Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Evan Mercer

Evan Mercer

Evan Mercer’s 35-year career in environmental economics and policy included 24 years as a Research Economist with the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station and 20+ years as an Adjunct Professor at the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment and NC State University’s College of Natural Resources. He earned a BS (biology and zoology) from the University of Texas at Austin, a MS (forest ecology) from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in natural resource economics from Duke University. Evan’s research focused on the effects of government policies, markets, and societal values on the production of multiple benefits from public and private forest resources, impacts on rural development, human welfare, and quality of life. He worked with U.S. and international government agencies, NGOs, and universities to develop coherent policies for producing multiple objectives across heterogeneous landscapes in the presence of forest disturbances such as climate change, wildfire, urbanization, and fragmentation. More specifically, he pioneered the application of economics to understanding agroforestry adoption, tradeoffs between wildfire risk and vegetation management, the value of preserving tropical rain forests, eco-tourism, and payments for ecosystem services. International experience included Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Indonesia, Philippines, Madagascar, and Lesotho with a variety of organizations including World Bank, USAID, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, USFS International Programs, International Council for Research in Agroforestry, East-West Center, Winrock International, and Millennium Challenge Corporation.