Thomas C. Brown
(1) Assessment of risk of water quality impairment in the over 15,000 fifth-level watersheds of the contiguous 48 states. (2) Estimates future water demand in the coterminous US, including specification of the effect of climate change on water demand. (3) Vulnerability of future US water supply to shortage, based on a comparison of supply and demand in light of climate change. (4) The effect of climate change on wildfire extent and sediment yield in the Southern Rockies Ecosystem. (5) Public perception of the relative importance of mitigation versus adaptation in responding to expected climate change.
My research focuses on methodology for economic valuation of natural resources; and on the environmental, economic, and institutional aspects of water resource management. Next steps will focus on refining the estimates of the effect of demographic and climatic changes on water demand and supply, and on assessing the public's understanding of likely climatic and demographic changes and willingness to trade off adaptation versus mitigation in dealing with such changes.
Climate change is very likely to both increase water demand and decrease water supply. This combination of effects, along with the impact of human population increase on water demand, will increase the vulnerability of water supplies to shortage, and will also lead to decreases in instream flow available to aquatic species and for other instream uses. These changes will not occur uniformly across the landscape; rather, some areas will be affected much more heavily than others. Although considerable uncertainty remains about the exact degree of change that will occur, it is critical for policy makers and water resource planners to have the best available site-specific estimates of the extent to which these changes are likely to occur. This effort aims to provide such estimates within a probabilistic framework using methods consistently applied across the US.Water quality is a continuing national concern. Although point sources of pollution are largely contained pursuant to the Water Quality Act, nonpoint sources of water pollution remain mainly uncontrolled and policy makers continue to consider ways to reduce nonpoint sources. This research seeks to inform the policy formation process by providing a fine-scale national picture of the relative risks of water quality impairment from nonpoint sources, indicating where the greatest risks are faced.
Why This Research is Important
(1) An authored book Instream Flow Protection: Seeking a Balance in Western Water Use on the law, policy, history, and economics of water management in the Western United States. (2) A co-edited book A Primer on Nonmarket Valuation on the various methods now used to estimate the economic value of ecosystem goods and services. (3) Estimates of the amount of the US water supply that originates from the national forests, from forests in general, and within each major watershed. (4) Development and application of the method of paired comparison for use in assessing public values and preferences for ecosystem goods and services.
- American University, Washington, DC, BA Economics, 1968
- University of Arizona, MS Water Management, 1973
- University of Arizona, Ph.D. Economics, 1983
Featured Publications & Products
- Brown, Thomas C; Froemke, Pamela. 2010. Risk of impaired condition of watersheds containing National Forest lands.
- Morrison, Mark; Brown, Thomas C. 2009. Testing the effectiveness of certainty scales, cheap talk, and dissonance-minimization in reducing hypothetical bias in contingent valuation studies.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Peterson, George L. 2009. An enquiry into the method of paired comparison: reliability, scaling, and Thurstone's Law of Comparative Judgment.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Hobbins, Michael T.; Ramirez, Jorge A. 2008. Spatial distribution of water supply in the coterminous United States.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Kingsley, David; Peterson, George L.; Flores, Nicholas E.; Clarke, Andrea; Birjulin, Andrej. 2008. Reliability of individual valuations of public and private goods: Choice consistency, response time, and preference refinement.
Publications & Products
- Foti, Romano; Ramirez, Jorge A.; Brown, Thomas C. 2014. A probabilistic framework for assessing vulnerability to climate variability and change: The case of the US water supply system.
- Litschert, S. E.; Theobald, D. M.; Brown, T. C. 2014. Effects of climate change and wildfire on soil loss in the Southern Rockies Ecoregion.
- Kingsley, David C.; Brown, Thomas C. 2014. Endogenous and costly institutional deterrence.
- Foti, Romano; Ramirez, Jorge A.; Brown, Thomas C. 2014. Response surfaces of vulnerability to climate change: The Colorado River Basin, the High Plains, and California.
- Kingsley, David C.; Brown, Thomas C. 2013. Estimating willingness to accept using paired comparison choice experiments: tests of robustness.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Foti, Romano; Ramirez, Jorge A. 2013. Projected freshwater withdrawals in the United States under a changing climate.
- Kingsley, David C.; Brown, Thomas C. 2013. Value learning and the willingness to accept - willingness to pay disparity.
- Kingsley, David C.; Brown, Thomas C. 2012. Does prompting for revision influence subjects' offers in willingness to accept - willingness to pay lab experiments?.
- Litschert, Sandra E.; Brown, Thomas C.; Theobald, David M. 2012. Historic and future extent of wildfires in the Southern Rockies Ecoregion, USA.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Froemke, Pamela. 2012. Nationwide assessment of nonpoint source threats to water quality.
