Nicola Ulibarri

Assistant Professor
Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy
University of California, Irvine
206B Social Ecology I
Irvine, CA 92697

(949) 824-6484

Nicola’s CV

Nicola Ulibarri is an interdisciplinary scholar who uses political, social, and technical perspectives to evaluate the sustainability of environmental planning and decision-making practices. She investigates the interaction between people, infrastructure, and the environment, with a focus on redesigning planning, permitting, and operations to meet more diverse social and environmental needs. She earned her PhD through the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment & Resources at Stanford University, and spent a year as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. Her professional life has spanned the public and non-profit sectors, including work with the US Department of the Interior (Region IX), the World Bank, and Amigos Bravos, a grassroots river-protection nonprofit in New Mexico.

Graduate Student Advisees

Omar Pérez Figueroa (PhD student, Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy)

BA Social Sciences, University of Puerto Rico; MS Water. Interdisciplinary Analysis & Sustainable Management, University of Barcelona

Research interests: Environmental hazards, environmental justice, the Caribbean

Claudia Valencia (PhD student, Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy)

BA Political Science, BS Economics, Cal Poly Pomona; MPP UC Irvine

Research interests: Water governance, collaborative water resource management, indigenous communities

Jie Wang (PhD student, Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy)

LLB Public Administration, Fudan University; MPA Tsinghua University; MPA University of Washington

Research interests: Collaborative governance, water policy, China

Research Assistants


Nataly Escobedo Garcia (PhD student, Social Ecology)

BA Latin American and Latino/a Studies, UC Santa Cruz; MA Sociocultural Anthropology, CSU Los Angeles

Research Interests: Water rights, human rights, and politics in California farmworker communities

David Han (High school intern)

Research interests: attachment theory, water governance, water policy, marine ecology, climate change

Janette Hernandez (BA student, Environmental Science & Policy)

Research Interests: contemporary environmental challenges, effective environmental management, formulation of environmental policy, policy process, sustainability

Clarissa Picket (Post-bac researcher)

BS Environmental Science, Policy & Management, UC Berkeley

Research Interests: Coastal governance, climate adaptation, social ecology

Sara Ro (BA student, Psychology)

Research Interests: Human behavior, human relationships, forensic psychology, cultural anthropology, and industrial organizational psychology

Susana Rodriguez Guerra (BA student, Psychology)

Research Interests: Water resources, social and environmental differences and inequalities, stereotyping and prejudice


Lab Alumni

Name Degree/Role Years in Group Last known position
Gissel Enriquez BA Urban Studies, BS Earth System Science 2016-18 MURP student, CalPoly Pomona
Kevin Steve Tellez BA Urban Studies 2016-17 MA Urban & Public Affairs student, U San Francisco
Cherry Yip MPP 2017 Program Coordinator, Civic & Community Engagement Minor, UCI