Doug Bessette is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Sustainability, where he researches and teaches courses in sustainable energy, energy transitions and community energy development. He uses both an interdisciplinary coupled human-environment system and applied decision research approach to tackle multi-scale problems that often require identifying and analyzing complicated tradeoffs. In his applied work, Doug develops and deploys structured decision-making frameworks that incorporate value-focused thinking and help stakeholders to identify objectives, generate alternatives, predict consequences and make explicit tradeoffs between values and strategies. His past research has spanned multiple contexts including organic and sustainable agriculture, coastal climate risk management, natural resource management in developing territories and green infrastructure.
Doug earned his PhD in Geography from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada and his MSc from the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies here at MSU. Following completion of his PhD, Doug worked as a postdoctoral scholar with the Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management at Penn State University and as a Senior Research Associate in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State University. Before completing his undergraduate degree he served four years in the U.S. Army as an M1A1 tanker.
Doug is also an affiliated faculty member of the Environmental Science & Policy Program (ESPP) at MSU.
Follow Doug on Twitter at @dlbessette.
Bessette, D. & S. Mills. (2021). Farmers vs. Lakers: Agriculture, amenity, and community in predicting opposition to United States wind energy development. Energy Research & Social Science. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2020.101873
Bessette, D., M. Rutty, G. Gunn, V. Tarabara, & R. Richardson. (2020) The perceived risk of underwater oil pipelines in icy conditions. Journal of Great Lakes Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2020.12.002
Bessette, D. & R. Gregory. (2020) The promise and reality of social-cultural metrics. Ecology and Society, Vol 25. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-11730-250311
Brosemer, K., C. Schelly, V. Gagnon, K. Arola, J. Pearce, D. Bessette & L. Schmitt Olabisi. (2020). The energy crises revealed by COVID: Intersections of indigeneity, inequity and health. Energy Research & Social Science, Vol. 68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2020.101661
Schelly, C., D. Bessette, K. Brosemer, V. Gagnon, K. Arola, A. Fiss, J. Pearce, & K. Halvorsen. (2020). Energy Policy for Energy Sovereignty: Can policy tools enhance energy sovereignty? Solar Energy. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2020.05.056
Bessette, D., R. Wilson, C. Beaudrie & C. Schroeder. (2019) An online decision support tool to evaluate ecological weed management strategies. Weed Science, Vol. 67, Issue 4, P. 463-473. https://doi.org/10.1017/wsc.2019.21
Bessette, D., R. Wilson & J. Arvai. (2019) Do people disagree with themselves? Exploring the internal consistency of complex, unfamiliar, and risky decisions. Journal of Risk Research, DOI: 10.1080/13669877.2019.1569107
Campbell-Arvai, V., D. Bessette, L. Kenney & J. Arvai. (2019) Improving decision making for carbon management initiatives. International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, Vol. 22, Issue 3/4, P. 342-358. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJRAM.2019.103338
Bessette, D. & A. Depew. (2019) Tracking renewable energy values, benefits, and concerns in Michigan: In the media and at public meetings. Prepared for Michigan Energy Office, Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy.
Mills, S., D. Bessette & H. Smith. (2019) Exploring Landowners’ Post-Construction Changes in Perceptions of Wind Energy in Michigan. Land Use Policy, Vol. 82, P. 754-762. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2019.01.010
Bessette D., S. Zwickle, & R.S. Wilson (2019) In the weeds: Distinguishing organic farmers who want information about ecological weed management from those who need it. Renewable Agriculture & Food Systems, Vol. 34, Issue 5, P. 160-171. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1742170518000042
Campbell-Arvai, V., D. Bessette, R. Wilson & J. Arvai. (2018) Decision-making for the environment, SAGE Handbook on Nature, Section: “Risk and the environment: social theories, public understandings, and the science-policy interface,” ed. N. Pidgeon & B. Macgillivray. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781473983007.n26
Bessette D., & J. Arvai. (2018) Engaging attribute tradeoffs in clean energy portfolio development. Energy Policy. Vol. 115, P. 221-229. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2018.01.021
Bessette, D. & J. Bruskotter. (2018) Deer Stakeholder Engagement Process: Informing the Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Wildlife 10-year Deer Management Plan. Prepared for Ohio Division of Wildlife, Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Bessette D., L. Mayer, B. Cwik, M. Vezer, K. Keller, R. Lempert & N. Tuana. (2017) Building a values-informed mental model (ViMM) for New Orleans climate risk management. Risk Analysis, Vol. 37, Issue 10, Pg. 1993-2004. DOI: 10.1111/risa.12743 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/risa.12743/full
Bessette D. J. Arvai, & V. Campbell-Arvai. (2016) Expanding the reach of participatory risk management: Testing an online decision-aiding framework for informing internally consistent choices. Risk Analysis, Vol. 36, Issue 5, P. 992-1005. DOI: 10.1111/risa.12481 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1111/risa.12481/abstract
Kenney, L, D. Bessette & J. Arvai. (2015) Structuring decisions about energy in developing communities: an example from Canada’s north. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol 58, Issue 5, P. 855-873. DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2014.899205 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09640568.2014.899205
Bessette, D., J. Arvai & V. Campbell-Arvai. (2014) Decision support framework for developing regional energy strategies. Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 48, P. 1401-1408. DOI: 10.1021/es4036286 http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es4036286
CSUS scholars identify roots of opposition to solar energy projects in Michigan
Published on April 22, 2022
Making better decisions: Strengthening environmental policy with social and cultural evaluation
Published on September 25, 2020
Letters from CSUS faculty: Dr. Chuck Nelson and Dr. Doug Bessette
Published on August 18, 2020
Sudha Kannan, CSUS graduate student, awarded prestigious Fulbright Fellowship
Published on June 16, 2020
MSU awarded grant to study renewable energy adoption in Michigan
Published on November 18, 2019