Biography

Ben is a postdoctoral scholar with the Natural Capital Project, a group aiming to mainstream the use of ecosystem services analysis in decision making. He serves as an economist and decision support modeler on the freshwater and terrestrial team, helping to quantify benefits and assess trade-offs using both monetary and multi-criteria approaches. His current work involves incorporating agricultural and livelihood considerations into landscape optimization, and developing and demonstrating tools and guidance to improve the treatment of uncertainty in ecosystem services modeling, land change modeling, and multi-criteria assessment. He has broader research interests in decision making under deep uncertainty, social choice processes, and sustainability issues at the intersection of environment and development. 

Ben earned a PhD in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School within the RAND Corporation think tank, where he completed a dissertation modeling efficiency and equity trade-offs in groundwater markets. While at RAND, he also worked on a variety of energy and environmental issues, including the interaction of climate and development patterns on wildfire risk, and techniques for decision making under poorly characterized (“deep”) uncertainty. He also holds a BS in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College, with significant coursework in engineering as well as political and ethical philosophy. Immediately prior to joining NatCap, he was a country economist examining program design and conducting cost-benefit analyses for large grants made by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US government international development agency.