Richard B. Norgaard received his B.A. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1965, an M.S. in agricultural economics from Oregon State University in 1968, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1971. He is among the founders of the field of ecological economics and has field experience in the Alaska, Brazil, and California, with minor forays in Africa, China, and Vietnam. His recent research addresses how rapid environmental change challenges scientific understanding and the policy process. He is writing a book on American Economism that documents how economistic beliefs have increasingly replaced or been incorporated within religious beliefs in America.
Dr. Norgaard is the author of one book (Development Betrayed 1994), co-author or co-editor of three additional books, and has over 100 other publications spanning the fields of environment and development, tropical forestry and agriculture, environmental epistemology, energy economics, and ecological economics. Though an eclectic transdisciplinary scholar, he was also among the 1000 economists in the world most cited by other economists (Millennium Editions of Who’s Who in Economics, 2000) and was one of ten American economists interviewed in The Changing Face of Economics: Conversations with Cutting Edge Economists (Colander, Holt, and Rosser, University of Michigan Press, 2004).
Dr. Norgaard chaired the Delta Independent Science Board of the State of California (2011-14) and was a member until his term expired in August 2020. He served on the Scoping Committee and was a lead author in the 5th assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and participated in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He has served on numerous committees of the National Academy of Sciences and the former office of Technology Assessment and was a member of the U.S. Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (US SCOPE). He served as President of the International Society for Ecological Economics (1998-2001). He has been a visiting scholar at the World Bank and served on the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Independent Science Board of the California Bay–Delta Authority. He served on the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (2000-2009).