Scientists & Staff
- For a Rare Prairie Orchid, Science is Making Climate Change Local
February 11, 2016
- Study Evaluates Costs of Reducing Carbon with Street Trees
October 23, 2013
- Housing Sales Data Used to Estimate Value of Urban Natural Resources
December 4, 2012
- Study Finds that Local Government, Home Owners Are Paying for Damages Caused by Non-native Forest Insects
September 9, 2011
Robert G. Haight
People and Their Environments: Social Science Supporting Natural Resource Management and Policy
1992 Folwell Ave
St. Paul, Minnesota 55108
Current ResearchI am a native Californian who became interested in forestry and resource management while attending the University of California, Berkeley. My early experiences in northern California as a logger for a large forest products company and a silviculturist for the Plumas National Forest shaped my interest in public resource management policy and economics, and I earned a Ph.D. in forest management from Oregon State University in 1985. Since joining Forest Service Research in 1987, I have studied public policy issues involving the economics of wildlife protection, metropolitan open space protection, wildfire management, and invasive species management. My approach is to build models of resource management problems and use simulation and optimization methods to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative policies.
Research InterestsI am interested in the optimal control of invasive species and beginning to build and analyze models to help allocate scarce resources among the four invasive species management strategies: prevention, detection, control, and rehabilitation. I am aware of the inherent uncertainties of the invasion process and have promising ideas about how to model this uncertainty and measure its effects on resource allocation strategies.
Why This Research is ImportantMy work is important because public resource managers allocate significant resources to protect endangered species, open space, and forests from unwanted disturbances associated with urban development, wildfire, and invasive species. My work provides information to decision makers about the benefits and costs of alternative protection strategies.
- Oregon State University, Ph.D. Forest Management, 1985
- University of California, B.S. Forestry, 1978
- Society of American Foresters
- Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
Featured Publications & Products
- Kovacs, Kent F.; Mercader, Rodrigo J.; Haight, Robert G.; Siegert, Nathan W.; McCullough, Deborah G.; Liebhold, Andrew M. 2011. The influence of satellite populations of emerald ash borer on projected economic damage in U.S. communities, 2010-2020. Journal of Environmental Management. 92: 2170-2181.
- Kovacs, Kent; Václavík, Tomas; Haight, Robert G.; Pang, Arwin; Cunniffe, Nik J.; Gilligan, Christopher A.; Meentemeyer, Ross K. 2011. Predicting the economic costs and property value losses attributed to sudden oak death damage in California (2010-2020). Journal of Environmental Management. 92: 1292-1302.
- Haight, Robert G.; Homans, Frances R.; Horie, Tetsuya; Mehta, Shefali V.; Smith, David J.; Venette, Robert C. 2011. Assessing the cost of an invasive forest pathogen; A case study with oak wilt. Environmental Management. 47: 506-517.
- Sander, Heather; Polasky, Stephen; Haight, Robert. 2010. The value of urban tree cover: A hedonic property price model in Ramsey and Dakota Counties, Minnesota, USA. Ecological Economics. 69: 1646-1656.
- Hyytiainen, Kari; Haight, Robert G. 2010. Evaluation of forest management systems under risk of wildfire. European Journal of Forest Research. 129: 909-919.
Publications & Products
- Snyder, Stephanie A.; Haight, Robert G. 2016. Application of the maximal covering location problem to habitat reserve site selection: a review. International Regional Science Review. 39(1): 28-47.
- Phillips-Mao, Laura; Galatowitsch, Susan M.; Snyder, Stephanie A.; Haight, Robert G. 2016. Model-based scenario planning to develop climate change adaptation strategies for rare plant populations in grassland reserves. Biological Conservation. 193: 103-114.
- Berec, Ludek; Kean, John M.; Epanchin-Niell, Rebecca; Liebhold, Andrew M.; Haight, Robert G. 2015. Designing efficient surveys: spatial arrangement of sample points for detection of invasive species. Biological Invasions. 17(1): 445-459.
- Yemshanov, Denys; Haight, Robert G.; Koch, Frank H.; Lu, Bo; Venette, Robert; Lyons, D. Barry; Scarr, Taylor; Ryall, Krista; Leung, Brian. 2015. Optimal allocation of invasive species surveillance with the maximum expected coverage concept. Diversity and Distributions. 21(11): 1349-1359.
- Kovacs, Kent F.; Haight, Robert G.; Mercader, Rodrigo J.; McCullough, Deborah G. 2014. A bioeconomic analysis of an emerald ash borer invasion of an urban forest with multiple jurisdictions. Resource and Energy Economics. 36(1): 270-289.
