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Kelly Cobourn

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California – Davis, 2009; M.S. Resource Economics and Policy, University of Maine, 2004; B.A. Economics, University of Virginia, 2001

Interest areas: Natural resource economics, applied econometrics, bio-economic modeling, water resource policy, invasive species management.

Seminars in Environmental and Resource Economics at Virginia Tech (SERE-VT) website.

Teaching Responsibilities
  • FOR 4434 Forest Resource Policy
  • FOR 4464 Water Resources Policy & Economics
  • FOR 5984 Advanced Natural Resource Economics
Selected Research Projects

Linking land-use decision making, water quality, and lake associations to understand human-natural feedbacks in lake catchments

  • Models and data from the fields of economics, hydrology, limnology, biological systems engineering, and social psychology are used to examine the linkages between land-use decision making, lake water quality, and the community responses that stimulate behavioral change to protect lakes. For more information see Funded by NSF Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) Program under award #1517823.

Understanding the hydrologic and socioeconomic impacts of water use and resource allocation in agricultural regions under different climate and policy scenarios

  • Remote sensing science, hydrology, economics, soil science, and agronomy are combined to develop advanced, satellite-driven, hydro-economic models for water management and policy in agricultural regions. Funded by the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).

Water Institutions and Agricultural Land Use Change across the Western U.S.

  • Remote sensing data is used in an econometric analysis to examine how property rights for water influence land-use decisions by farmers and economic welfare in the Snake River Basin. Funded by NASA Land Cover/Land Use Change (LCLUC) Program and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) at Virginia Tech.

Cooperative Bargaining to Control Invasive Species Spread

  • Cooperative bargaining is evaluated as a second-best approach to slowing or eliminating the spread of invasive species over space and time. A general theoretical model is developed and applied to the problem of emerald ash borer infestation in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. This project is an ongoing collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station. 
Selected and Recent Publications
  • Cobourn, K.M. “Externalities and Simultaneity in Surface Water-Groundwater Systems: Challenges for Water Rights Institutions,” in press, American Journal of Agricultural Economics.
  • Ghosh, S., K.M. Cobourn, and L. Elbakidze. 2014. “Water Banking, Conjunctive Administration, and Drought: The Interaction of Water Markets and Prior Appropriation in Southeastern Idaho,” Water Resources Research, 50, doi:10.1002/2014WR015572.
  • Cobourn, K.M., R.E. Goodhue, and J.C. Williams. 2013. “Managing a Pest with Harvest Timing: Implications for Crop Quality and Price,” European Review of Agricultural Economics, 40(5): 761-84.
  • Mooney, S., D.L. Young, K.M. Cobourn, and S. Islam. 2013. “Multidisciplinary Research: Implications for Agricultural and Applied Economists,” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 45(2): 187-202.
  • Cobourn, K.M., H.J. Burrack, R.E. Goodhue, J.C. Williams, and F.G. Zalom. 2011. “Implications of Simultaneity in a Physical Damage Function,”Journal of Environmental Economics and Management,62(2): 278-289.
  • Cobourn, K.M., and N.F. Crescenti. 2011. “The Implications of Surface-Ground Water Hydrology for Optimal Conjunctive Management,” Western Economics Forum, 10(2): 50-63.

Link to CV (pdf file)

    Dr. Kelly Cobourn

  • (540) 231-0338
  • Cheatham Hall, RM 307, Virginia Tech
    310 West Campus Drive
    Blacksburg, VA 24061

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