Sandra De Urioste-Stone – Research

One of the big puzzles in contemporary human dimensions of natural resources is what makes some societies and communities more resilient to global and local changes. Whether the focus is on climate change, land use changes, economic shocks, or spread of vector-borne diseases, the development of successful adaptation strategies of individuals and groups remains a challenge. The purpose of my research is to address this challenge by developing collaborative and interdisciplinary research that increase our understanding of drivers of change and enhance the adaptive capacity of human-natural systems. The collaborative work has resulted in over $9 million in external and internal research grants.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Resilience and Adaptive Capacity: this line of research explores the factors (e.g., economic, social, cultural, political, and ecological) that impact resilience or the ability of human-natural systems to cope, adapt, and respond to stress.

  • De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Calhoun, A., Nelson, S., Silka, L., Weiskittel, A., McGreavy, B., Rickard, L., Daigneault, A., Hayes, D., Rahimzadeh-Bajgiran, P. & Wason, J. “NRT: Enhancing conservation science and practice: An interdisciplinary program.” Funded by the National Science Foundation (2018-2023).
  • De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Weiskittel, A., Rahimzadeh-Bajgiran, P., & Daigneault, A. “Fostering forest resources climate change resilience.” Funded by USDA-NIFA (2018-2022).
  • De Urioste-Stone, S.M. & Rahimzadeh, P. “Fostering coastal community resilience in Maine: Understanding climate change risks and behavior.” Funded by NOAA (2017-2021).


Sustainable Economic Development: this work includes the identification of constraints and facilitators to sustainable economic development via participatory models that increase local planning capacity.

  • De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Lieberthal, B., Gardner, A., Silka, L., & Beeftink, K. Track 1: Community resilience in a time of crisis: Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by the UMaine Research Reinvestment Fund Rural Health and Wellbeing Grand Challenge Grant Programs (2021-2022).
  • Briones, V., DiMatteo-LePape, A., Horne, L., Wolf-Gonzalez, G., & De Urioste-Stone, S.M. “Developing a transdisciplinary participatory framework as a tool for community-based climate change planning.” Funded by the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions (2020-2021).
  • Weiskittel, A., De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Haskell, J., & Silka, L. “SOAR analysis of forest sectors, communities, and capital investors.” Funded by the USDA Forest Service (2017-2021).


One Health and Stakeholder Participation: this research encompasses the development of interdisciplinary models to (i) understand socio-ecological drivers of human-natural system health (including vector-borne disease control and transmission); (ii) facilitate the creation of stakeholder-driven one health interventions; and (iii) assess the effectiveness of interventions to influence human behavior.

  • Kamath, P., De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Lichtenwalner, A., & Morano, S. “Assessing the impact of winter ticks and tick-borne diseases on moose health.” Funded by the Morris Animal Foundation (2021-2023).
  • Teisl, M., Lichtenwalner, A., Alyokhin, A., Cammen, K., Daley, A., Gardner, A., Kamath, P., Levesque, D., Sponarski, C., Horowitz, R., De Urioste-Stone, S.M., & Jayasundara, N. “NRT: One health and the environment.”  Funded by the National Science Foundation (2019-2024).
  • Gardner, A., Allan, B., De Urioste-Stone, S.M., & Wang, S.CNH-L: Coupled dynamics of tourism and mosquito-borne disease transmission in the Americas.” Funded by the National Science Foundation (2018-2023).
  • Lichtenwalner, A., Cammen, K., Kamath, P., … De Urioste-Stone, S.M. REU-Accelerating new environmental work skills.” Funded by the National Science Foundation (2019-2022).
  • Gardner, A., De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Birkel, S., & Levesque, D. “Biophysical and social dimensions of tick-borne disease risk in Maine’s public parks and natural areas.” Funded by UMaine Research Reinvestment Fund (2019-2021).


Selected Previous Projects

  • Pennington, P. & De Urioste-Stone, S.M. “Management of peri-domestic animals for the control of Chagas cisease, Jutiapa, Guatemala.”  World Health Organization (WHO) Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TRD), International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
  • De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Gardner, A., Birkel, S., & Levesque, D. “Mitigating socio-ecological determinants of tick-borne disease risk in Acadia National Park.” Funded by Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions.
  • De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Kamath, P., Elliott, J., & Peet, K. “An interdisciplinary approach to explore risks associated with winter ticks.” Funded by UMaine Research Reinvestment Fund.
  • De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Olsen, A., MacRae, J. “Mining in Maine: Exploring public perceptions.” Funded by Maine Water Resources Research Institute, Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions.
  • De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Gabe, T. & Noblet, C. “Economic impact study for Maine’s tourism industry.” University of Maine’s Office of the President.
  • Weiskittel, A., De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Silka, L., Haskell, J. & Daigneault, A. “Benchmarking Maine’s forest product sector and assessing future markets.” USDA-NIFA.
  • Daigneault, A., Silka, L., De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Crandall, M., & Weiskittel, A. “Developing economic and community resilience indicators for the Katahdin region.” Funded by Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions.
  • De Urioste-Stone, S.M. & Daigle, J. “How well are we serving the outdoor recreation public?” Funded by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
  • De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Lilieholm, R., Silka, L. & Daigle, J. “Promoting economic development and quality-of-place in Maine: The Penobscot River Bay-to-Baxter Corridor Initiative.” Funded by Maine EPSCoR and Sustainability Solutions Initiative SSI Emerging Opportunities Planning Grants (NSF).