Geoffrey H Donovan

Geoffrey H Donovan
US Forest Service | FS · Pacific Northwest Research Station

PhD Forest Economics, Colorado State University

About

99
Publications
29,140
Reads
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3,186
Citations
Citations since 2017
33 Research Items
1924 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
Additional affiliations
November 2001 - present
US Forest Service
Position
  • Economist
November 2001 - present
USDA Forest Servicr
Position
  • Economist

Publications

Publications (99)
Article
Full-text available
BACKGROUND: Several recent studies have identified a relationship between the natural environment and improved health outcomes. However, for practical reasons, most have been observational, cross-sectional studies. PURPOSE: A natural experiment, which provides stronger evidence of causality, was used to test whether a major change to the natural en...
Article
Full-text available
Urban networks of air-quality monitors are often too widely spaced to identify sources of air pollutants, especially if they do not disperse far from emission sources. The objectives of this study were to test the use of moss bio-indicators to develop a fine-scale map of atmospherically-derived cadmium and to identify the sources of cadmium in a co...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed the association between the natural environment and asthma in 49,956 New Zealand children born in 1998 and followed up until 2016 using routinely collected data. Children who lived in greener areas, as measured by the normalized difference vegetation index, were less likely to be asthmatic: a 1 s.d. increase in normalized difference veg...
Article
This study evaluated the hypothesis that urban-tree planting increases neighborhood gentrification in Portland, Oregon. We defined gentrification as an increase in the median sales price of single-family homes in a Census tract compared to other tracts in the city after accounting for differences in the housing stock such as house size and number o...
Article
The biodiversity hypothesis posits that declining biodiversity may be responsible, at least in part, for the global increase in immune diseases. However, few studies have been able to demonstrate a link between exposure to biodiversity and specific health outcomes. We test whether exposure to plant diversity protects against childhood acute lymphob...
Article
Objectives: We examined whether greenspace measures (overall percent greenspace and forest, and number of greenspace types) were associated with clinically adjudicated dementia status. Methods: In a sample of non-demented older adults (n = 2141, average age = 75.3 years) from the Cardiovascular Health and Cognition Study, Cox proportional hazard...
Article
Full-text available
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are air pollutants that are costly to measure using traditional air-quality monitoring methods. We used an epiphytic bio-indicator (moss genus: Orthotrichum ) to cost-effectively evaluate atmospheric deposition of PAHs in Portland, Oregon in May 2013. However, it is unclear if measurements derived from these...
Article
Research suggests that maternal exposure to natural environments (green and blue spaces) promotes healthy fetal growth. However, the available evidence is heterogeneous across regions, with very few studies on the effects of blue spaces. This study evaluated associations between maternal exposure to natural environments and birth outcomes in 11 bir...
Article
Full-text available
Several recent longitudinal studies have found that exposure to the natural environment is associated with lower non-accidental mortality. However, most of these studies used the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) as an exposure metric; and because NDVI might not be sensitive enough to adequately capture changes in urban vegetation, thes...
Article
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The health benefits of exposure to trees and plants is a rapidly expanding field of study. Research has shown that exposure is associated with improvements in a wide range of health outcomes including cardiovascular disease, birth outcomes, respiratory disease, cancer, mental health and all-cause mortality 1. One of the challenges that these studie...
Article
Full-text available
Background While benefits of greenness to health have been reported, findings specific to child respiratory health are inconsistent. Methods We utilized a prospective birth cohort followed from birth to age 7 years ( n = 617). Residential surrounding greenness was quantified via Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) within 200, 400, and 80...
Article
This study aimed to assess pesticide exposure and its determinants in children aged 5–14 years. Urine samples (n = 953) were collected from 501 participating children living in urban areas (participant n = 300), rural areas but not on a farm (n = 76), and living on a farm (n = 125). The majority provided two samples, one in the high and one in the...
Article
Full-text available
A combination of natural (tropical latitudes) and human induced (Climate Change, Urban heat island) conditions give rise and exacerbate extreme hot temperatures, but mechanisms are unclear. Land use and land cover change (LULC) is considered one of the main causes of Urban Heat Island (UHI) but its contribution varies depending on local conditions....
Article
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Research suggests that social cohesion partially mediates the health benefits of being exposed to the natural environment. However, past studies have relied on self-reported measures of social cohesion that have well-documented limitations. Therefore, we evaluate the impact of tree planting on social cohesion using voter-turnout data as an objectiv...
Preprint
Full-text available
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a component of air pollutants that are costly to measure using traditional air-quality monitoring methods. We used an epiphytic bio-indicator (moss genus: Orthotrichum ) to cost-effectively evaluate atmospheric deposition of PAHs in Portland, Oregon in May 2013. However, it is unclear if measurements deri...
