Blair Orr

Blair D. Orr faculty portrait
"Good science starts with good questions."


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Professor, SFRES

  • PhD, Forestry, University of Wisconsin
  • MA, Economics, University of Wisconsin
  • BS, Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin

Community Economics and Development

My interests includes the economics of rural communities and how forests, the natural environment and forest management activities contribute to these communities.  I work with graduate students and the Office of Surface Mining VISTA project to facilitate stronger communities in areas that are recovering from the environmental and economic damage from historic mining activities.

I also serve as faculty advisor to the Nordic Ski Club, a large student organization with over 400 members.  It snows in Houghton and the university owns two great facilities – Mount Ripley for downhill and Tech Trails for Nordic skiing – so students can take advantage of the great winter environment.

Areas of Expertise

  • Community Economics
  • Forest economics
  • Land use in the Upper Peninsula

Recent Publications

  • Kenny, A.L., J.B. Pickens, and B. Orr. 2014. Modeling Teak Introduction on Smallholder Farms in Southern Togo. Journal of Sustainable Forestry.
  • Cisz, M.E., M.J. Falkowski, and B. Orr. 2013. Small-scale spatial patterns of Copernicia alba Morong near Bahia Negra, Paraguay. Natural Resources 4:369-377. Read More
  • Earnshaw, K.M., and B. Orr. 2013. Soil moisture, field-scale toposequential position, and slope effects on yields in irrigated rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields in Honduras. Agricultural Science. 4(8A):1-8. (Special issue on Water Management in Agriculture.)
  • Williams, R., T. Kuzmic, and B. Orr. 2013. The Student-Citizen and Study Abroad. J. of Forestry. 111(4):300-302.
  • Fox, M.M., S.J. Trull, and B. Orr. 2013. Suitability of Cardamine concatenata (Michx.) Sw. as an Indicator Species on the Ottawa National Forest. Michigan Botanist. 51(4):121-132. (dated 2012, published 2013)
  • Fox, M.M., S.J. Trull, and B. Orr. 2012, Effect of Selection Logging on Carex assiniboinensis W. Boott in a Northern Hardwood Stand Michigan Botanist. 51(3):110-116.
  • Seib, M.D., K.C. Arnold, and B. Orr. 2012. Effectiveness of 3MTM PetrifilmTM as a Teaching Tool in Rural Mali. Development in Practice. 22(2):267-271.
  • Aragona, F.B., and B. Orr. 2011. Agricultural intensification, monoculture and economic failure: The case of onion production in the Tipajara Watershed on the eastern slope of the Bolivian Andes. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture. 35(5):467-492.