Assistant Professor of Forest Economics and Policy
223 Thomas Poe Cooper Building
Lexington, KY 40546-0073
(859) 257-1770
thomas.ochuodho@uky.edu


Research


Teaching

  • FOR 280 Forest Resource Policy and Law
  • FOR 320 Forest Valuation and Economics
  • FOR 602 Renewable Natural Resources in a Global Perspective (Team-Taught)

Education

Ph.D. Forestry 2013, University of New Brunswick, Canada

M.Phil. Forest Economics and Management 2006, Moi University, Kenya

B.S. Forestry 1997, Moi University, Kenya


Current projects

Economics of Forest Health Threats

Dr. Ochuodho is the leader of the Social Sciences Team of Forest Health Research and Education Center (FHC). FHC is a new collaborative research initiative between the Department of Forestry, University of Kentucky and U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station. The mission of FHC is to advance the conservation of forested ecosystems by integrating genetics-based biological research with social science (economics) research and education and outreach on factors affecting tree health and forest restoration. Currently, Dr. Ochuodho is working with FHC team to conduct a Delphi survey on health threats on oak trees in Eastern and Southern Regions of the U.S. Forest Service.

Oak (Quercus spp.) plays both ecological and economic critical roles in Kentucky, the surrounding region, and arguably the nation as a whole. Oak trees dominate Kentucky’s forests and have been an important part of the forest products industry for centuries. White oak (Quercus alba) in particular, is used in the production of veneer, lumber, stave logs (wood used to manufacture barrels or casks), and railroad ties. Kentucky’s largest wood export is new and used bourbon barrels which are made from white oak.  The second largest export is white oak lumber. Sustaining white oak resources is critical to the long-term survival and growth of forest products and distilling industries responsible for generating billions of dollars to local economies, and several hundred-thousand jobs throughout the region.

The goal of this survey is to identify the most significant threats (biotic and abiotic) to oaks in the regions and to gauge the potential impact of these threats on oaks. The data generated from this expert opinion survey series will be used to support subsequent analyses aimed at assessing the impact of these threats. The FHC is funded jointly by University of Kentucky and U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station.

Natural Capital Accounting

The Natural Capital Accounting project in Rwanda is supported by The Nature Conservancy through Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP). SNAPP is collaborative initiative between the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), The Nature Conservancy and Wildlife Conservation Society. The project’s overarching goal is to collaborate and synthesize existing information to address key questions at the intersection of nature conservation, economic development, and human well-being in ways that will provide real world benefits for humankind. In particular, this project aims to establish the direct relationship between natural capital and the economy and the backward linkage. Results from this project will guide natural capital management policy agenda and also provide a practical field-tested case study for other regions.


Research Interests

  • Application of computable general equilibrium (CGE) modeling for policy analysis in natural resource management
  • Integrated environmental-economic modeling
  • Natural capital accounting and integration into system of national accounts
  • Applied econometrics
  • Economics of biofuels, renewable energy, and climate change 
Photo of Thomas Ochuodho