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Dr. George L. Peterson


photo of George Peterson

Senior-Level Scientist, retired

Research Interests

Selected Publications

Dr. George L. Peterson retired in 2004 as a Senior-Level Scientist and Project Leader with the Rocky Mountain Research Station of the USDA Forest Service in Fort Collins, CO. The first 18 years of his 40 year career were in academic positions, first in Environmental Systems and Resources at the University of California at Los Angeles and then at Northwestern University, where he served as Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor of Civil Engineering specializing in urban and regional planning, environmental resource management, and impact assessment. Though retired, Dr. Peterson remains actively pursuing his research interests.

Dr. Peterson's publications include numerous scientific and technical papers on outdoor recreation research, environmental psychology, impact analysis, and natural resource economics, as well as five edited books.

Since joining Forest Service Research in 1982, he has worked primarily in non-market valuation, outdoor recreation research, and environmental resource damage assessment. Professional assignments and activities have included forest health policy, forest planning, road policy reform, USDA representative on the Economic Steering Committee for the Exxon-Valdez damage assessment, Leader of Economic Evaluation of Multifunctional Forestry for the International Union of Forestry Research Organization (IUFRO), Human Dimension representative on the IUFRO Task Force on Management and Conservation of Forest Genetic Resources, the UNEP Global Biodiversity Assessment, the Board of Research Advisors for the National Outdoor Leadership School, Associate Editor of Leisure Sciences and the Journal of Leisure Research, the Editorial Review Board of Environment and Behavior, and the Editorial Advisory Board of Advances in Environment, Behavior, and Design.

He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Leisure Sciences.

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Research Interests

  • Monetary valuation of non-market goods and services (e.g., biodiversity, sensitive species, scenic beauty, recreation, community stability, etc.) produced by natural environments.

  • Alternative (non-monetary) methods for measuring values for non-market goods and services and integrating such values into policy and management.

  • Environmental Resource Damage Assessment.

  • Application of Psychology to monetary and non-monetary valuation of non-market goods and service.

  • Integration of science and policy.

  • Cross-disciplinary collaboration in large scale complex environmental management problems.

  • Outdoor recreation research and management.

  • Pricing outdoor recreation services and facilities.

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Selected Publications

Placing a Publications Order

  • Peterson, George L., Daniel W. McCollum, Cindy S. Swanson, and Michael Thomas (eds.) 1992. Valuing Wildlife Resources in Alaska. Boulder CO: Westview Press. 357 pp.

  • Driver, B.L., Perry J. Brown, and George L. Peterson (eds.). 1991. The Benefits of Leisure. Venture Press, University Park, PA. 477 pp.

  • Peterson, George L., Beverly S. Driver, and Robin Gregory, (eds.). 1988. Public amenity resource valuation: integrating economics with other disciplines. Venture Press, University Park, PA. 260 pp.

  • Peterson, G. L., and Alan Randall (eds.). 1984. Valuation of wildland resource benefits. Westview Press, Boulder, Colo. 272 pp.

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