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Aaron M. Lien

Assistant Professor of Ecology, Management and Restoration of Rangelands, University of Arizona

I am an Assistant Professor of Rangeland Ecology and Adaptive Management in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona. My work is focused on solving emerging challenges in coupled natural human systems. I am an environmental social scientist with training in theories of human behavior and decision making and frameworks for analyzing governance institutions. I also have interdisciplinary training in climate science and rangeland ecology and management. I use this unique combination of skills to engage in transdisciplinary work with ecologists, climate scientists, and political scientists that addresses pressing management and governance challenges including biological invasions, climate change induced forest die-off, migratory species conservation, and adaptive management of rangelands. I teach in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona in our Ecology, Management, and Restoration of Rangelands program. Prior to joining the University of Arizona as a faculty member, I worked for environmental NGOs in Washington, DC and as a research professional at the University of Arizona


  • 2023–present
    Adjunct Research Fellow, Charles Darwin University
  • 2020–present
    Faculty Associate, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy
  • 2020–present
    Assistant Professor, University of Arizona
  • 2017–2020
    Assistant Research Scientist, University of Arizona
  • 2013–2017
    Senior Researcher, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy
  • 2011–2013
    Research Analyst, Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona
  • 2008–2011
    Project Director, Pinchot Institute for Conservation


  • 2017 
    University of Arizona, PhD