August 1, 2013
Dear Friend of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy:
I am delighted to announce that Dr. Charles Sims has joined the Baker Center and the Department of Economics effective August 1, 2013. Charles will hold the title of Faculty Fellow in the Baker Center and Assistant Professor in Economics.
Charles has been at Utah State University, where he spent the last four years working as an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Economics. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Wyoming, and his Masters of Science in Forestry and Bachelors of Science in Forest Resource Management from the University of Tennessee. He is a native of Knoxville and still has family in the area. Charles is accompanied by his wife Kimberly who will be an instructor for the Department of Economics.
Charles will be a core member of our research team that focuses on energy and environmental policy. As such, he will be instrumental in growing our research portfolio and enhancing our prestige in the field. His research interests are varied and include the valuation of recreational activities, the use of bioeconomic models which integrate ecological realities with economic decision making, and the role of risk and uncertainty in environmental policy and natural resource management.
His earlier research on transportation alternatives in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park helped create a private shuttle system to relieve traffic congestion. More recently, Charles 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. His background in the natural sciences and social sciences will allow him to work with a broad array of research scientists from any of a number of disciplines. I am very excited about the possible synergies that may emerge within the UT system and with outside partners and constituencies.
Please join me in extending a heartfelt welcome to Charles who is the first regular academic appointment to the Baker Center. To contact Charles, note that his office is room 306 of the Baker Center, his UTK email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his direct line is 865-974-3825.
Matthew Murray, Director