UT Economist Named Fellow at Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy

Seong-Hoon Cho Named Faculty Fellow in Center’s Energy & Environmental Policy Program


Image of Dr. Seong-Hoon Cho

​Seong-Hoon Cho, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, has been named a faculty fellow of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy where its energy and environmental policy program will draw upon his expertise as a natural resource and environmental economist. Photo by N. Leverton, courtesy UTIA.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Seong-Hoon Cho, a natural resource and environmental economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC) at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA), has been named a faculty fellow in the energy and environmental policy program at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Cho’s expertise complements the energy and environmental policy program at the Baker Center, which studies the intersection of energy and the environment with the goal of developing economically sound policies that improve quality of life. The Center addresses issues such as energy consumption and conservation, nuclear energy, renewable energy, air and water pollution, ecosystem services and climate change. Leveraging the resources of the Baker Center enables a broader impact on policy and policy processes than would otherwise be possible.

The Baker Center fellows pursue external grants, contracts and other sources of funding, as well as develop partnership arrangements with other academic units, universities and colleges, think tanks, government entities, private business, non-profits and others.

Since joining the AREC faculty in 2004, Cho has conducted an array of research that includes the dynamics of natural and human systems using advanced information technology, specifically the development of geographic information systems and geospatial data. In particular, he has explored issues such as the ecological and economic effectiveness of land conservation, land-use planning at the rural-urban interface, valuation of green space for eco-friendly urbanization, management of urban sprawl, valuation of ecosystem services, and relationships between land use and climate change in the Southeast where sustained population growth and higher incomes have simultaneously increased the demand for both development and preservation.

Also serving on the faculty board of UTIA’s Natural Resource Policy Center, Cho collaborates with engineers, economists, ecologists, foresters and geographers as part of the Center’s multidisciplinary, multi-institutional and multifunctional approach to solving natural resource issues in the southeastern United States. His research at the Center evolved into funded research by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through its Coupled Natural and Human Systems program and by USDA through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program. The NSF-funded research focuses on understanding the costs of establishing protected areas, and the USDA-funded project focuses on designing incentives intended to secure ecosystem service benefits from private landowners more effectively.

His external collaborations also include numerous public agencies such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation, and nongovernmental organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

He is currently serving as lead investigator on a $500,000 grant from AFRI to address issues related to climate and land-use changes.

Academic honors and awards include the David C. Lincoln Fellowship Award, twice; the OECD Cooperative Research Programme Fellowship Award; and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship Award.

He has served as a visiting scholar at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto, Japan, and also at the School of Economics and Trade at Kyungpook National University in Daegu, Korea.

Cho holds a PhD in resource and environmental economics from Oregon State University. He teaches graduate-level advanced natural resource economics and undergraduate/graduate courses in natural resource economics.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu

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Contact: 

Seong-Hoon Cho, Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 865-974-7408, scho9@utk.edu

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