Gund Affiliate, President, Batker Consulting

David Batker, is a renowned ecological economist, policy leader, pragmatic project proponent, and acclaimed speaker with 35 years of experience. He is the President of Batker Consulting and Founder of Earth Economics. He has worked to advance policy at U.S. federal agencies, worked in over 40 countries, 45 U.S. states, and many U.S. cities and counties. He has collaborated with Gund Institute faculty and students on many topics including a 12-day workshop on the value of mangroves in Palawan, Philippines, and pioneering work for restoring the Mississippi River Delta. He has given dozens of keynote addresses across a wide range of institutions including the International Society for Ecological Economics, Soil Science Society of America, and Association of State Floodplain Managers. Importantly, David has worked to implement hundreds projects providing jobs and local economic development. These including work in the fishing sector, mining, forestry, storm water, building construction, shipping, disaster resiliency, local economic development and more. He has focused on improving practical decision-making tools like benefit/cost analysis. This includes how the environment, human health and future costs and benefits are treated. Utilities, private firms and federal agencies, such as Seattle Public Utilities, Swire, and FEMA have adopted his recommendation. He has also worked on disaster resiliency nationally, with work in California, Texas, Louisiana and Washington State. He has a BS majors in geology and Biology an MS in economics and from Louisiana State University. He is a fellow at the University of Vermont. He has authored dozens of publication, book chapters and a book. 

David has worked improve policy at the World Bank, InterAmerican Bank, Asian Development Bank and 35 export-credit agencies. His drive has been to improve investment locally and globally to secure prosperous economies, and ecological health. His work has been quoted in over 300 newspaper, radio, and television stories. He has been noted as a strong collaborator and someone who builds teams for solutions that secure funding and implement physical improvements. For example, he and his colleague Dr. Tania Briceno collaborated with Royal Engineering on an economic analysis for large sediment and water diversions in the Mississippi River to restore 100,000 acres of wetlands for the State of Louisiana. The study showed the dollar value of increased wetlands for fisheries production, storm risk reduction, habitat, recreation, water supply and more. The State approved $2.2 billion to construct the first two diversions in 2019. “Our work must improve investment. And that investment must physically improve the environment and economies so that ecosystems are healthier, economies more sustainable and people’s quality of life is higher.” 


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  • PhD, Economics, Louisiana State University
  • MS, Economics, Louisiana State University
  • BS, Biology and Earth Sciences, Pacific Lutheran University