SPP Faculty Member Wins Dissertation Prize

Juniper Katz
Juniper Katz

Juniper Katz, who will join the faculty of the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy this fall, has been honored for her Ph.D. dissertation by the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs.

Katz received the School of Public Affairs’ Best Dissertation Award for 2019-20 for her work, “The Effect of Policy Implementation on Public Values,” which looked at land conservation policy. Katz finds in her research that the effects of program participation reach beyond land protection to transform landowners’ perception of the community benefits of their decision to conserve their land. She also finds that larger nonprofit land trusts are more likely to participate in program implementation because they are able to bear the brunt of program costs. Capacity also affects land trusts' ability to engage in policy activity at the local, state and national level.

“This dissertation was innovative in its theoretical approach, data sources, and methods of analyses in exploring how nonprofits contribute to advancing public values,” Chris Weible, School of Public Affairs’ Ph.D. program director, said in an announcement of the award.

In addition to working as a research assistant and adjunct lecturer, Katz has served as executive director of the Montezuma Land Conservancy in Cortez, Colorado, and as a program manager and land protection fellow at the nonprofit Colorado Open Lands. Her research interests include environmental policy, policy process, new public governance and nonprofit management.