Laura López-Hoffman

Laura López-Hoffman

Research Professor, Environmental Policy Programs, Udall Center
Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
Affiliated Faculty, James E. Rogers College of Law
laura photo
she, her, hers

Laura López-Hoffman is a research professor at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and a professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. She is also an affiliated faculty member of the UArizona James E. Rogers College of Law. López-Hoffman is an environmental scientist working at the intersection of natural science and environmental policy. Her two primary areas of research are: data-science approaches to evaluate the outcomes and performance of U.S. natural resource laws and policies for people and the environment; and governance of endangered and migratory species.

López-Hoffman leads the UArizona team developing, a freely available knowledge-discovery and engagement platform, and increasingly a go-to resource for the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA’s original vision was elegant—that using science leads to better environmental and social outcomes, and better decisions arise from a participatory give-and-take between government and citizens. The data-science revolution of the last decade now allows NEPA’s vision to be implemented. The NEPAccess platform will have tools to assess the environmental and social impacts of federal projects and activities; tools to analyze formal and informal public engagement in decision-making; dashboards to summarize data like timelines to project completion; and most critically, a workspace for all citizens to engage in NEPA.

In North America, many migratory species provide benefits to people, such as controlling crop pests or supporting recreational hunting and viewing activities. Because migratory species depend on habitat in several locations, the benefits provided by the species to people in one country may depend upon habitat conservation efforts of people in other countries­—efforts that are often not compensated or even recognized by decision-makers. López-Hoffman and colleagues work to develop best practices for migratory-species governance that are societally equitable and ecologically sustainable. In 2021, this team was awarded the U.S. Department of Interior’s Natural Resource Conservation Achievement Award for their role in the Monarch Conservation Science Partnership. With colleagues at UArizona, López-Hoffman has also investigated the impact of jaguar critical-habitat designation under the Endangered Species Act on ranchers and landowners in southeastern Arizona

López-Hoffman is Associate Editor in Chief at the journal Ecosphere and leads the Socio-Ecological Systems track. In Fall 2022, she will undertake a sabbatical residence at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) in Leipzig.

Areas of Expertise and Research Interest
Dynamics of socio-environmental systems

Governance of telecoupled and teleconnected systems
Cross-border governance of migratory species
Data science for evaluating U.S. environmental laws
U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA)

Ph.D, 2003, Stanford University, Department of Biological Sciences

A.B., 1996, Princeton University, School of Public and International Affairs*, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. *Formerly Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Key Projects and Programs
Governance and Equity of Migratory Species


NAEP podcast - Academia and Big Data

Arizona Institutes for Resilience
NEPAccess videos

Major Institutional Collaborators
Bat Conservation International, Brandeis University, Ducks Unlimited Canada, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research, Mount Saint Vincent University, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM), University of British Columbia, University of California at Davis, & University of Tennessee.

Published Op-Eds

López-Hoffman, L, A Lien & A Swann. 2019. America’s 2019 harvest is already in trouble. The Hill.

Baldwin, E, K Emerson & L López-Hoffman. 8-5-2017. Border security vs. environmental protection? It’s a false choice. Protecting the nation doesn’t require destruction of natural resources. Houston Chronicle.

Lien, AM, G Ruyle & L López-Hoffman. 2017. What we’ve learned about public lands stewardship. Arizona Cattlelog.

Chester, C & L López-Hoffman. 1-10-2017. We should not end 100 years of breaking down walls to help wildlife. Houston Chronicle.


2021     U.S. Department of Interior’s Natural Resource Conservation Achievement Award for the Monarch Conservation Science Partnership.

2020    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Natural Resource Conservation Achievement Award (NRCAA) in the category of "Trail Blazer” for the Monarch Conservation Science Partnership.

2013    Chief of the U.S. Forest Service’s Excellence in Research Application Award.

Selected Publications

Johnson, MK, MJ Rowe, AM Lien & L López-Hoffman. In Press. Examining compatibility and conflicts in the integration of Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge into Natural Resource Conservation Service cost-share incentives. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation.

Thogmartin, WE, MA Haefele, JE Diffendorfer, DJ Semmens, JJ Derbridge, T Huang, AM Lien & L López-Hoffman. In Press. Multi-species, multi-country analysis reveals North Americans are willing to pay for trans-border migratory species conservation. People and Nature.

Emerson, E, E Baldwin, TA Scott, JR Pidot, AM Lien, F Currim, S Bethard, S Ram, ML Miller & L López-Hoffman. In Press. Toward NEPA Performance: A Framework for Assessing EIAs.

Lien, AM, T Dew, G Ruyle, N Robbins Sherman, N Perozzo, M Miller, L López-Hoffman. 2021. Trust plays an essential role in implementation of adaptive management on public lands. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 77:46-56.

Mattsson, BJ, J Devries, JA Dubovsky, DJ Semmens, WE Thogmartin, JJ Derbridge & L López-Hoffman. 2020. Linking landscape-scale conservation to regional and continental outcomes for a migratory species. Scientific Reports. 10:4968.

Kleeman, J, M Schröter, KJ Bagstad, C Kuhlicke, T Kastner, D Friedman, CJE Schulp, S Wolff, J Martínez-López, T Koellner, S Arnhold, B Martin-Lopez, A Marques, L López–Hoffman, J Liu, M Kissinger, CA Guerra, A Bonn. 2020. Quantifying interregional flows of multiple ecosystem services – a case study for Germany. Global Environmental Change. 61:102051.

Koellner, T, A Bonn, S Arnhold, KJ Bagstad, D Fridman, CA Guerra, T Kastner, M Kissinger, J Kleeman, C Kuhlicke, J Liu, L López-Hoffman, A Marques, B Martín-López, CJE Schulp, S Wolff & M Schröter. 2019. Guidance for assessing interregional ecosystem service flows. Ecological Indicators.