- Fackler, Paul L.; Haight, Robert G. 2014. Monitoring as a partially observable decision problem. Resource and Energy Economics. 37: 226-241.
- Perhans, Karin; Haight, Robert G.; Gustafsson, Lena. 2014. The value of information in conservation planning: Selecting retention trees for lichen conservation. Forest Ecology and Management. 318: 175-182.
- Burns, Eileen S.; Toth, Sandor F.; Haight, Robert G. 2013. A modeling framework for life history-based conservation planning. Biological Conservation. 158: 14-25.
- Lee, Yohan; Fried, Jeremy S.; Albers, Heidi J.; Haight, Robert G. 2013. Deploying initial attack resources for wildfire suppression: spatial coordination, budget constraints, and capacity constraints. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 43(1): 56-65.
- Horie, Tetsuya; Haight, Robert G.; Homans, Frances R.; Venette, Robert C. 2013. Optimal strategies for the surveillance and control of forest pathogens: A case study with oak wilt. Ecological Economics. 86:78-85.
- Kovacs, Kent F.; Haight, Robert G.; Jung, Suhyun; Locke, Dexter H.; O'Neil-Dunne, Jarlath. 2013. The marginal cost of carbon abatement from planting street trees in New York City. Ecological Economics. 95: 1-10.
- Busby, Gwenlyn; Amacher, Gregory S.; Haight, Robert G. 2013. The social costs of homeowner decisions in fire-prone communities: information, insurance, and amenities. Ecological Economics. 92: 104-113.
- Sander, Heather A.; Haight, Robert G. 2012. Estimating the economic value of cultural ecosystem services in an urbanizing area using hedonic pricing. Journal of Environmental Management. 113: 194-205.
- Epanchin-Niell, Rebecca S.; Haight, Robert G.; Berec, Ludek; Kean, John M.; Liebhold, Andrew M. 2012. Optimal surveillance and eradication of invasive species in heterogeneous landscapes. Ecology Letters. 15: 803-812.
- Hyytiäinen, Kari; Haight, Robert G. 2012. Optimizing continuous cover forest management. Chapter 6.. In: von Gadow, K.; Pukkala, T., eds. Continuous Cover Forestry, 2nd Edition. New York, NY: Springer: 195-228.
- Toth, Sandor F.; Haight, Robert G.; Rogers, Luke W. 2011. Dynamic reserve selection: Optimal land retention with land-price feedbacks. Operations Research. 59(5): 1059-1078.
- Aukema, Juliann E.; Leung, Brian.; Kovacs, Kent; Chivers, Corey; Britton, Kerry O.; Englin, Jeffrey; Frankel, Susan J.; Haight, Robert G.; Holmes, Thomas P.; Liebhold, Andrew M.; McCullough, Deborah G.; Von Holle, Betsy. 2011. Economic Impacts of Non-Native Forest Insects in the Continental United States. PLoS ONE 6(9): e24587. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024587.
- Kovacs, Kent F.; Haight, Robert G.; Liebhold, Andrew M.; McCullough, Deborah G.; Mercader, Rodrigo J.; Siegert, Nathan W. 2010. Cost of potential emerald ash borer damage in U.S. In: Michler, Charles H.; Ginzel, Matthew D., eds. 2010. Proceedings of symposium on ash in North America; 2010 March 9-11; West Lafayette, IN. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-72. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 12.
- Kovacs, Kent F.; Haight, Robert G.; McCullough, Deborah G.; Mercader, Rodrigo J.; Siegert, Nathan W.; Liebhold, Andrew M. 2010. Cost of potential emerald ash borer damage in U.S communities, 2009-2019. Ecological Economics. 69: 569-578.
- Haight, Robert G.; Polasky, Stephen. 2010. Optimal control of an invasive species with imperfect information about the level of infestation. Resource and Energy Economics. 32: 519-533.
- Haight, Robert G.; Mehta, S.V.; Horie, T.; Smith, D.J.; Venette, R.C.; Homans, F.R.; Walter, A.J. 2009. An economic impact assessment for oak wilt in Anoka County, Minnesota. In: McManus, Katherine A; Gottschalk, Kurt W., eds. Proceedings. 20th U.S. Department of Agriculture interagency research forum on invasive species 2009; 2009 January 13-16; Annapolis, MD. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-51. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 31.
