Kelsey Cody

Ph.D. Student

Contact Information

Secondary Core Area


MS, University of Colorado at Boulder

BS, University of California, Davis


Kelsey Cody studies collective action, institutions, and climate change adaptation as they relate to water, common pool resources generally, and other environmental problems.  His dissertation focuses on the performance of irrigation systems undergoing signals of climate change in the San Luis Valley of Colorado.  Grounded in the Institutional Analysis and Development framework and systems thinking, Kelsey incorporates aspects of various fields and approaches including evolution and ecology, political and social sciences, behavioral economics and game theory, and ethics and law.  Since coming to CU Boulder he has worked on research projects related water and climate change funded by the State of Colorado, CU Boulder, NOAA, and NSF; taught science labs and writing seminars on campus; and been actively involved in ENVS student affairs and the United Government of Graduate Students.  Kelsey earned his MS from the Environmental Studies Program at CU Boulder in 2011 on the Water and Society track under Doug Kenney.  His thesis investigated the phenomenon of watershed-level municipal water utility integration in the West and its relevance to climate change adaptation.  As an undergraduate at UC Davis (2009), he earned a BS in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Evolution in Ecology, was captain of the school's NCAA Division I cross country team, did field research in agricultural gene transmission and alpine lake ecology, and wrote a column for two years in the school newspaper.