantitative skills in econometric modelling as well as best methods for data collection, management, and analysis;

  • competencies in agriculture and food policy, behavioral economics, environmental economics, experimental economics, research methods, resource economics, and/or stated preferences;

  • critical thinking, oral and written communication skills by composing and presenting a thesis.

Course spotlights

Graduate students study consumer theory (e.g., deriving demand), theory of the firm (deriving supply), market equilibrium (putting demand and supply together) and market forms (perfect and not so perfect ones). Instructors then cover more advanced approaches to microeconomic theory, such as social preferences, behavior in the commons, market failures, risk and uncertainty, and we will review some recent literature.

This course introduces the foundational models and ideas of behavioral economics. Behavioral economics aims to increase the realism of standard economic models by accounting for more nuanced behaviors grounded in psychological and sociological insights. The goal is to better understand human decision making and to improve policy recommendations and welfare estimations in cases where traditional economic models fail to capture relevant behaviors. Applications tie to issues in environmental, food, energy and agricultural economics.

Students explore the use of lab and field experimental techniques and randomized controlled trials and their application to economic research. Instructors Introduce students to the classic experimental games and related literature that provide the foundation for ongoing experimental economics research. Material is introduced through hands-on participation in experiments and lectures. Students also conduct their own replication of previously published experiments and write-up results as a final research project for the course.


Graduate students

Ryan Bresnahan

Hometown: Chatham, New Jersey

Research interests: Consumer preferences, consumer decision-making, experimental economics

Hobbies: Exercising, hiking, sports, and relaxing

Abigail Crittenden

Hometown: Frederick, Maryland

Research interests: Nutrition and development economics

Hobbies: Ice hockey, CrossFit, eating at restaurants

Lily DeCaro

Hometown: Madison, New Jersey

Research interests: Consumer preferences and all things food

Hobbies: Gardening, running, dogs, and traveling

Pius Lwiyiso Kilasy

Hometown: Njombe, Tanzania

Research interests: Consumer preferences on rice products, cost-benefit analysis and farm accounting, and adoption and uses of improved rice seeds

Hobbies: Sports, music, traveling, volunteering, reading and writing

Mujahidul Islam

Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Research interests: Dynamics of economic and ecological system, Economics of land use, Environmental policy design and evaluation

Hobbies: Travelling, road biking, and sports

Caroline May

Hometown: Exton, Pennsylvania

Research interests: Dietary choices, social determinants of health, social marketing

Hobbies: Gardening, cooking, and swimming

Caroline Johnson

Hometown: Hopkinton, Massachusetts

Research interests: Climate change, influencing prosocial behavior, and food security

Hobbies: Traveling, hiking, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends

Mona Mapunda

Hometown: Morogoro, Tanzania

Research interests: Women in agriculture and women empowerment

Hobbies: Gardening, exploring natural vegetation, and singing

Julia Parker

Hometown: Wilmington, Delaware

Research interests: Sustainable development and incentivizing prosocial behavior

Hobbies: Tennis, reading, and keeping houseplants alive

Stephen Bull

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

Research interests: Renewable energy transition; Public infrastructure externalities; Utility and transportation household preferences.

Hobbies: Cheering on my sports teams, fly fishing, finding new craft breweries, and cooking different recipes

Madison Czerniawski

Hometown: Chicopee, Massachusetts

Research interests: Experimental economics, climate change, coastal issues, natural resources, and sustainability

Hobbies: Traveling, cooking/baking, softball, and spending time with family/friends

Polina Dineva

Hometown: Bayville, New Jersey

Research interests: Environmental Economics, Climate Change and Water Policy, Sea-Level Rise, Environmental Justice

Hobbies: Traveling, Hiking, Swimming, Rock Climbing

Suraj Gurung

Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal

Research interests: Consumer preference, agricultural policy & sustainable development, experimental economics, and development economics

Hobbies: Trekking, travelling, listening to acoustic music, and writing 

Catherine Johnson

Hometown: Newark, Delaware

Research interests: Farmer decision making, barriers to adoption of nutrient management practices

Hobbies: Bass and fly fishing, deer hunting, water polo, and hiking

Rachel King

Hometown: Seaford, Delaware

Research interests: Environmental Economics, agriculture, and resource/land conservation

Hobbies: Traveling, being outdoors, and reading

Sarah Meyer

Hometown: Sussex, New Jersey

Research interests: Consumer preferences for eco-conscious products, market-based solutions for environmental regulations, and sustainable development

Hobbies: Hiking, tap dance, mixology, and board games

Mitchell Stallman

Hometown: Amherst, New Hampshire

Research interests: The intersection of environmental and development economics, agri-environmental policy, ecological economics, feminist economics

Hobbies: Any outdoor activity, but mostly climbing and running, cooking delicious vegan meals, guitar

Faculty advisors

Research News
  • Purple Martins rest on a wildlife surveillance instrument.

    Birds Tell Us About Migration

    September 20, 2022 | Written by Renee Wilson of National Audubon Society
    Purple Martins (Progne subis) are long-distance migrants, with most wintering in the Amazon Basin after breeding across the eastern U.S. and Canada. Biologists at the University of Delaware are conducting a study to learn more about Purple Martins. Their goal? To link the movement ecology of individual birds in the mid-Atlantic region with their breeding productivity, foraging habitat use, survival, migration phenology, and nonbreeding locations. The study will also identify the locations and monitor the phenology of autumn Purple Martin roosts in the mid-Atlantic region.
  • Big Hopes for Baby Ginger in Mid-Atlantic Farming

    September 14, 2022 | Written by Michael Short of Lamcaster Farming
    Could baby ginger become an alternative crop for Mid-Atlantic farmers? That’s one of the research projects at the Carvel Research and Education Center of the University of Delaware. The baby ginger research is being headed by Shem Elias, a Tanzanian master student.
  • James Prince Working Hard in the Trenches On and Off the Field

    September 12, 2022 | Written by
    Senior offensive lineman James Prince was usually alongside his teammates as they prepare for the 2022 season; however, he would often show up in the evenings covered in dirt and mud.