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Travis Warziniack

Travis Warziniack

Research Economist

240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins, CO 80526-2098
Contact Travis Warziniack

Current Research

Current work focuses on valuation of ecoystem services, particularly as they relate to water resources and watershed health. Major projects include:

  • Development of the General Equilibrium Model of Ecosystem Services (GEMES) to measure ecosystem services on Western U.S. forests
  • National study of water demand and supply for RPA Water Assessment
  • Water and economic growth in the Colorado River Basin
  • Homeowners' understanding of wildland fire risk and motivations for risk mitigating behavior
  • Role of forested land in providing safe clean drinking water

Research Interests

Generally, I'm interested in the role natural resources play in community and economic development. Most of this work falls under the category of ecosystem services, and I've enjoyed working with National Forests to address ecosystem services in planning. More specifically, I tend to take a watershed approach in most of my work, focusing on watershed health, the role of forests and grasslands in providing safe clean water, and the effects of climate change on water supply and demand.


  • University of Wyoming, Ph.D., Natural Resource Economics, 2008
  • University of Texas, M.S., Economics, 2001
  • Louisiana State University, B.S., Economics and Math, 1998
  • Featured Publications


    Warziniack, Travis; Arabi, Mazdak; Brown, Thomas C.; Froemke, Pam M.; Ghosh, Rohini; Rasmussen, Shaunie; Swartzentruber, Ryan, 2022. Projections of freshwater use in the United States under climate change
    Shartaj, Mostafa; Suter, Jordan F.; Warziniack, Travis, 2022. Summer crowds: An analysis of USFS campground reservations during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Chinnasamy, Cibi Vishnu; Arabi, Mazdak; Sharvelle, Sybil; Warziniack, Travis; Furth, Canon D.; Dozier, Andre, 2021. Characterization of municipal water uses in the Contiguous United States
    Warziniack, Travis; Haight, Robert G.; Yemshanov, Denys; Apriesnig, Jenny L.; Holmes, Thomas P.; Countryman, Amanda M.; Rothlisberger, John D.; Haberland, Christopher, 2021. Economics of Invasive Species
    Heidari, Hadi; Warziniack, Travis; Brown, Thomas C.; Arabi, Mazdak, 2021. Impacts of climate change on hydroclimatic conditions of U.S. National Forests and Grasslands
    Marsh, Anne S.; Hayes, Deborah C.; Klein, Patrice N.; Zimmerman, Nicole; Dalsimer, Aliso; Burkett, Douglas A.; Huebner, Cynthia D.; Rabaglia, Robert; Meyerson, Laura A.; Harper-Lore, Bonnie L.; Davidson, Jamie L.; Emery, Marla R.; Warziniack, Travis; Flitcroft, Rebecca; Kerns, Becky K.; Lopez, Vanessa M., 2021. Sectoral Impacts of Invasive Species in the United States and Approaches to Management
    Heidari, Hadi; Arabi, Mazdak; Warziniack, Travis; Kao, Shih-Chieh, 2021. Shifts in hydroclimatology of US megaregions in response to climate change
    Liebhold, Andrew M.; Campbell, Faith T.; Gordon, Doria R.; Guo, Qinfeng; Havill, Nathan; Kinder, Bradley; MacKenzie, Richard; Lance, David R.; Pearson, Dean E.; Sing, Sharlene E.; Warziniack, Travis; Venette, Robert C.; Yemshanov, Denys, 2021. The Role of International Cooperation in Invasive Species Research
    Rasmussen, Shaundra; Warziniack, Travis; Neel, Abbye; O'Neil-Dunne, Jarlath; McHale, Melissa, 2021. When small is not beautiful: The unexpected impacts of trees and parcel size on metered water-use in a semi-arid city
    Champ, Patricia A.; Meldrum, James R.; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Warziniack, Travis; Barth, Christopher M.; Falk, Lilia C.; Gomez, Jamie B., 2019. Do actions speak louder than words? Comparing the effect of risk aversion on objective and self-reported mitigation measures
    Nong, Duy; Countryman, Amanda M.; Warziniack, Travis; Grey, Erin K., 2018. Arctic sea routes: Potential new pathways for nonindigenous species spread
    Warziniack, Travis; Elmer, Matthew J.; Miller, Chris J.; Dante-Wood, S. Karen; Woodall, Christopher W.; Nichols, Michael C.; Domke, Grant M.; Stockmann, Keith D.; Proctor, John G.; Borchers, Allison M., 2018. Effects of climate change on ecosystem services [Chapter 13]
    Warziniack, Travis; Lawson, Megan; Dante-Wood, S. Karen, 2018. Effects of climate change on ecosystem services in the Northern Rockies Region [Chapter 11]
    Warziniack, Travis; Champ, Patricia A.; Meldrum, James; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Barth, Christopher M.; Falk, Lilia C., 2018. Responding to risky neighbors: Testing for spatial spillover effects for defensible space in a fire-prone WUI community
    Warziniack, Travis; Finnoff, David; Apriesnig, Jenny, 2017. Description of the General Equilibrium Model of Ecosystem Services (GEMES)
    Holmes, Thomas P.; Vose, James; Warziniack, Travis; Holman, Bill, 2017. Forest Ecosystem services: Water resources
    Meldrum, James R.; Falk, Lilia C.; Gomez, Jamie; Barth, Christopher M.; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Warziniack, Travis; Champ, Patricia A., 2017. Living with wildfire in Telluride Fire Protection District, Colorado
    Halofsky, Jessica E.; Warziniack, Travis; Peterson, David L.; Ho, Joanne J., 2017. Understanding and managing the effects of climate change on ecosystem services in the Rocky Mountains
    Warziniack, Travis; Sham, Chi Ho; Morgan, Robert; Feferholtz, Yasha, 2016. Effects of forest cover on drinking water treatment costs
    Meldrum, James R.; Barth, Christopher M.; Colter Falk, Lilia; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Warziniack, Travis; Champ, Patricia A., 2015. Living with wildfire in Delta County, Colorado: cross-community comparisons
    Meldrum, James R.; Champ, Patricia A.; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Warziniack, Travis; Barth, Christopher M.; Falk, Lilia C., 2015. Understanding gaps between the risk perceptions of wildland-urban interface (WUI) residents and wildfire professionals
