Kathleen E. Halvorsen

Kathleen E. Halvorsen


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  • Professor of Natural Resource Policy, SFRES
  • Joint Appointment in Social Sciences and SFRES
  • PhD, Forest Resource Management, University of Washington
  • MS, Environmental Science, State University of New York
  • BS, Political Economy of Natural Resources, University of California at Berkeley

Natural Resource Policy

I have a joint appointment with the Department of Social Sciences and the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. As part of the Environmental and Energy Policy Graduate Program, I teach SS5300 Environmental and Natural Resource Policy.

I currently have two main research foci: climate change mitigation and biodiversity protection. I am studying climate mitigation through energy conservation with a new NSF INFEWS grant focused on the United States and the Netherlands.  We have a new project establishing a network around socioecological impacts of Arctic permafrost losses entitled "Convergence NNA: Coordinate a Transdisciplinary Research Network to Identify Challenges of and Solutions to Permafrost Coastal Erosion and Its Socioecological Impacts in the Arctic."I also lead a large, international, transdisciplinary group of researchers studying the impacts of forest-related bioenergy across the Americas that is funded by, among other sources, NSF PIRE and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) CRN3 programs.  One dimension of this project is the study of impacts on biodiversity which is an area of research that I will increasingly focus on over the next few years.

I served on the 2010-11 National Academy of Science's Committee on the Economic and Environmental Impacts of Increasing Biofuels and you can download our report as a free pdf here.

My research projects and supervision of graduate students are very transdisciplinary. I have the pleasure of working with a wide variety of social, natural, and applied (engineering) scientists across Europe, China, and North and South America.  I have also taught about and studied the acquisition of transdisciplinary scientific teamwork skills.

On a more personal level, I love to spend time searching for cool rocks and mushrooms, hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, knitting, and spending time with my dogs.

Areas of Expertise

  • Woody bioenergy
  • Climate change
  • Natural resource policy
  • Biodiversity policy
  • Bioenergy policy

Recent Publications

  • Banerjee*, A., K.E. Halvorsen, A. Eastmond-Spencer, and S.R. Sweitz. 2017. Sustainable development for whom and how? Exploring the gaps between popular discourses and ground reality using the Mexican Jatropha biodiesel case. Environmental Management 59:912-923.
  • Banerjee*, A., C. Schelly, and K.E. Halvorsen. 2017. Understanding public perceptions of wood-based electricity production in Wisconsin, United States: Place-based dynamics and social representations. Environmental Sociology Online First. DOI 10.1080/23251042.2016.1272181. 
  • Halvorsen, K.E., J.L. Knowlton, A.S. Mayer, C.C. Phifer, T. Martins, E.C. Pischke*, T.S. Propato, C. Garcia, M. Chiappe, A. Eastmond, J. Licata, M. Kuhlberg, R. Medeiros, V. Picasso, G. Mendez, P. Primo, A. Frado, S. Veron, J. Dunn. 2016. Assessing the Success of an International, Interdisciplinary Energy-related Research Project. Journal of Environmental Science and Studies. 6(2)313-323.
  • Norris, P., M. O’Rourke, A. Mayer, and K.E. Halvorsen. 2016. Doubling Down: Transdisciplinary Research Team Formation as a Wicked Problem. Invited Manuscript for Special Issue\Wicked Problems. Landscape and Urban Planning. 151(7).
  • Solomon Barry D., Aparajita Banerjee*, Alberto Acevedo, Kathleen E. Halvorsen, and Amarella Eastmond. 2015. Policies for the Sustainable Development of Biofuels in Pan America: A Review and Synthesis of Five Countries. Special Isssue of Environmental Management on Bioenergy across the Americas. 56(6)1276-1294.
  • NRC-NAS Committee on Economic and Environmental Impacts of Increasing Biofuels Production (Lave, L.B. (chair), I.C. Burke (co-chair), W.E. Tyner (co-chair), V.H. Dale, K.E. Halvorsen, J.D. Hill, S.R. Kaffka, K.C. Klasing, S.J. McGovern, J.A. Miranowski, A. Patrinos, J.L. Schnoor, D.R. Schweikhardt, T.L. Selfa, B.L. Sohngen, and J.A. Soria). 2011. Renewable Fuel Standard: Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Biofuel Policy. Natural Research Council of the National Academies.  

Recent Funding

  • OISE-PIRE: Sustainability, Ecosystem Services, and Bioenergy Development across the Americas (Lead Principal Investigator), Funded by NSF PIRE Program, 2012-2017, $4,841,735.
  • RCN-SEES: A Research Coordination Network on Pan American Biofuels and Bioenergy Sustainability (Co-PI), Funded by NSF RCN program, 2011-2015, $750,000.
  • NSF INFEWS: INFEWS/T3: Reducing Household Food, Energy and Water Consumption: A Quantitative Analysis of Interventions and Impacts of Conservation. Senior Personnel. $3,000,000. 2016-2021.
  • NSF Coupled Natural and Human Systems: Biocomplexity of Hydrological Services Payments and Watershed Sustainability in Mexico. $1,500,000 National Science Foundation Coupled Natural and Human Systems (NSF CNH). 2014-2019
  • Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) CRN3 Grant: Interdisicplinary Research Team Development and Bioenergy Impact Assessment. $200,000. 2014-2016

Teaching Experience

  • SS5340 Principles of Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research
  • SS5300 Environmental and Energy Policy
  • FW3110 Natural Resource Policy
  • SS4390 Climate Change and Society
  • SS/FW3760 Human Dimensions of Natural Resources