Mariah Coley

Geography Graduate Group

University of California, Davis   |   129 Hunt Hall   |   Davis, CA 95616


University of California, Davis

2018 – Present   |   Davis, CA
PhD Candidate, Geography
Advisor: Kate Scow
Research Interests: Soil and water resources, political ecology, quantitative spatial analysis of smallholder agricultural and land-use decision-making


University of California, Davis

2016 – 2018   |   Davis, CA
MSc, International Agricultural Development
Advisor: Kate Scow
Capstone project: “Participatory approach for model-based decision-support system development with Ugandan smallholder farmers”


Dartmouth College

2007 – 2011   |   Hanover, NH
BA, Studio Art
BA, Classical Studies

Research Experience

Graduate Student Researcher

UC Davis Land, Air, and Water Resources

Winter 2020

Compiled interview data and conducted qualitative data analysis for research addressing perceptions, constraints, and barriers to pursuing healthy soils among California processing tomato growers; authored publication for submission to peer-reviewed journal (in prep 2020). Advisors: Kate Scow, Nicole Tautges.

Graduate Student Researcher

UC Davis Plant Sciences

Winter – Spring 2019

Compiled and interpreted research results from large interdisciplinary, multi-institution team investigating the e ffects of whole orchard biomass recycling on orchard soil health, productivity, water use efficiency, and other outcomes. Developed project website for grower and academic audiences ( constructed website structure and navigation, produced all written content, designed page layouts, and managed creation and selection of graphic content. Advisors: Sonja Brodt, Amelie Gaudin.

Research and Innovation in Food and Agriculture Fellow

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture

2017 – 2018

Implemented a collaborative application of agroecological models with farmers in six rural communities in Eastern Uganda, as an extension of existing USAID-funded irrigation development research program. Configured biophysical process models to investigate present and likely future outcomes of farm management decisions and local climatic variations for small-scale vegetable producers. Conducted interviews with farmers to support ongoing and future e orts to implement collaborative application of models and to derive farmer-relevant outputs. Advisors: Kate Scow, Robert Hijmans

Graduate Student Researcher

Agricultural Sustainability Institute

2016 – 2017

Documented sustainable agriculture and food systems programs, major contributions, and social and knowledge networks within the UC system. Supervised six undergraduate and graduate students in collecting and cleaning data for online catalogue. Developed static and interactive web pages to showcase project outputs. Advisor: Thomas Tomich

Research Assistant

Dartmouth College Environmental Studies

2013 – 2014

Conducted feeding-trial experiments in replacement of fi sh oil with microalgae in aquaculture feeds for Nile tilapia. Conducted independent research project to compare nutrient pro files between a synthetic algal growth medium and aquaculture effluent. Trained and supervised five undergraduate research assistants in maintenance of extended fish feeding trials. Contributed to grant proposals and media communications. Advisor: Anne Kapuscinski


Fall 2020

Teaching Assistant, Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) 1: Environmental Analysis

Spring 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Teaching Assistant, Environmental Science and Management (ESM) 195: Environmental Issues (senior capstone)

Winter 2020

Guest Lecturer, International Agricultural Development (IAD) 10: Introduction to International Agricultural Development

Winter 2018

Teaching Assistant, International Agricultural Development (IAD) 203: Project Management for International Development

Honors and Awards

Henry A. Jastro Research Award

2017, 2018, 2020

University of California, Davis


Geography Graduate Group Fellowship

2018 – 2019

University of California, Davis


Research and Innovation in Food and Agriculture Fellowship


US Agency for International Development and University of California, Davis


Classes of 1960 and 2010 Purchase Award


Dartmouth College Studio Art


Dartmouth College Fund Scholarship


Dartmouth College


Full Academic Scholarship

2007 – 2011

Dartmouth College


Professional Experience

Editorial Assistant

Annual Reviews

2016 – Present

Conduct desk review of proposals submitted to Annual Review of Environment and Resources (ARER). Support ARER editorial committee in commissioning and reviewing articles and assembling annual journal volume. Analyze ARER publication data to identify topical gaps and gender and geography biases in journal authorship.

Editorial Consultant

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

2016 – 2018

In collaboration with members of the CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council, assisted with the identifi cation and scoping of topics for commissioned articles for a special issue of the journal Agricultural Systems, “Agricultural research for rural prosperity: Rethinking the pathways.” Published results of bibliometric data analysis in the issue’s introductory article.


Research Staff Member

Agricultural Sustainability Institute, University of California, Davis

2014 – 2016

Managed concluding stages of the California Nitrogen Assessment project, an integrated assessment of nitrogen science and policy in California, including writing synthesis sections in two chapters, managing scientific peer- and public review processes, and preparing book manuscript for publication. Coordinated the dissemination of the published California Nitrogen Assessment among local and state-level stakeholders, including farmer associations, industry groups, and California state agricultural and environmental policymakers. Developed web pages, fact sheets, brochures, and other communications products for the California Nitrogen Assessment and other projects and programs.