Article
Full-text available
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are widespread pollutants that are costly to measure with air quality instruments. We used a spatially balanced sample of an epiphytic moss, Orthotrichum lyellii, to develop fine-scale maps of atmospheric PAHs across residential areas of Portland, Oregon. The unusual abundance of this stress-tolerant species...
Article
Studying the impacts of prenatal atmospheric heavy-metal exposure is challenging, because biological exposure monitoring does not distinguish between specific sources, and high-resolution air monitoring data is lacking for heavy metals. Bioindicators - animal or plant species that can capture environmental quality - are a low-cost tool for evaluati...
Article
A wealth of evidence links microbial exposure to better human immune function. However, few studies have examined whether exposure to plant diversity is protective of immune diseases, despite the fact that plant leaves support ~10 26 bacterial cells. Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 500 cities project data, we found that a 1-S...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Determine whether patients who live in greener and more walkable neighbourhoods live longer, and take fewer opioids, following hip or knee arthroplasty. Design Retrospective cohort study. Setting Residential environment following surgery at one of 54 New Zealand hospitals. Participants All people who received a total hip or knee arthr...
Article
Ten US states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis as of November 2018, and have adopted other policies regarding production, consumption, and the penalties associated with it. These policy changes may have affected illegal growing operations on national forests of the United States. Using data on the number of cannabis grow sites r...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Several small experimental studies and cross-sectional observational studies have shown that exposure to the natural environment might protect against attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or moderate the symptoms of ADHD in children. We aimed to assess whether exposure to the natural environment protects against ADHD and whe...
Article
Background Several small experimental studies and cross-sectional observational studies have shown that exposure to the natural environment might protect against attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or moderate the symptoms of ADHD in children. We aimed to assess whether exposure to the natural environment protects against ADHD and wheth...
Article
Full-text available
Despite reported health benefits of urban greenspace (gs), the epidemiological evidence is less clear for allergic disease. To address a limitation of previous research, we examined the associations of medium- and highresolution residential gs measures and tree and/or grass canopies with allergic outcomes for children enrolled in the longitudinal c...
Article
Full-text available
We tested the hypothesis that exposure to the natural environment is associated with improved academic performance. Specifically, we examined the association between individual-level standardized math and reading test scores and exposure to the natural environment using data from Portland Public Schools (17,918 students attending 83 schools for the...
Article
We assessed the association between the natural environment and asthma in 49,956 New Zealand children born in 1998 and followed-up until 2016 using routinely-collected data. Children who lived in greener areas, as measured by the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were less likely to be asthmatic: a 1-SD increase in NDVI was associated w...
Article
Research demonstrating the biophysical benefits of urban trees is often used to justify investments in urban forestry. Far less emphasis, however, is placed on the non-bio-physical benefits such as improvements in public health. Indeed, the public-health benefits of trees may be significantly larger than the biophysical benefits, and, therefore, fa...
Article
Full-text available
Research has shown there is a positive relationship between urban greenness and the well-being of city residents. But greenness is often unevenly distributed across a city, raising environmental justice issues. In 2011 and 2012 the USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis program installed ground plots in the urbanized areas of Oregon and...
Article
This study estimated the economic costs associated with morbidity from the wildfires that occurred in 2007 in southern California. We used the excess number of hospital admissions and emergency department visits to quantify the morbidity effects and used medical costs to estimate the economic impact. With data from 187 hospital facilities and 140 e...
Article
Past research has examined the effect of urban trees, and other vegetation, on stormwater runoff using hydrological models or small-scale experiments. However, there has been no statistical analysis of the influence of vegetation on runoff in an intact urban watershed, and it is not clear how results from small-scale studies scale up to the city le...
Article
Past research has examined the effect of urban trees, and other vegetation, on stormwater runoff using hydrological models or small-scale experiments. However, there has been no statistical analysis of the influence of vegetation on runoff in an intact urban watershed, and it is not clear how results from small-scale studies scale up to the city le...
Article
Government agencies in the United States eradicated 10.3 million cannabis plants in 2010. Most (94%) of these plants were outdoor-grown, and 46% of those were discovered on federal lands, primarily on national forests in California, Oregon, and Washington. We developed models that reveal how drug markets, policies, and environmental conditions affe...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Moss accumulates pollutants from the atmosphere and can serve as an inexpensive screening tool for mapping air quality and guiding the placement of monitoring instruments. We measured 22 elements using 346 moss samples collected across Portland, Oregon, in December 2013. Our objectives were to develop citywide maps showing concentrations of each el...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Meeting Objective The main objectives of the meeting were to (1) identify how GS is being described and its impacts assessed for human health and (2) gain insights from GS assessments for cumulative risk assessment applications. To realize these objectives, the EPA convened GS experts and practitioners from multiple disciplines to participate in jo...
