Department Directory

Stephanie Webb
  • Title
    • PhD Student
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Environmental Studies Department
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • ISB 420
  • Office Hours MW 1:15 PM to 2:30 PM
  • Mail Stop Environmental Studies
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA

Research Interests

My doctoral research examines social, political and economic forces protecting and constraining marine ecosystems through a production lens. I draw theoretical support from political ecology, sustainable development and livelihoods as well as critical food studies. Using methods from commodity chain studies and social network analysis, I examine how social production networks influence economic performance, the diffusion of resources (i.e., physical infrastructure, permits, capital), knowledge (i.e., price and market), and ultimately, exercise power? I explore human and nonhuman actors and map their connectivity in global commodity chains. I am interested in how economic surplus and socio-ecological externalities are distributed and what are the consequences of uneven distribution on equity. My background is in economics, politics and geography. My current research focuses on Pacific forage fish.

Last summer, I piloted a mixed methods approach drawing from political economy and sensory science to examine Egyptian tilapia, its value chain, marginality and power as well as consumer behavior. This project was implemented in partnership with WorldFish, a global nonprofit organization working towards eliminating poverty and food insecurity through sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. WorldFish's value chain research focuses on: (1) improving the efficiency of producing, processing and trading fish;  (2) producing or marketing more sophisticated products with increased value;  (3) reducing negative impacts such as waste, impact on natural resources or exploitation of people;  (4) changing or adding functions in the value chain; and (5) improving coordination between actors in the value chain, promoting gender equality and harnessing sustainable development. Fieldwork occurred in Cairo, Fayoum, and Khalifa El Shaikh, Egypt.

Biography, Education and Training

I am passionate about food. Where it comes from, how it’s sourced and how consumer choices affect the ecosystem and livelihoods of producers? Over the past six years, I have dedicated my professional endeavors towards addressing injustices within our seafood system by bringing several years of corporate finance to fishing dependent communities in search of economic solutions. I advise fishing communities in areas of organizational development, finance, economics, marketing, sustainability planning, and traceability. 

Honors, Awards and Grants

2017    National Science Foundation I-Corps Fellowship, University of California, Santa Cruz        $2,000

2017    Ideas Hub, University of California, Santa Cruz                                                              $2,000

2017    Environmental Studies Department Summer Research Grant, UCSC                                 $500

2017    Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students, UCSC, Women’s Club Scholarship              $2,000

2017    Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Program, UCSC      $5,000

2017    Berkley Big Ideas Competition, 2nd Place Winner, Technology for Sustainable Fisheries     $6,000

2017    David Gaines Environmental Studies Award, UCSC                                                         $1,000

2017    Heller Agroecology Graduate Student Research Fellowship, UCSC                                    $2,000

2016    Blum Center Award on Poverty, Social Enterprise and Participatory Governance.              $2,000

2016    Research Innovation Fellowship in Agriculture, (RIFA) Fellowship, Cairo, Egypt                 $5,500

2016    Environmental Studies Department Summer Research Grant, UCSC                                 $700

2015   Graduate Student Travel Grant, University of California, Santa Cruz                                  $300

2015    Regents Scholarship, University of California, Santa Cruz                                              $43,260

Teaching Interests

  • Institutions, Finance and Environment
  • Macro, Micro and Environmental Economics 
  • Public Administration and Public Policy
  • Fisheries Management and Coastal Policy 
  • Urban and Regional Planning (any course)
  • Political Economy and Ecology