Robert H. Nelson is Professor of Environmental Policy at the School of Public Affairs of the University of Maryland and Senior Fellow of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He is a nationally recognized authority on land and natural resource management in the United States, with a particular emphasis on management of federally owned lands. His writings have appeared in many professional journals and edited book collections, including the Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Political Economy, Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Natural Resources Journal, Environmental Law, University of Colorado Law Review, and University of Illinois Law Review.
He is the author of six books: Zoning and Property Rights (MIT Press, 1977); The Making of Federal Coal Policy (Duke University Press, 1983); Reaching for Heaven on Earth: The Theological Meaning of Economics (Rowman & Littlefield, 1991); Public Lands and Private Rights: The Failure of Scientific Management (Rowman & Littlefield, 1995); A Burning Issue: A Case for Abolishing the U.S. Forest Service (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000); and Economics as Religion: From Samuelson to Chicago and Beyond (Penn State University Press, forthcoming 2001).
Prof. Nelson has also written widely for broader audiences in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, Forbes, The Weekly Standard, Reason, Technology Review, Environment, Regulation, and many other publications.
Prof. Nelson worked in the office of Policy Analysis of the Interior Departmentthe principal policy office serving the Secretary of the Interior from 1975 to 1993. He served as the senior economist of the Commission of Fair Market Value Policy for Federal Coal Leasing (Linowes Commission); senior research manager of the President's Commission on Privatization; and chief economist for the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs. He has been a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution; visiting senior fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; visiting scholar at the Political Economy Research Center; visiting research associate at the Center for Applied Social Science at the University of Zimbabwe; and research fellow at the International Center for Economic Research in Turin, Italy.
He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University (1971).