Dr. Geoffrey Donovan
USDA Forest Service
Dr. Donovan received his PhD is forest economics from Colorado State University in 2001. Since then, he has worked as an economist for the USDA Forest Service in Alaska and Oregon. His primary research focus is quantifying the benefits of urban trees. These have ranged from intuitive benefits—reduced summertime cooling costs and increased home values, for example—to less intuitive benefits such as crime reduction. He has worked extensively on the relationship between trees and public health finding that mothers with trees around their homes are less likely to have underweight babies, and when trees are killed by an invasive pest, more people die from cardiovascular and lower-respiratory diseases. Currently, he is focusing on how exposure to plant diversity may protect against a range of immune diseases.