200 East Broadway
Missoula, MT 59802
Contact Michael Hand
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.
- 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.
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, PhD Economics, 2007
- University of New Mexico, MS Economics, 2005
- University of Minnesota, BS Human Resources and Industrial Relations, 2000
- 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
Publications & Products
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Calkin, David E.; Finney, Mark A.; Gebert, Krista M.; Hand, Michael S. 2013. A risk-based approach to wildland fire budgetary planning.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Hand, Michael S.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W.; Vaillant, Nicole M.; Nalle, Darek J. 2013. Hazardous fuel treatments, suppression cost impacts, and risk mitigation.
- Wibbenmeyer, Matthew J.; Hand, Michael S.; Calkin, David E.; Venn, Tyron J.; Thompson, Matthew P. 2013. Risk preferences in strategic wildfire decision making: A choice experiment with U.S. wildfire managers.
- Wibbenmeyer, Matthew; Hand, Michael; Calkin, David. 2012. Preliminary results from a survey of U.S. Forest Service wildfire managers' attitudes toward aviation personnel exposure and risk.