Tracy Yandle

Associate Professor

Internship Programs and Business Concentration Coordinator

Office: 400 Dowman Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322

Phone: 404-727-6314

Fax: 404-727-4448



I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. So, it’s not surprising that my research and teaching interests focus on environmental policy and the governance of natural resources. After earning a BA in Government from Franklin and Marshall College, and an MES in Environmental Studies from Baylor University, I returned to the Washington area where I worked for an environmental consulting firm supporting the Environmental Protection Agency. I returned to academia to earn a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) through the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Political Science Department. In 2001, I joined Emory University's Department of Environmental Studies. Since 2011, I have also served as a member of the Scientific and Statistical Committee of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council – a position that gives me insights into the functioning of U.S. fisheries management in general, and detailed knowledge of the South Atlantic fisheries; while also allowing me the privilege of having a direct impact on fisheries policy. I am also an Associate Editor for Marine Resource Economics and Ecology and Society.

Research Interests

I am interested in individuals and their interactions with the institutions used to solve natural resource and environmental management problems.  From a theoretical perspective, I focus on the interaction of property rights and governance arrangements as I seek to understand how policy changes individuals’ incentives and thus their behavior.  In this effort I am working both to build our scholarly understanding of human behavior and improve natural resource management policy.

My primary case has been New Zealand's fisheries management system in which a tradable quota system (ITQs) has evolved into an industry-based co-management system in which fishers and government share management responsibility.  My research shows that ITQs (and other similar instruments such as catch shares) are not a static policy tool, but are a property right which introduces institutional changes far beyond the original natural resource management goals.  For example, in New Zealand, ITQs began as representing the right to catch a certain amount of fish, but over time evolved to represent an “ownership of the fishery.”  When this occurred, ITQ owners demanded (and received) a greater role in management; which in turn lead to the development of the present co-management regime.  My most recent publication (in Policy Studies Journal) examines the influence of trust and property rights in fishers’ decisions to participate in these co-management efforts.

I am also investigating new challenges to this co-management approach including: the de-coupling of ITQ ownership from harvesters, and the related geographic distribution of  ITQ ownership versus fish harvest. Both of these challenges have the long-term potential of undermining these co-management regimes. As the perceived value of these instruments change over time, so does the incentives of those who hold these rights. In developing such an institutional arrangement, careful attention must be paid to the details of institutional design.

While work on New Zealand fisheries continues, I am starting new research projects examining the effects of property rights on fisher behavior and perception of resource management in the United States.   The most elaborate is with a research partner at NOAA that compares differences in perception of management regimes between fishery management regions.   Another project is a comparative study of participation in fisheries management between New Zealand commercial fishers and Gulf Coast charter boat captains.