- Foti, Romano; Ramirez, Jorge A.; Brown, Thomas C. 2012. Vulnerability of U.S. water supply to shortage: a technical document supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Foti, Romano; Ramirez, Jorge. 2012. Water resources (Chapter 12).
- Donovan, Geoffrey H.; Brown, Thomas C.; Dale, Lisa. 2008. Chapter 16: Incentives and wildfire management in the United States.
- Donovan, Geoffrey H.; Brown, Thomas C. 2008. Estimating the avoided fuel-reatment costs of wildfire.
- Donovan, Geoffrey H.; Brown, Thomas C.; Dale, Lisa. 2008. Incentives and wildfire management in the United States.
- Donovan, Geoffrey H.; Brown, Thomas C. 2007. Be careful what you wish for: The legacy of Smokey Bear.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Bergstrom, John C.; Loomis, John B. 2007. Defining, valuing and providing ecosystem goods and services.
- Brown, Thomas C. 2007. The marginal economic value of streamflow from National Forests: Evidence from western water markets.
- Donovan, Geoffrey H.; Brown, Thomas C. 2005. An alternative incentive structure for wildfire management on national forest land..
- Ramirez, Jorge A.; Hobbins, Michael T.; Brown, Thomas C. 2005. Observational evidence of the complementary relationship in regional evaporation lends strong support for Bouchet's hypothesis.
- Donovan, Geoffrey H.; Brown, Thomas C. 2005. Wildfire management in the U.S. Forest Service: a brief history..
- Ajzen, Icek; Brown, Thomas C.; Carvajal, Franklin. 2004. Explaining the discrepancy between intentions and actions: the case of hypothetical bias in contingent valuation.
- Hobbins, Michael T.; Ramirez, Jorge A.; Brown, Thomas C. 2004. Trends in pan evaporation and actual evapotranspiration across the conterminous U.S.: paradoxical or complementary?.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Ajzen, Icek; Hrubes, Daniel. 2003. Further tests of entreaties to avoid hypothetical bias in referendum contingent valuation.
- Champ, Patricia A.; Flores, Nicholas E.; Brown, Thomas C.; Chivers, James. 2002. Contingent valuation and incentives.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Nannini, Dawn; Gorter, Robert B.; Bell, Paul A.; Peterson, George L. 2002. Judged seriousness of environmental losses: reliability and cause of loss.
- Chuenpagdee, Ratana; Knetsch, Jack L.; Brown, Thomas C. 2001. Environmental damage schedules: community judgments of importance and assessments of losses.
- Brown, Thomas C. 1999. Past and future freshwater use in the United States.
- Peterson, George L.; Brown, Thomas C. 1998. Economic valuation by the method of paired comparison, with emphasis on evaluation of the transitivity axiom.
- Loomis, John B.; Peterson, George; Champ, Patricia A.; Brown, Thomas C.; Lucero, Beatrice. 1998. Paired comparison estimates of willingness to accept versus contingent valuation estimates of willingness to pay.
- Champ, Patricia A.; Bishop, Richard C.; Brown, Thomas C.; McCollum, Daniel W. 1997. Using donation mechanisms to value nonuse benefits from public goods.
- Ajzen, Icek; Brown, Thomas C.; Rosenthal, Lori H. 1996. Information bias in contingent valuation: effects of personal relevance, quality of information, and motivational orientation.
- Gregory, Robin; Brown, Thomas C.; Knetsch, Jack L. 1996. Valuing risks to the environment.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Champ, Patricia A.; Bishop, Richard C.; McCollum, Daniel W. 1996. Which response format reveals the truth about donations to a public good?.
- Gregory, Robin; Lichtenstein, Sarah; Brown, Thomas C.; Peterson, George L.; Slouic, Paul. 1995. How precise are monetary representations of environmental improvements?.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Peterson, George L.; Tonn, Bruce E. 1995. The values jury to aid natural resource decisions.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Daniel, Terry C.; Schroeder, Herbert W.; Brink, Glen E. 1990. An analysis of ratings: a guide to RMRATE.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Daniel, Terry C. 1990. Scaling of ratings: concepts and methods.
- Johnson, Craig W.; Brown, Thomas C.; Timmons, Michael L. 1985. Esthetics and landscaping.
- Brown, Thomas C.; Daniel, Terry C. 1984. Modeling forest scenic beauty: Concepts and application to ponderosa pine.
|A close comparison of the condition of watersheds on our National Forests|
Given the continuing concern over nonpoint-source pollution, researchers sought to understand how the risk of water quality impairment from nonp ...