Nic studies rural land use change and governance in the context of rangeland ecology and management. Her research interests include environmental governance, habitat conservation, payments for ecosystem services, social-ecological systems, and conservation program design. Nic's current work focuses on conserving California's rangelands and barriers to scaling the use of tools like USDA conservation programs, conservation easements, sustainability certifications, and soil carbon markets. 

Before graduate school, she worked as Campaign Director for the Northern Sierra Partnership project at The Nature Conservancy and as Assistant Director of the Aspen Institute’s Energy & Environment Program. Nic's research is made possible by the Stanford Earth Dean's Fellowship.