About me

I have over 20 years of experience in the science and policy of natural resources management, in a wide variety of organizations, much of it as an independent consultant. I am currently on the team for a project being undertaken by the Ecologix Group for the Maryland Sierra Club, to study forest cover as a water quality protection strategy in three Montgomery County watersheds. Recently, as a Senior Adviser at the National Academy of Public Administration, I completed a congressionally directed study for EPA on water affordability, and an organizational assessment for the DOI Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

Since 2000, when I completed graduate school, I have worked almost exclusively on the subject of Payments for Environmental Services (PES), i.e., the multiple benefits associated with land and water conservation. My particular interest has been on the policies and institutional arrangements, as well as on the science that is necessary to support land use carbon sequestration projects and watershed protection.

Other recent activities have included a position with the World Resources Institute’s Natural Infrastructure for Water Initiative in the Food, Forests and Water program. Prior to joining WRI, I was engaged in research, analysis, writing and communications activities on climate, land use, and watershed ecosystem services for a variety of non-profit and multilateral organizations as well as a private firm that develops carbon credits for land use projects. These activities resulted in several reports and publications. Among these was a chapter in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, for which I served as a lead author. From 2001 to  2008 I published Flows, an e-bulletin on lessons being learned from the implementation of payments for watershed services, much of it with support from IIED and the World Bank. In addition, I produced a number of reports, review papers and policy briefs, and have participated in or helped to organize workshops for clients that have also included: FAO, WWF US & UK, TNC, Forest Trends, CGIAR International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Island Press and AED.

Other not unrelated topics are sometimes addressed in The Post-Normal Times, an environmental science and policy blog I developed to provide a space for all the news that doesn’t fit, and to put science into context – although it has been on a hiatus I may pick it up again soon. I also teach courses in World Regional and Cultural Geography as an Adjunct Professor at the University of the District of Columbia.

Prior to attending graduate school, I held full-time positions at the former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and at the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, where I directed a study on Land Acquisition for Conservation, and served as staff for a number of other committees, including the US Committee for SCOPE (i.e., the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment, which is part of the International Council of Scientific Unions).

I earned an MA in geography from the University of Maryland in 2000, in a program that enabled me to do interdisciplinary coursework in both the social and natural sciences, pertaining to terrestrial as well as marine ecosystems. My focus was on the socioeconomic and institutional aspects of managing common pool resources, information needed for land use decisions in the context of rapid global change, and participatory learning approaches to the valuation of natural resources.

As a citizen, I am also engaged in water policy in Montgomery County and the state of Maryland, as President of Friends of Ten Mile Creek and as chair of the Water Committee for the Maryland Sierra Club. In that capacity, I recently organized a Water Forum.


Note: For now, this site serves as a personal archive but given the rise of Linkedin, I do not update it regularly and may discontinue keeping a separate site.