This summer we will welcome Dr. Charles Sims, as a Baker Center research professor and Department of Economics joint faculty member. Dr. Sims is a native of South Knoxville and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Forest Resource Management (2001) and an MS in Forestry, with a minor in Environmental Policy (2004) from UT. After spending a year as a Research Associate at UT, he headed west to join the Economics doctoral program at the University of Wyoming, graduating in 2009.
Dr. Sims’s research specialties are focused in three areas: 1) the valuation of recreational activities, 2) bioeconomic models which integrate ecological realities with economic decision making, and 3) the role of risk and uncertainty in environmental policy and natural resource management. His research on transportation alternatives in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park helped create a private shuttle system to relieve traffic congestion in this heavily visited national pa rk. More recently, Sims has been interested in the economic dimensions of managing natural forest disturbances (such as insect outbreaks and wildfires) as well as the application of financial economic models to the control of invasive species, habitat conservation, and pollution. He has also worked closely with state and local governments, federal agencies, and interdisciplinary groups of researchers on a wide variety of issues including recreation management on public lands, economic impact analysis of coal and natural gas extraction, and water management in irrigated landscapes.