Economics professor selected as author for U.S. Global Change Research Program’s ‘First National Nature Assessment’

Dr. John Whitehead, a professor in the Department of Economics at Appalachian State University's Walker College of Business, has been selected by the U.S. Global Change Research Program as an author for the first-ever National Nature Assessment (NNA1).

For the next two years, Dr. Whitehead will be part of a team of approximately 150 experts who will take stock of what nature provides to us in terms of its inherent worth, our culture, health and well-being, jobs and livelihoods, safety, and more, while looking ahead to understand how these benefits might change in the future. 

Dr. Whitehead is an expert in environmental economics, and his research is focused on valuing environmental resources. He is an internationally recognized expert in using “stated preference” and “travel cost” methods to value goods and services that aren’t easily monetized, like improvements in air and water quality, conservation of natural land, expansion of parks and recreational areas, and loss and damages related to climate change. Learn more about Dr. Whitehead online,

In addition to economics, the team includes individuals with diverse experience and expertise in fields including ecology, health, nature-based solutions, urban systems, environmental justice, agriculture, and engineering. 

See the full list of NNA1 authors.

The authors were selected by NNA1 chapter leads in consultation with federal leadership, based in part on a public call for author nominations. Dr. Whitehead’s chapter, Nature and the Economy, is led by Dr. Rajat Panwar, associate professor of responsible and sustainable business at Oregon State University.

“The NNA will provide a comprehensive understanding of nature, enriched by diverse scientific expertise, Indigenous knowledge, and lived experience of authors from across the United States,” said Jane Lubchenco, Deputy Director for Climate and Environment, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “The NNA is an opportunity to integrate and assess information—from multiple sources and through a diversity of voices—to capture and communicate what nature means to different people, and to explore the future of nature in this Nation.” 

The U.S. Global Change Research Program announced Dr. Whitehead and his peer authors on April 22, 2024 — Earth Day. 

Learn more about the project online,

About the Department of Economics at Appalachian State University

The Department of Economics in Appalachian State University's Walker College of Business is an intellectually vibrant place for students and faculty. As a research-intensive department committed to student learning, the department offers a wide range of courses that provide critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, complemented by student-faculty research collaboration. Our faculty members are engaged in research that contributes locally and globally in areas related to energy, environmental, development, trade, health, sports and tourism. The Department of Economics is ranked among the leading U.S. economics departments for research productivity, and is particularly strong in environmental and experimental economics. Learn more at

Economics professor selected as author for U.S. Global Change Research Program’s ‘First National Nature Assessment’
Published: Apr 29, 2024 4:54pm