What Drives Pesticide Use, and How Will Quantity and Distribution of Pesticide Use Be Modified by Climate Change?

EPA Grant Number: F13B20378
Title: What Drives Pesticide Use, and How Will Quantity and Distribution of Pesticide Use Be Modified by Climate Change?
Investigators: Larsen, Ashley
Institution: University of California - Santa Barbara
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: August 1, 2014 through August 1, 2016
Project Amount: $84,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2013) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Fellowship - Ecology


The goals of this research are to address whether landscape simplification drives insecticide use and to identify what explains year-to-year variation in insecticide and pesticide use in the United States. It also seeks to predict how climate change will influence the amount of pesticides being used.


Data to address the above questions will come from several sources and at several spatial scales, ranging from national-scale data at the county level (e.g., USDA Census of Agriculture) to refined crop data at 30-m pixel resolution (i.e., National Agricultural and Statistics Service Cropland Data Layer). Crop data will be combined with refined pesticide data, weather data and climate projections. This longitudinal data set will be analyzed using econometric techniques, primarily fixed effects models, to address the above three objectives.

Expected Results:

Research indicates that insecticide use is highly variable across time and thus it is likely that climate change will modify the distribution and intensity of insecticide and pesticide use. Very few studies have addressed the impact of climate change on pesticide use, and those that have were conducted at the state level. Thus, the sign and magnitude of the expected results from the study proposed here are largely unknown.

Potential to Further Environmental/Human Health Protection

The combination of long-term and fine-scale analyses conducted during this project will provide unprecedented insight into how climate change is likely to alter pesticide use. This information will better enable scientists, policy-makers and the public to mitigate the negative effects of pesticide use on human and environmental health.

Supplemental Keywords:

climate change, land use, pesticides

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2015
  • Final