Prof. Robert Johnston named to EPA Science Advisory Board

Prof. Robert Johnston

Clark University Professor of Economics Robert Johnston, director of the George Perkins Marsh Institute,  has been appointed to the Science Advisory Board of the Environmental Protection Agency. In this role, Johnston will serve as a special government employee and will provide independent advice on technical issues underlying the EPA’s policies and decision-making.

The Science Advisory Board (SAB) is organized under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. It provides a mechanism for the EPA to receive peer review and other advice designed to make a positive difference in the production and use of science at the EPA. The board’s mission is to review scientific and technical information being used or proposed as the basis of EPA regulations, research programs and guidelines, and to advise the Agency on broad scientific matters in science, technology, social and economic issues, or on emergency and other short-notice programs.

“Serving on the chartered Science Advisory Board is an honor, and reflects well on Clark University,” Johnston says. “The SAB includes a total of approximately 45 scientists from all natural and social science fields combined.  Members are selected based on their recognized expertise in science related to EPA’s mission.”

Lisa P. Jackson, EPA Administrator, invited Johnston to serve, noting, “Your expertise in environmental economics would be a great asset to the board.”

Prof. Johnston’s research interests include valuation of non-market resources and ecosystem services, benefit transfer and meta-analysis, and the management of aquatic and coastal systems.  He has also conducted significant work in fisheries economics, and currently serves on a National Research Council Committee on Evaluating the Effectiveness of Stock Rebuilding Plans under the Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act. His recent research projects address such topics as the use of meta-analysis for non-market benefit transfer and the coordination of economic and ecological models to evaluate aquatic ecosystem restoration. In addition to his grant-funded research, he works closely with international organizations, government agencies and non-profit organizations to assist in the appropriate use of economic information to guide environmental and natural resource policy development.