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UW Supporters Create Haub School Endowed Chair for Conservation Economics and Finance


April 11, 2013 — A $2 million contribution from the Knobloch Family Foundation and gifts from other contributors will support an endowment for a new faculty position in conservation economics and finance at the University of Wyoming.

UW’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources today (Thursday) announced the establishment of the Knobloch Excellence Chair for Conservation Economics and Finance. The endowment will support a professor to teach undergraduate courses that examine economics and finance for conservation and to conduct scholarly work in this field. The position will be housed in the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Economics and Finance in the UW College of Business.

The Knobloch Family Foundation supports protection of the natural world and critical ecosystems that are the foundation of economic activity. Several of its board members are Wyoming residents.

“We’re proud to support the Chair for Conservation Economics and Finance at the UW Haub School,” says Carl Knobloch, board president of the Knobloch Family Foundation. “This field of expertise will play a critical role in protecting the West’s open spaces and natural resources in the decades to come. And the university is the best place to foster education and research that will shape future leaders and decisions in this arena.”

“The goal of hiring a professor in conservation finance is to bring sound economic analysis and accountability to the choices made by public and private conservation interests,” says Indy Burke, Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources director. “A conservation finance professor will find cost-effective strategies to protect working landscapes in Wyoming and the West. The professor will work with people in the academy and on the ground, responding to the pressure to stretch limited conservation funds for greater results.”

“The most important thing about this new position is the integration of economics/finance and ecology/biology,” says Jason Shogren, chair of the UW Department of Economics and Finance. “Rather than stove piping (working inside the silo of one field of study), this person will integrate across disciplines, so we can all do a better job.”

UW will soon begin recruitment to fill the new Knobloch Chair in Conservation Economics and Finance, the first to be funded in a series of endowed chairs that will advance the Haub School’s mission. The Haub School is actively seeking private funds to support endowed chairs in wildlife habitat management and energy development as well as in natural resource law and policy.

Interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate Haub School students gain depth of understanding in a particular field through primary studies in any of UW’s seven colleges. They gain breadth by working with classmates from across campus in the ENR classroom to address and find solutions for complex, real-world environmental and natural resource challenges. 

For more information about the Knobloch Excellence Chair in Conservation Economics and Finance or about how to contribute to additional endowed chair positions, contact Emilene Ostlind, communications coordinator, UW Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, at emilene@uwyo.edu or (307) 766-2604.

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