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

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

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

Photo of Davidson Obilor Nwaonu

Davidson Obilor Nwaonu

Hometown: Mbaise, Nigeria

Research interests: Climate Driven Consumer Choice Analysis, Development Economics, Rural Development and Policy

Hobbies: Surfing the Internet, Writing, Playing Soccer, Drinking Garri

Julia Parker

Hometown: Wilmington, Delaware

Research interests: Sustainable development and incentivizing prosocial behavior

Hobbies: Tennis, reading, and keeping houseplants alive

Photo of Laura Taylor

Laura Taylor

Hometown: Annapolis, Maryland

Research interests: Sustainable development, environmental economics, consumer decision-making, climate change

Hobbies: Traveling, baking, listening to music, sports events, spending time with friends and family

Abigail Crittenden

Hometown: Frederick, Maryland

Research interests: Nutrition and development economics

Hobbies: Ice hockey, CrossFit, eating at restaurants

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

Mona Mapunda

Hometown: Morogoro, Tanzania

Research interests: Women in agriculture and women empowerment

Hobbies: Gardening, exploring natural vegetation, and singing

Photo of Md Abedur Rahman

Md Abedur Rahman

Hometown: Khulna, Bangladesh

Research interests: Environmental economics, Economics of climate change, Agricultural, food and resource Economics

Hobbies: Travelling and fishing

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

Photo of Ahamed Zakaria

Ahamed Zakaria

Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Research interests: Non market valuation, Environmental quality assessment, climate change, human environment interaction

Hobbies: Soccer, playing video games

Faculty advisors

Research News
  • Black-throated Green Warbler on a fruiting tree during autumn migration in Cape May Point, New Jersey. Image credit: Alex Wiebe, Princeton University.

    New Map of “Stopover Hotspots” Provides Insights for Conservation of Eastern U.S. Migratory Landbirds

    January 10, 2023 | Written by Christian J. Rivera for the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment
    Every autumn, billions of birds migrate across the eastern U.S. en route to their wintering sites. As the birds undertake their journeys, however, they are faced with increasing threats, including habitat loss, storms, feral cats and other predators, pesticides, collisions with buildings, and climate change. Not only are individual species impacted by these threats, but so is the migratory phenomenon itself.
  • Climate-smart farming

    December 13, 2022 | Written by Dante LaPenta
    University of Delaware faculty member Kent Messer will investigate how to accelerate farmers’ adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Initiative, an effort that recently funded $2.8 billion in research projects nationwide.
  • Growing space crops

    November 28, 2022 | Written by Dante LaPenta
    Growing food in space is fraught with daunting challenges, including extreme environmental stressors like radiation and microgravity. Qingwu (William) Meng, an assistant professor of controlled-environment horticulture, is an expert on plant growth and light, which, as you’ll remember from your elementary school science or Ms. Frizzle’s Magic School Bus, is an essential component in turning a seed into a mature plant.