The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Charles Schweik

University of Massachusetts School of Public Policy (SPP) faculty Charles SchweikMartha Fuentes-Bautista
Professor of Environmental Conservation & Public Policy


324 Holdsworth Hall

Schweik’s active research programs and projects include: 

  • Cofounding World Librarians, which provides open educational resources to remote and offline schools and libraries in Malawi and Kenya. 
  • Codirecting UMassAir, a cross-campus UMass group that focuses on the use of unoccupied aerial systems (UAS) to support environmental policy and management. 
  • "Developing More Effective Caps Metrics for Assessing Ecological Integrity of Salt Marshes," funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. The research team is collecting large sets of temporal and multispectral imagery of approximately ten salt marshes on the Massachusetts coast, trying to understand how these precious natural resources are changing as a result of sea-level rise and other factors. 
  • "Growing Convergence Research: Collaborative Research: Jumpstarting Successful Open-Source Software Projects with Evidence-Based Rules and Structures," funded by the National Science Foundation. A collaboration with faculty at UC Davis, this project studies open-source software projects and the overarching nonprofit foundations they are associated with, in order to understand what leads these projects to longer-term sustainability.
  • "Research Coordination Network: Coordinating and Advancing Analytical Approaches for Policy Design," funded by the National Science Foundation. A collaboration with faculty affiliated with Syracuse University, the University of Arizona, UC Davis, and UC Denver, working to develop methods to automatically extract “institutional statements” (strategies, norms, and rules) from policy documents using the so-called “Institutional Grammar,” a syntax for articulating institutional statements. Schweik is a founding member of the international Institutional Grammar Research Initiative network, an outcrop of this RCN. 
  • In international professional service, Schweik is president (2023-25) of the International Association for the Study of the Commons.

Courses regularly taught in the School of Public Policy include: 

  • Governing the Commons (fall semesters; graduate and upper-level undergraduate)
  • Natural Resource Policy and Administration (spring semesters, undergraduate)

Schweik received a PhD in public policy from Indiana University and an MPA from Syracuse University.

Research interests: 

environmental policy and management, institutional analysis, knowledge and information commons