- Haight, Robert G.; Kovacs, Kent; Liebhold, Andrew M.; McCullough, Deborah G. 2009. Economic assessment of potential emerald ash borer damage in urban areas in the United States. In: McManus, Katherine A; Gottschalk, Kurt W., eds. Proceedings. 20th U.S. Department of Agriculture interagency research forum on invasive species 2009; 2009 January 13-16; Annapolis, MD. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-51. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 32-33.
- Miller, James R.; Snyder, Stephanie A.; Skibbe, A.M.; Haight, Robert G. 2009. Prioritizing conservation targets in a rapidly urbanizing landscape. Landscape and Urban Planning. 93: 123-131.
- Toth, Sandor F.; Haight, Robert; Snyder, Stephanie A.; George, Sonney; Miller, James R.; Gregory, Mark S.; Skibbe, Adam M. 2009. Reserve selection with minimum contiguous area restrictions: An application to open space protection planning in suburban Chicago. Biological Conservation. 142(8): 1617-1627.
- Haight, Robert G.; Gobster, Paul H. 2009. Social and economic considerations for planning wildlife conservation in large landscapes. In: Millspaugh, J.J.; Thompson, F.R., eds. Models for planning wildlife conservation in large landscapes. Burlington, MA: Academic Press: 123-152).
- Tajibaeva, Liaila; Haight, Robert G.; Polasky, Stephen. 2008. A discrete-space urban model with environmental amenities. Resource and Energy Economics. 30: 170-196.
- Mercer, D. Evan; Haight, Robert G.; Prestemon, Jeffrey P. 2008. Analyzing trade-offs between fuels management, suppression, and damages from wildfire. In: Holmes, Thomas P.; Prestemon, Jeffrey P.; Abt, Karen L., eds. The Economics of Forest Disturbance: Wildfires, Storms, and Invasive Species: Springer Science. 247-272.
- Haight, Robert G.; Travis, Laurel E. 2008. Reserve design to maximize species persistence. Environmental Modeling & Assessment. 13: 243-253.
- Haight, Robert G.; Fried, Jeremy S. 2007. Deploying wildland fire suppression resources with a scenario-based standard response model. INFOR. 45(1): 31?39.
- Haight, Robert G.; Fried, Jeremy S. 2007. Deploying wildland fire suppression resources with a scenario-based standard response model.. INFOR. 45(1): 31-39.
- Snyder, Stephanie A.; Miller, James R.; Skibbe, Adam M.; Haight, Robert G. 2007. Habitat acquisition strategies for grassland birds in an urbanizing landscape. Environmental Management. 40: 981-992.
- Mehta, Shefali V.; Haight, Robert G.; Homans, Frances R.; Polasky, Stephen; Venette, Robert C. 2007. Optimal detection and control strategies for invasive species management. Ecological Economics. 237-245.
- Hof, John; Haight, Robert. 2007. Optimization of forest wildlife objectives. In: Weintraub, Andres; Romero, Carlos; Bjorndal, Trond; Epstein, Rafael; Miranda, Jaime, eds. Handbook of operations research in natural resources: Springer. 405-418.
- Amacher, Gregory S.; Malik, Arun S.; Haight, Robert G. 2006. Reducing social losses from forest fires. Land Economics. August 2006. 82 (3): 367-383.
- Amacher, Gregory S.; Malik, Arun S.; Haight, Robert G. 2005. Forest landowner decisions and the value of information under fire risk.. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 35:2603-2615.
- Haight, Robert G.; Snyder, Stephanie A.; Revelle, Charles S. 2005. Metropolitan open-space protection with uncertain site availability. Conservation Biology 19:327-337.
- Amacher, Gregory S.; Malik, Arun S. ; Haight, Robert G. . 2005. Not Getting Burned: The Importance of Fire. Land Economics 81:284-302.
- Snyder, Stephanie A.; Haight, Robert G.; ReVelle, Charles S. 2004. A scenario optimization model for dynamic reserve site selection. Environmental Modeling and Assessment 9: 179?187, 2004.
- Haight, Robert G.; Cleland, David T.; Hammer, Roger B.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Rupp, T. Scott. 2004. Assessing fire risk in the wildland-urban interface. Journal of Forestry. 102(7): 41-48.
- Haight, Robert G.; Cleland, David T.; Hammer, Roger B.; Radeloff, Volker B.; Rupp, T. Scott. 2004. Assessing fire risk in the wildland-urban interface.. Journal of Forestry 102(7):41-48.
- Gobster, Paul H.; Haight, Robert G. 2004. From landscapes to lots: understanding and managing Midwestern landscape change.. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-245. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station. 60 p.
