Environmental Studies at UVM

Jon Erickson

Professor, Fellow of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, Advisor

Environmental Program, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

Aiken Center Dean's Office 220K

  • (802) 656-1353

Advising Appointment Hours: 

By appointment, please contact Jon directly to schedule

Areas of Interest: 

Energy and climate change policy, land conservation, watershed planning, environmental public health, and the theory and practice of ecological economics


Jon Erickson is Professor of Ecological Economics and the Interim Dean of the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. He has published widely on energy and climate change policy, land conservation, watershed planning, environmental public health, and the theory and practice of ecological economics. His books include The Great Experiment in Conservation: Voices from the Adirondack Park (2009), Frontiers in Ecological Economic Theory and Application (2007), Ecological Economics of Sustainable Watershed Management (2007), and Ecological Economics: a Workbook for Problem-Based Learning (2005). Jon is also an Emmy award-winning producer of films such as the four-part PBS series Bloom on sources and solutions to nutrient pollution in Lake Champlain. He was the Managing Director of UVM's Gund Institute for Ecological Economics from 2009-2012 and is past President of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics, past editor of the Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies, and serves on the board or advisory committee of numerous nongovernmental organizations. He has been a Fulbright Scholar at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania; Visiting Professor at the University of Iceland, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic, and Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra; and was on the economics faculty at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute before joining the University of Vermont in 2002.


  • Ph.D. Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Cornell Univeristy, 1997
  • M.S. Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Cornell University, 1993
  • B.S. Applied Economics and Business Management, Cornell University, 1991
  • A.S. Business Administration, North Country Community College, 1989

Other Courses: 

  • BSAD/NR 285 Sustainable Business

Professional Affiliations: 

  • Elected Member, Faculty Senate Curricular Affairs Committee
  • Co-Coordinator, Certificate of Graduate Study in Ecological Economics

Info for Prospective Graduate Students: 

My research interests span theoretical, methodological, and analytical contributions to ecological economics (EE). My work on theory has helped to substantiate the long-held biophysical foundations of an ecological economics, as well as broaden the social foundations to include the implications of behavioral and experimental economics on the recasting of demand theory. My theoretical contributions have emerged from collaboration with my longtime colleague John Gowdy from RPI, including an edited book together covering the frontiers of EE theory and applications. My methodological work has included the development of a problem-based framework of EE with Josh Farley and Herman Daly, as well as contributions to synthesis tools such as multicriteria decision aides, input-output economic modeling, dynamic systems simulation, and GIS-based spatial modeling. With a grounding in EE theory and often using the synthesis methods developed with my graduate students, my applied work has involved many diverse topics, including public health, sustainable development, land and biodiversity conservation, watershed planning, forest management, climate change economics, and renewable energy technology.
Current and Recent Projects (PI = principal investigator)
PI, "Measuring and Modeling Forest Ecosystem Service Trade-offs of Salvage Logging Following Wind Disturbances in Vermont Forests," with K. Wallin (UVM), USDA McIntire-Stennis Forest Research Program.
Co-PI, "Research on Adaptation to Climate Change," National Science Foundation, EPSCoR, 2011-2016.
Co-PI, "Strengthening Tanzania Livestock Health and Pastoralist Nutrition and Livelihoods in a Changing Climate," Livestock-Climate CRSP, USAID, 2011-2015.
PI, "Transdisciplinary Disease Modeling and Interventions at the Human-Livestock-Wildlife Interface in Semi-Arid Ecosystems of East Africa," Fulbright Fellowship, 2011.
Co-PI, “Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement, Rungwa-Ruaha Ecosystem, Tanzania,” with J. Mazet (PI, UC Davis), P. Coppolillo (Wildlife Conservation Society), and R. Kazwala (Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania), Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program, U.S. Agency for International Development, 2006-2009.
Co-PI, "Long-Term Agroecological Changes in Shade Coffee Landscapes of Latin America: Lessons for Sustainable Livelihoods and Conservation," with V.E. Mendez (PI) and S.T. Lovell, Research Opportunities Grant Program, University of Vermont, 2008-2010.
Collaborator, "Evaluation of the Environmental, Economic, and Social Effects of Organic Farming in Norway," Research Council of Norway, 2007-2010.
Co-PI, “Northern New England Engaged Department Grant,” with M. Shannon (PI), K. Wallin, M. Kolan, S. Libby and M. Watzin, Northern New England Campus Compact, Davis Educational Foundation, 2007-2010.
Co-PI, “Dynamic Transportation and Land Use Modeling,” with A. Troy (PI) and B. Bowden, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 2006-2008. [Project Web Site]
Co-PI, “Survey of Public Priorities as a Guide for Future Sustainable Investment Strategies,” with W.F. Porter (PI, SUNY ESF), G. Cox (Audubon New York) and A. Woods (SUNY ESF), Northeast States Research Cooperative, 2007-2008. [Project Results]
Doctoral student work, sample
Matthew Sayre, "Education, Entrepreneurship, and Investing for an Ecological Economy," Ph.D., Natural Resources, University of Vermont, in progress.
Charles Kerchner, "Performance-Based Incentives for Provision of Ecosystem Services," Ph.D., Natural Resources, University of Vermont, in progress.
Juan Alvez, "Dairy Management, Ecosystem Services, and Sustainable Livelihoods," Ph.D., Natural Resources, University of Vermont, May 2012.
Nathan Hagens, "Towards an Applied Net Energy Framework," Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Feb. 2011.
Michel Masozera, "Ecological Services and Protected Area Management in Africa: Case Studies in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Madagascar," Natural Resources, University of Vermont, 2009.