Article
The ecological impact of invasive tree pests is increasing worldwide. However, invasive tree pests may also have significant social costs. We investigated the association between the emerald ash borer (EAB)—an invasive tree pest first discovered in the US in 2002—and crime in Cincinnati, Ohio. We used a natural experimental approach, and compared c...
Article
Full-text available
Data from the Women's Health Initiative were used to quantify the relationship between the loss of trees to an invasive forest pest-the emerald ash borer-and cardiovascular disease. We estimated a semi-parametric Cox proportional hazards model of time to cardiovascular disease, adjusting for confounders. We defined the incidence of cardiovascular d...
Article
Many cities have policies encouraging homeowners to plant trees. For these policies to be effective, it is important to understand what motivates a homeowner's tree-planting decision. Researchers address this question by identifying variables that influence participation in a tree-planting program in Portland, Oregon, U.S. According to the study, h...
Article
Viewing peaceful natural environments has been shown to restore cognitive abilities and reduce physiological arousal. As such, visual access to the natural environment is becoming more commonplace in built environments. One exception to that trend is in educational settings where windowless classrooms are used to reduce outside distractions. The cu...
Article
The loss of homes to wildfires is an important issue in the USA and other countries. Yet many homeowners living in fire-prone areas do not undertake mitigating actions, such as clearing vegetation, to decrease the risk of losing their home. To better understand the complexity of wildfire risk-mitigation decisions and the role of perceived risk, we...
Article
While the mortality impacts of urban air pollution have been well addressed in the literature, very little is known about the mortality impacts and associated social cost from wildfire-smoke exposure (Kochi et al., 2010, USEPA 2004). In an attempt to address this knowledge gap, we estimate the social cost associated with excess mortality due to smo...
Article
The authors estimate the relationship between trees and three crime aggregates (all crime, violent crime, and property crime) and two individual crimes (burglary and vandalism) in Portland, Oregon. During the study period (2005-2007), 431 crimes were reported at the 2,813 single-family homes in our sample. In general, the authors find that trees in...
Article
Controlling wildfire suppression expenditures has become a major public policy concern in the United States. However, most policy remedies have focused on the biophysical determinants of suppression costs: fuel loads and weather, for example. We show that two non-biophysical variables—newspaper coverage and political pressure—have a significant eff...
Article
Full-text available
The economic costs of adverse health effects associated with exposure to wildfire smoke should be given serious consideration in determining the optimal wildfire management policy. Unfortunately, the literature in this research area is thin. In an effort to better understand the nature of these economic costs, we review and synthesise the relevant...
Article
We use a hedonic price model to simultaneously estimate the effects of street trees on the sales price and the time-on-market (TOM) of houses in Portland, Oregon. On average, street trees add $8870 to sales price and reduce TOM by 1.7 days. In addition, we found that the benefits of street trees spill over to neighboring houses. Because the provisi...
Article
In recent years, the threat that wildfire poses to homes has received much attention in both the mainstream press and academic literature. However, little is known about how homebuyers consider wildfire risk during the home-purchase process. In the context of a unique wildfire education program, we consider two approaches to examining the relations...
Article
We estimated the effect of shade trees on the summertime electricity use of 460 single-family homes in Sacramento, California. Results show that trees on the west and south sides of a house reduce summertime electricity use, whereas trees on the north side of a house increase summertime electricity use. The current level of tree cover on the west a...
Article
Biodiversity has been called a form of ecosystem insurance. According to the "insurance hypothesis", the presence of many species protects against system decline, because built-in redundancies guarantee that some species will maintain key functions even if others fail. The hypothesis might have merit, but calling it "insurance" promotes an ambiguou...
Article
In this study a travel cost model is used to estimate the value of elk viewing at the Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area in Oregon. Jewell Meadows was originally established to provide winter browse and supplemental feeding for elk to reduce damage to nearby agricultural and forest land. However, because visitors are virtually guaranteed the opportunity...
Article
Full-text available
Large wildland fires are complex, costly events influenced by a vast array of physical, climatic, and social factors. Changing climate, fuel buildup due to past suppression, and increasing populations in the wildland-urban interface have all been blamed for the extreme fire seasons and rising suppression expenditures of recent years. With each high...
Article
Making input decisions under climate uncertainty often involves two-stage methods that use expensive and opaque transfer functions. This article describes an alternative, single-stage approach to such decisions using forecasting methods. The example shown is for preseason fire suppression resource contracting decisions faced by the United States Fo...
Article
Although the importance of wildfire to fire-adapted ecosystems is widely recognized, wildfire management has historically placed less emphasis on the beneficial effects of wildfire. We estimate the avoided fuel treatment cost for 10 ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) stands on the Umatilla National Forest in the Pacific Northwest. Results show that f...
