US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Michael Hand

Research Economist
200 East Broadway
United States

Phone: 406-329-3375
Fax: 406-329-3487
Contact Michael Hand

Current Research

My current research focuses on the value of benefits people derive from forests and the natural environment, economic vulnerability and resilience to climate-related forest changes, the economics of wildland fire suppression, and risk perception and preferences of public managers.

Ongoing projects:

  • Implicit prices paid for access to amenities provided by forests, Wilderness Areas, and other natural areas through spatial hedonic labor and housing markets.
  • Value of recreation access and quality of National Forest sites in the Southwest.
  • Assessment of socio-economic vulnerability to climate-related changes on National Forests.
  • Cost-effectiveness of suppression resources used for wildland fire initial attack efforts.
  • Spatial landscape factors associated with wildland fire suppression expenditures.
  • Non-linear probability weighting and risk preferences of wildland fire managers when selecting suppression strategies.

Research Interests

My broad research interests explore the intersection of the natural world with household economic activity and decisions, the role of natural landscapes in providing market and non-market benefits to households and communities, and the economics of managing forest disturbances (such as wildland fire) to maintain ecological values. These topics look at how households make economic decisions in relation to forests and other natural features, and how public managers allocate resources to achieve multiple land management objectives.


  • University of New Mexico, Economics , 2007
  • University of New Mexico, Economics , 2005
  • University of Minnesota, Human Resources and Industrial Relations , 2000

Professional Experience

  • Research Economist, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
    2011 - Current
  • Research Economist, USDA, Economic Research Service, Rural and Resource Economics Division
    2007 - 2011


Last updated on : 05/08/2015