  • Tracy Yandle and Scott Crosson. 2014. "Whatever Happened to the Wreckfish Fishery? An Evaluation of the Oldest Finfish ITQ Program in the United States." Marine Resource Economics 30. [PDF]
  • Kobi Abayomi and Tracy Yandle. 2012. “A Novel Method of Measuring Consolidation:  Using Conditional Lorenz Curves to examine ITQ Consolidation in New Zealand Commercial Fishing.” Marine Resource Economics 27: 303-321 [PDF]
  • Tracy Yandle, Nadya Hajj, and Rafal Raciboski. 2011. “The Goldilocks Solution: Exploring the relationship between trust and participation in resource management within the New Zealand commercial Rock Lobster Fishery.” Policy Studies Journal [PDF]
  • Tracy Yandle. 2010. “The New Zealand Rock Lobster Experience with Property Rights.” Section in Amber Morris (ed) Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries Catch Share Workshop Proceedings Long Beach: NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service.
  • Tracy Yandle and Christopher M. Dewees. 2008. “Consolidation in an Individual Transferable Quota Regime: Lessons from New Zealand, 1986–1999.”  Environmental Management (2008) 41:915–928. [PDF]
  • Tracy Yandle. 2008. “Rock lobster management in New Zealand: the development ofdevolved governance.” In:  Townsend, R.; Shotton, R.; Uchida, H. (eds).  Case studies in fisheries self-governance.  FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 504. Rome, FAO. 451p. [PDF]
  • Tracy Yandle. 2008. ““The Promise and Perils of Building a Co-Management Regime: An Institutional Assessment of New Zealand Fisheries Management 1999 – 2005. Marine Policy [PDF]
  • Tracy Yandle. 2007. “Understanding the Consequences of Property Rights Mis-Matches: A Case Study of New Zealand’s Marine Resources.” Ecology and Society [PDF]
  • Tracy Yandle. 2006. “The Challenger Scallop Enhancement Company: Collaborative Management of a Natural Resource Based in the Private Sector” Public Administration Review [PDF]
  • Tracy Yandle. 2006. “Letter to Science: Property Rights and Ocean Governance” Science 314 ( 27 October 2006) 593-595 [Letter to Science PDF] [Science Supplement Table PDF]
  • Tracy Yandle. 2006. “Sharing Natural Resource Management Responsibility: Examining Fisheries Co-Management from a Policy Network Perspective” Policy Sciences [PDF]
  • Mark T. Imperial and Tracy Yandle. July 2005. “Taking Institutions Seriously: Using the IAD Framework to Analyze Fisheries Policy” Society and Natural Resources 18(6):493-509. [PDF]
  • Tracy Yandle. 2003. "The Challenge of Building Successful Stakeholder Organizations: New Zealand's experience in Developing a Fisheries Co-Management Regime." Marine Policy, 27(2): 179-192. [PDF]
  • Tracy Yandle and Christopher M. Dewees. 2003. "Privatizing the Commons … Twelve Years Later: Fishers' Experiences with New Zealand's Market-Based Fisheries Management." Chapter in Nives Dolsak and Elinor Ostrom (eds.) The Commons in the New Millennium. Boston: MIT Press.
  • Tracy Yandle. 2000. "The Impact of Governing and Economic Institutions on Energy System: A Case Study of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic." Journal of Energy and Development. 24(1):17-37. [DOC]
  • Rosemary O'Leary and Tracy Yandle. 2000. "Environmental Management at the Millennium: The Use of Environmental Dispute Resolution by State Governments." Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 10(1):137-155. [PDF]
  • Rosemary O'Leary, Tracy Yandle and Tamilyn Moore. 1999. "The State of the States in Environmental Dispute Resolution" Ohio State Journal of Dispute Resolution. 14(2):515-613.
  • Tracy Yandle and Dudley Burton. 1996. "Re-examining Environmental Justice: Race, Poverty, and Hazardous Waste Landfill Siting in Metropolitan Texas." Social Science Quarterly 77(3):477-492.
  • Tracy Yandle and Dudley Burton. 1996. "Methodological Approaches to Environmental Justice: a Rejoinder" Social Science Quarterly 77(3): 520-527

Courses Taught

  • ENVS 225: Institutions and the Environment
  • ENVS 227: Environmental Policy (cross-listed with Political Science)
  • ENVS 337: International Environmental Policy (cross-listed with Political Science)
  • ENVS 458: Fishers and Fisheries
  • ENVS 497: Internship Program
  • ENVS 495/498: Individual Student Readings/Honors  Research
  • ENVS 299/399/499: Environmental Studies Research Sequence

Student Research Opportunities

While research projects vary by semester, opportunities for students to participate in social science research teams are available.  These opportunities focus on fisheries management in New Zealand and the United States.  Potential projects include:

  • GIS database development and analysis (New Zealand)
  • Fisheries politics and demographics database development and analysis (United States)
  • Individual fishery case studies (United States)
  • Survey database development and analysis (New Zealand and United States)

 Interested students should contact Tracy Yandle in person or via e-mail.

Curriculum Vitae