    Meldrum, James R.; Champ, Patricia A.; Warziniack, Travis; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Barth, Christopher M.; Falk, Lilia C., 2014. Cost shared wildfire risk mitigation in Log Hill Mesa, Colorado: Survey evidence on participation and willingness to pay
    Meldrum, James R.; Barth, Christopher M.; Falk, Lilia Colter; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Warziniack, Travis; Champ, Patricia A., 2013. Living with wildfire in Log Hill Mesa, Colorado
    Warziniack, Travis; Finnoff, David; Shogren, Jason F., 2013. Public economics of hitchhiking species and tourism-based risk to ecosystem services
    Warziniack, Travis; Finnoff, David; Bossenbroek, Jonathan; Shogren, Jason F.; Lodge, David., 2011. Stepping stones for biological invasion: A bioeconomic model of transferable risk
    Warziniack, Travis; Shogren, Jason F.; Parkhurst, Gregory, 2007. Creating contiguous forest habitat: An experimental examination on incentives and communication
    Campground site with multiple tents
    Use of National Forests increased greatly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of these public lands was viewed as safe and accessible. The increase is evident in Forest Service campground reservation system data ( website). Examination of these data provides insight about how public land managers could collaborate and allocate resources for campground maintenance and operation to meet demand.
    Aerial view of the Glacier Lakes Ecosystem Experiment Site (GLEES).
    As drought spreads throughout the U.S., communities must balance water needs across users. This work looks at trends in water use throughout the U.S. and projects the vulnerability of water systems in a future with climate change. We project both supply and demand for water for a wide range of climate scenarios and show where adaptation will be needed to prevent water shortages.
    Closeup of a sprinkler watering a lawn.
    Mature tree canopies are shown to reduce household water use in a semi-arid city. Newer homes further from the city center in neighborhoods with less established vegetation tended to use more water.
    A drawing showing people making homes more ignition resistant, reducing fuels, and learning about risks.
    In the context of wildfire risk mitigation on private property, we used household survey data on both people’s willingness to take risks across a wide range of activities (for example, driving and financial investments) and how they would rate their property on several measures of wildfire risk (for example, amount of defensible space). We paired these responses with assessments of the same parcels conducted by a wildfire professional, then examined the relationship between risk preferences and wildfire risk mitigation using both the self-reported and objective measures.
    Scientists, engineers, and economists have joined together to learn more about the link between trade and species spread around the globe. This project is called "The Non-indigenous Species World Risk Assessment and Prediction System." 
    Intact forests preserve water quality in our lakes and streams, providing cost savings for municipal water providers. American water utilities spend millions of dollars protecting and improving their source water to ensure the delivery of safe drinking water. Knowing the value of this green infrastructure helps communities and land managers better steward the watersheds we rely on and helps the Forest Service better engage with stakeholders in watershed protection.
    Wildfire in a wildland-urban interface (photo by Kari Greer)
    Motivated by the combination of high wildfire risk and the concentration of substantial social and economic values within the study area, a collaboration involving the Rocky Mountain Research Station, the Bureau of Land Management, the University of Colorado, and a local wildfire council conducted research on wildfire risk faced by wildland-urban interface homeowners in western Colorado. The unique research effort pairs parcel level wildfire risk assessments conducted by wildfire professionals with residents’ perceptions of wildfire risk.
    The National Ecosystem Services Strategy Team collaboratively develops and integrates ecosystem services into Forest Service programs, policies, and operations. This work elevates the agency mission by identifying the breadth of benefits that forests and grasslands provide, analyzing the impacts of our decisions on these benefits, and inviting a diverse set of partners to ensure their sustained delivery.
    Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment in Support of Front Range National Forests and Colorado National Grasslands for Forest Plan Revision, Plan Amendments, and Project-Level Planning.
    Through fire management and riparian ecosystem restoration RMRS researchers Terrie Jain, Kate Dwire, and Travis Warziniack are partnering with the University of Idaho and the Idaho City Ranger District to develop, implement, and evaluate different adaptive management strategies to improve the fire resiliency of the Boise National Forest. 
    RMRS researchers Terrie Jain, Kate Dwire, and Travis Warziniack are partnering with managers on the Boise National Forest and scientists at the University of Idaho to develop, implement, and evaluate place-based adaptive management strategies with the goal of improving the resilience of Northern Rockies ponderosa pine stands to fire and other disturbances.
    Thousands of species hitchhike in the ballast water of ships and on a ship’s hull and other exposed surfaces, and many are taking up residence in areas where they previously have not lived. Scientists, engineers, and economists have joined together to learn more about this problem of these species migrating around the globe.
    GEMES is a coupled economic and ecological model of ecosystem services capable of measuring damages from environmental change and estimating benefits of environmental policy.