Johnson, MK, AM Lien, N Robbins Sherman & L López-Hoffman. 2018. Barriers to PES programs in Indigenous communities: A lesson in land tenure insecurity from the Hopi Indian reservation. Ecosystem Services. 32:62-69.  

Haefele, MA, JB Loomis, R Merideth, AM Lien, DJ Semmens, J Dubovsky, R Wiederholt, WE Thogmartin, T Huang, G McCracken, RA Medellin, JE Diffendorfer & L López-Hoffman. 2018. Willingness to pay for conservation of transborder migratory species: a case study of the Mexican free-tailed bat in the United States and Mexico. Environmental Management.

Semmens, D, K Bagstad, R Wiederholt, J Goldstein, J Loomis, J Diffendorfer, K Oberhauser, L Ries, W Thogmartin, B Mattson, B Semmens & L López-Hoffman. 2018. Quantifying ecosystem service flows at multiple scales across the range of a long-distance migratory species. Invited submission to a special issue of Ecosystem Services.

Bagstad, KJ, DJ Semmens, JE Diffendorfer, BJ Mattsson, J Dubovsky, WE Thogmartin, R Wiederholt, J Loomis, JA Bieri, C Sample, J Goldstein, & L López-Hoffman. 2018. Ecosystem service flows from a migratory species: Spatial subsidies of the northern pintail. Ambio.

Haefele, MA, JB Loomis, AM Lien, JA Dubovsky, RW Merideth, KJ Bagstad, T Huang, BJ Mattsson, DJ Semmens, WE Thogmartin, R Wiederholt, JE Diffendorfer & L López-Hoffman. 2018. Multi-country willingness to pay for transborder migratory species conservation: a case study of northern pintails. Ecological Economics. 157:321-331.

Schröter, M, T Koellner, R Alkemade, S Arnhold, K Bagstad, K Erb, K Frank, T Kastner, M Kissinger, J Liu, L López-Hoffman, J Maes, A Marques, B Martín-López, C Meyer, C Schulp, J Thober, S Wolff & A Bonna. 2018. Interregional flows of ecosystem services: Concepts, typology and four cases. Ecosystem Services.

López-Hoffman, L, J Diffendorfer, R Wiederholt, R Medellin, G McCracken, WE Thogmartin & D Semmens. 2017. Operationalizing the telecoupling framework by calculating spatial subsidies in the ecosystem services of migratory Mexican free-tailed bats. Special Issue. Ecology and Society. 22(4): 23.  

López-Hoffman, L, C Chester, D Semmens, W Thogmartin, MS Rodríguez-McGoffin, R Maribeth & JE Diffendorfer. 2017. Ecosystem services from transborder migratory species: implications for conservation governance. Annual Reviews in Environment and Resources. 42:509-539.

López-Hoffman, L, C Chester & R Merideth. 2017. Conserving transborder migratory bats, preserving nature’s benefits to humans: the lesson from North America’s bird conservation treaties. BioScience. 67(4):321-322,

Lien, AM, C Svancara, W Vanasco, G Ruyle & L López-Hoffman. 2017. The land ethic of ranchers: A core value despite divergent views of government. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 70(6):787-793.

López-Hoffman, L, C Chester & R Merideth. 2017. Conserving transborder migratory bats, preserving nature’s benefits to humans: the lesson from North America’s bird conservation treaties. BioScience, 67(4):321-322,

Semmens, B, D Semmens, W Thogmartin, R Wiederholt, L López-Hoffman, Diffendorfer, J Pleasants, K Oberhauer, & O Taylor. 2016. Quasi-extinction risk and population targets for the Eastern, migratory population of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus). Nature Scientific Reports. 6:23265.

Field, JP, DD Breshears, DJ Law, L López-Hoffman, PD Brooks, J Chorover, JD Pelletier & JC Villegas. 2016. Understanding ecosystem services from a geosciences perspective. EOS. 97.

Svancara, C, AM Lien, S Bonar, G Ruyle & L López-Hoffman. 2015. Jaguar critical habitat designation causes concern for southwestern ranchers. Rangelands. 37(4):144-151. https://doi:10.1016/j.rala.2015.05.003

Lien, AM, JL Neeley, G Ruyle & L López-Hoffman. 2015. The impact of Federal policies on rangeland ecosystem services. Rangelands, 37(4):152-157. 

Presnall, CK, L López-Hoffman & ML Miller. 2015. Adding Ecosystem Services to Environmental Impact Assessments: More sequins on a “Bloated Elvis” or Rockin’ Idea?  Ecological Economics, 115: 29-38.

López-Hoffman, L, D Semmens & JE Diffendorfer. 2013. How do migratory species add ecosystem service value to wilderness? Calculating the spatial subsidies provided by protected areas. International Journal of Wilderness. 19(1):14-19. Special issue on ecosystem services and wilderness conservation.

Breshears DD, L López-Hoffman & LJ. Graumlich. 2011. When ecosystem services crash: preparing for big, fast, patchy climate change. Ambio. 40:256-263.

Presnall, CK, L López–Hoffman & ML Miller. 2010. Can the Deepwater Horizon Trust Take Account of Ecosystem Services and Fund Restoration? Environmental Law Reporter. 40(11):29-31. Special issue on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

López-Hoffman L, RG Varady, KW Flessa & P Balvanera. 2010. Ecosystem services across borders: A framework for transboundary conservation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 8(2):84–91.


  • Ph.D, 2003, Stanford University, Department of Biological Sciences
  • A.B., 1996, Princeton University, School of Public and International Affairs*, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. *Formerly Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.