Events & Media

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



"The Evolution of an Environmental Economist at UCSB"

Charles Kolstad
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
UC Santa Barbara

Thursday, January 17, 2013
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"Charlie joined the Bren School faculty after a national search in the mid-1990s and has been an innovative leader of the school's and UCSB's rise to prominence in environmental economics nationally and internationally. We are hopeful, after his retirement from UCSB, that Charlie will continue to enrich the Bren School and the UCSB campus by being a bridge to his ongoing creative endeavors."

John Melack, faculty host

Environmental economics at UCSB has a long history, going back at least to Walter Mead and his work on oil and auctions in the 1960s and before. Garrett Hardin, though not an economist, made one of the most important contributions in helping people see environmental problems as economic problems. Starting in the 1970s, Bob Deacon, Jon Sonstelie, Perry Shapiro, and others made numerous seminal contributions to environmental and resource economics. Since then many have contributed to the stature of UCSB in environmental and resource economics. This talk is in two parts. The first focuses on the development of the field at UCSB, with a particular emphasis on the past twenty years and at the Bren School. The second part of the talk will focus on my work, how it can be characterized, where research questions tend to come from, and how my own life experiences have shaped my academic work. The talk will be limited in length – so don’t worry!

Charles Kolstad is an internationally known economist who once served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana and has taught at universities in the U.S,  Russia, and Belgium. He is interested in the role information plays in environmental decision-making and regulation, and does much of his applied work in the area of climate change and energy markets. He was a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), was a member of the National Academy of Sciences committee charged with evaluating the U.S. Climate Change Research Program, and is an advisor to the California Air Resources Board. He is a former president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and editor of the journal Review of Environmental Economics & Policy. His more than 100 publications include the undergraduate text Environmental Economics. He is a former chair of the UCSB Economics Department and co-director of the UC Center for Energy & Environmental Economics, a joint undertaking of UC Berkeley and UCSB.  He is a University Fellow at Resources for the Future and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He received his PhD in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University, his MA in Mathematics from the University of Rochester, and his BS in Mathematics from Bates College.

NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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