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Thomas P. Holmes

Thomas P. Holmes
Emeritus Scientist
Forest Economics and Policy
Forestry Sciences Laboratory, P.O. Box 12254
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
United States
Current Research

My overall research goal is to describe how healthy forests contribute to individual and societal well-being over the long run. Much of my current research is focused on understanding how non-market valuation methods can be used to quantify a broad suite of forest ecosystem service values. I'm also currently researching topics in wilderness economics, behavioral economics, invasive species, climate change, wildfire risk, and conservation policy.

  • University of Connecticut, Ph.D., Agricultural and Resource Economics, 1986
Professional Experience
  • Research Forester,  Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service,  1988 - Current
  • Economist,  Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture,  1986 - 1987
Awards & Recognition
  • Sören Wibe Award , 2012
    Awarded by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences for best journal article published in the Journal of Forest Economics during the previous 2 years.
  • Southern Research Station: Director's Team Award for Natural Resource Stewardship, 2008
    In recognition of contributions made by publishing the book “The Economics of Forest Disturbances – Wildfires, Storms, and Invasive Species".
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Wilderness areas contribute to economic health of rural communities

Year: 2017
Forest Service scientists Tom Holmes and Eric White collaborated with Evan Hjerpe of the Conservation Economics Institute to estimate the economic benefits to rural communities that serve as gateways to U.S. wilderness areas. Their research shows that nearly 10 million people per year visit wilderne...

Estimating the contribution of forests to the economic value of water resource ecosystem services

Year: 2018
Forest vegetation is a valuable source of natural capital. Changes in forest cover could affect water resources. This study describes how to estimate the ecosystem service values of water resources from forest landscapes.

Economics and Spread of Invasives

Year: 2010
An SRS scientist recently led an interdisciplinary team that proposed new methods for evaluating the economic damages of invasive species on forests. The research indicates that policies that shift the burden of economic impacts from taxpayers and forest landowners onto parties responsible for intro...

Analyzing How to Increase Fireline Production Efficiency

Year: 2014
Operational data on fireline production rates are generally lower than the rates identified by expert panel estimates. This study found the lower operational rates can be linked to excessive firefighter fatigue, safety considerations, and likely suboptimal managerial decision making.