Analysis, Support and Knowledge Management

LEEP supports all of its ongoing projects with research and analysis. Working with our partners at the University and around the world, we bring lawyers and policy analysts together with natural and social scientists to develop truly interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving. Each of our projects is approached not simply as an intervention in the world, but also as an experiment that offers important opportunities for learning and innovation. Dedicated research teams and knowledge management programs will be developed for each project to harness lessons and provide analysis on an ongoing basis. In everything we do, we seek to understand and translate the practical skills and tacit knowledge that government officials, civil society leaders, and business people use in their everyday approaches to problem solving. We believe in this respect that effective policy innovation must rest on a deep commitment to local ownership, bottom-up mobilization, and citizen engagement.

LEEP has interdisciplinary relationships with departments at CU including: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, Environmental Studies, Engineering, and the Institute for Behavioral Science. These relationships allow us to build robust teams to complement our work and move us toward concrete problem-solving approaches. Further, our relationships with the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory with the purpose of drawing upon their expertise in applied research and problem-solving approaches.

Research Grants

“Reducing Deforestation and Improving Livelihoods through Innovative Subnational Governance: Learning Lessons from the State of Acre, Brazil” – CU Innovative SEED grant awarded to LEEP Fellow Pete Newton as CU PI, LEEP co-director Colleen Scanlan Lyons as co-PI, and researchers from CIFOR. The project aims to understand the environmental and socio-economic costs and benefits of subnational low emissions development forest governance interventions on forests and forest dependent people. $49,948 awarded over 18 months.

“Sustainable Communities & Gold Supply Chains: Integrating Responsible Engineering & Local Knowledge to Design, Implement & Evaluate Sustainable Artisanal Mining in Latin America” – NSF Pire Grant awarded to Colorado School of Mines in collaboration with Colleen Scanlan Lyons as CU PI and Joel Hartter as CU co-PI.  This is a five-year project examining the risks and opportunities of artisanal mining in Colombia and Peru, drawing from the GCF Task Force’s expertise and contacts in these regions. The grant will fund faculty participation and an Environmental Sciences graduate student. Read More.

Brown Bag Lecture Series

LEEP’s Brown Bag lecture brings our community at CU together with internal and external researchers whose work complements our projects.

Our inaugural lecture was given by Economist João Tezza Neto, Ph.D. candidate at the Federal University of Amazonas, Brazil.  Mr. Tezza’s lecture, titled “Transition to a Conservation Economy in the Amazon: Economic Perspectives of Zero Deforestation”, discussed how zero deforestation and conservation management can effectively generate greater wealth for Brazil than the current economic model, which is driving deforestation (much of it illegal). Read a summary here.


CU Environmental Studies Professor and LEEP Fellow Peter Newton’s brown bag discussed his research on conservation and sustainable development in the Brazilian Amazon.

Despite commitments across key stakeholders including state government, the private sector, civil society and local communities to achieve zero deforestation, there remain substantial questions regarding how to best achieve this goal. Many current strategies offer opportunities, but also suffer from significant challenges. Professor Newton’s research explores these trade-offs. Read more here.