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David Yu

David Yu

Assistant Professor // Political Science

Office and Contact

Room: BRNG 2216B


Phone: (765) 494-4174

Assistant Professor of Political Science and Civil Engineering

Ph.D., Sustainability, Arizona State University, 2015
M.P.P., Public Policy, National University of Singapore
B.A.S. Engineering Science, Simon Fraser University


Current CV



Public Policy
Environmental Politics


Research Summary

Professor Yu's field of study is institutions and the environment, collective action and the commons, and resilience of norms or institutions. Specifically, he focuses on the resilience of highly-engineered social-ecological systems (SES) or coupled natural and human systems (CNH) to unexpected, emergent shocks, and how biophysical and institutional factors interact to shape the dynamics of such coupled systems. He examines these interactions to understand the conditions for building sustainable communities from local to global scales in the face of global change.

David brings diverse knowledge sets together to engage in this research: systems thinking and modeling, collective action and the commons, and human behavior, among others. His research methods include mathematical and computational modeling, case study analysis, and behavioral experiments.

Dr. Yu's recent and on-going research projects include exploring the effects of infrastructure design on commons dilemmas and the dynamics of irrigated agriculture SES, investigating the design of learning process that leads to successful resilience-based management of irrigation SES, and tracing how social connectedness influences transformative capacity of community forestry SES under global change.



Principal Investigator on "Reducing the Dependency on Chlorides & Impacts." Analyzing the governance arrangements and management practices associated with the overuse of road salts by municipalities in Indiana during winter. 


Recent Publications

Shin, H. C., Yousefi, P., Park, S., Yu, D. J., Janssen, M. A., Vallury, S., & Araral, E. (2023). Coping With Unreliable Water Supply: An Experimental Study of Exit and Voice. Water Resources Research, 59(6).

Marston, L., Zipper, S., Smith, S. M., Allen, J. J., Butler, J. J., Gautam, S.G, & Yu, D. J. 2022. The
importance of fit in groundwater self-governance. Environmental Research Letters,17(11), 111001. 

Yu, D.J., Haeffner, M., Jeong, H., Pande, S.,†, Dame, J., Di Baldassarre, G., Garcia-Santos, G., Hermans,
L., Muneepeerakul, R., Nardi, F., Sanderson, M. Tian, F., Wei Y., Wessels, J., Sivapalan, M., 2022. On
Capturing Human Agency and Methodological Interdisciplinarity in Sociohydrology Research. Journal of
Hydrology. 67(13), 1905–1916. 

Shrestha, A.G#, Souza, F. A. A.G#, Park, S.G#, Cherry, C., Garcia, M., Yu, D. J., & Mendiondo, E. M. 2022.
Socio-hydrological modeling of the tradeoff between flood control and hydropower provided by the
Columbia River Treaty. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 26(19): 4893–4917.