Article
Climate change, increased wildland fuels, and residential development patterns in fire-prone areas all combine to make wildfire risk mitigation an important public policy issue. One approach to wildfire risk mitigation is to encourage homeowners to use fire-resistant building materials and to create defensible spaces around their homes. We develop...
Chapter
Full-text available
A recent series of severe fire seasons in the United States has contributed to sharply rising wildfire suppression costs. These increasing costs have caught the attention of policy makers, but so far the responses have not focused clearly on the incentive structures that allow or encourage rising costs (National Academy of Public Administration 200...
Article
Drought conditions in much of the West, increased residential development, and elevated fuels from a century of wildfire suppression have increased wildfire risk in the United States. In light of this increased risk, an innovative wildfire risk education program in Colorado Springs was examined, which rated the wildfire risk of 35,000 homes in the...
Article
A century of wildfire suppression in the United States has led to increased fuel loading and large-scale ecological change across some of the nation's forests. Land management agencies have responded by increasing the use of prescribed fire and thinning. However, given the continued emphasis on fire suppression, current levels of funding for such f...
Article
In 2000, concerned about the risks of wildfires to local homes, the Colorado Springs Fire Department rated the wildfire risk of 35,000 housing parcels within the wildland-urban interface and made its findings available online. We examine the effectiveness of this rating project by comparing the relationship between home price and wildfire risk befo...
Article
Changing consumer tastes and species availability are influencing the design and manufacture of hardwood products. In addition, the globalization of wood product markets is exposing U.S. consumers to new species. This research evaluates consumer preferences for six domestic wood species—three from the eastern United States and three from the wester...
Article
Federal fuels managers are increasingly using prescribed fire to decrease hazardous fuels and risks to resources in wildland and urban settings. Two factors have become apparent throughout the last several years: prescribed burning costs are rising, and costs exhibit substantial variability (NIFC 2003). Federal fire managers are bound by federal po...
Article
This study uses qualitative sociological methodology to discover information and insights about the role of Incident Management Teams in wildland fire suppression costs. We interviewed 48 command and general staff members of Incident Management Teams throughout the United States. Interviewees were asked about team structure, functioning, and decisi...
Article
Federal land management agencies in the United States are increasingly relying on contract crews as opposed to agency fire crews. Despite this increasing reliance on contractors, there have been no studies to determine what the optimal mix of contract and agency fire crews should be. A mathematical model is presented to address this question and is...
Article
Wildfire suppression expenditures on national forest land have increased over the last 35 years, exceeding US$1 billion in 2000 and 2002. These increases in expenditure have been attributed, in part, to a century of aggressive wildfire suppression, resulting in a buildup of fuel on the nation's forests. The efficiency of the current incentive struc...
Article
Rising wildfire suppression expenditures on public land in the United States have led to increased scrutiny of wildfire management practices. One area that has received particular attention is the Forest Service's increasing reliance on contract fire crews. Because a contract crew rate includes several costs that are not included in the wage costs...
Article
Historically, the Alaska forest products industry has been driven by pulp production and the export of logs and cants primarily to Japan. Economic stagnation in Japan, the closure of Alaska's two pulp mills, harvest restrictions, and increased competition have severely impacted the industry. To survive, the industry must make significant investment...
Article
Consumers choose products based on various tangible and intangible attributes. Previous research has shown that there is a difference between appearance-based and word-based evaluations ofwood species. However, little research has been done on how this difference affects consumer choice. This study examined how the presence or absence of a species...
Article
To determine the optimal suppression strategy for escaped wildfires, federal land managers are required to conduct a wildland fire situation analysis (WFSA). As part of the WFSA process, fire managers estimate final fire size and suppression costs. Estimates from 58 WFSAs conducted during the 2002 fire season are compared to actual outcomes. Result...
Article
Survey data from home shows in Seattle, Washington and Anchorage, Alaska were used to determine the sources of product information used by consumers when buying kitchen cabinets. Results show that in-store sales staffare the most common source of product information, and that consumers' favorite wood species, age, and gender can influence the sourc...
Article
Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is the most widely used chemical wood preservative in the United States. Concerns about the safety of CCA led to an agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency and the wood treatment industry to withdraw CCA for nonindustrial uses by the end of 2003. In light of the publicity surrounding the withdrawal of C...
Article
In Alaska, red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) is an abundant but commercially underutilized species desptte having properties suitable for higher value products, including furniture and cabinetry. However, it laces the name recognition of mote traditional hardwoods. Our research measured the effect of this lack of fa- miliarity on consumer preferences f...
Article
Alaska yellow-cedar has declined in Southeast Alaska over the past 100 years, resulting in half a million acres of dead or dying trees. The natural decay resistance of Alaska yellow-cedar means that many of these trees are still merchantable. However, the to- pography of Southeast Alaska is such that selectively harvesting Alaska yellow-cedar may o...