- Snyder, Stephanie; ReVelle, Charles; Haight, Robert. 2004. One- and two-objective approaches to an area-constrained habitat reserve site selection problem. Biological Conservation 119 (2004) 565?574.
- Haight, Robert G.; Cypher, Brian; Kelly, Patrick A.; Phillips, Scott; Ralls, Katherine; Possingham, Hugh P. 2004. Optimizing reserve expansion for disjunct populations of San Joaquin kit fox. Biological Conservation 117:61-72.
- Arthur, Jeffrey L.; Camm, Jeffrey D.; Haight, Robert G.; Montgomery, Claire A.; Polasky, Stephen. 2004. Weighing conservation objectives: maximum expected coverage versus endangered species protection. Ecological applications. 14(6): 1936-1945.
- Ruliffson, Jane A.; Haight, Robert G.; Gobster, Paul H.; Homans, Frances R. 2003. Metropolitan natural area protection to maximize public access and species representation. Environmental Science and Policy 6:291-299.
- Cochrane, Jean Fitts; Haight, Robert G.; Starfield, Anthony M. 2003. Modeling for Endangered-Species Recovery: Gray Wolves in the Western Great Lakes Region. In: Dale, Virginia H., ed. Ecological Modeling for Resource Management. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag: 23-45.
- Haight, Robert G.; Travis, Laurel E.; Nimerfro, Kevin; Mech, L. David. 2002. Computer simulation of wolf-removal strategies for animal damage control. Wildlife Society Bulletin 2002, 30(3):1-9.
- Ruliffson, Jane A.; Gobster, Paul H.; Haight, Robert G.; Homans, Francis R. 2002. Niches in the urban forest: Organizations and their role in acquiring metropolitan open space.. Journal of Forestry: 100(6):16-23.
- Haight, Robert G.; Cypher, Brian; Kelly, Patrick A.; Phillips, Scott; Possingham, Hugh P.; Ralls, Katherine; Starfield, Anthony M.; White, P.J.; Williams, Daniel. 2002. Optimizing habitat protection using demographic models of population viability.. Conservation Biology. 16(5): 1386-1397.
- Haight, Robert G. 2000. A Michigan Monarch Recovered in Mexico. Newsletter of the Michigan Entomological Society. Vol. 45 no. 2.:p. 13-14. (2000).
- Haight, Robert G.; Revelle, Charles S.; Snyder, Stephanie A. 2000. An Integer Optimization Approch To A Probabilistic Reserve Site Selection Problem. INFORMS. Vol. 48 no. 5.:p. 697-708. (2000).
- Haight, Robert G.; Ralls, Katherine; Starfield, Anthony M. 2000. Designing Species Translocation Strategies When Populaton Growth and Future Funding Are Uncertain. Conservation Biology. Vol. 14 no. 5.:p. 1298-1307. (2000).
- Gobster, Paul H.; Haight, Robert G.; Shriner, David S. 2000. Integrated Research on Midwestern Landscape Change: A Program Description and Progress Report. Fragmentation 2000 Conference. p. 375-382. (2000).
- Gobster, Paul H.; Haight, Robert G.; Shriner, Dave. 2000. Landscape Change in the Midwest: An Integrated Research and Development Program. Journal of Forestry. Vol. 98 no. 3.:p. 9-15. (2000).
- Snyder, Stephanie A.; Tyrrell, Lucy E.; Haight, Robert G. 1999. An optimization approach to selecting research natural areas in National Forests. Forest science. Vol. 45, no. 3 (Aug. 1999).:p. 458-469 : ill., maps.
- Haight, Robert G.; Mladenoff, David J.; Wydeven , Adrian P. 1998. Modeling Disjunct Gray Wolf Populations in Semi-Wild Landscapes. Conservation Biology. Vol. 12 no. 4.:p. 879-888. (1998).
- Haight, Robert G.; Travis, Laurel E. 1997. Wildlife Conservation Planning Using Stochastic Optimization and Importance Sampling . Forest Science. Vol. 43 no. 1.:p. 129-139. (1997).
- Haight, Robert G. 1995. Comparing extinction risk and economic cost in wildlife conservation planning. Ecological Applications. 5(3): 767-775.
- Lorimer, Nancy D.; Haight, Robert G.; Leary, Rolfe A. 1994. The fractal forest: fractal geometry and applications in forest science.. General Technical Report NC-170. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station.
- Haight, Robert G.; Holmes, Thomas P. 1991. Stochastic Price Models and Optimal Tree Cutting: Results for Loblolly Pine. Natural Resource Modeling 5(4):423-443.
- Allg, Ralph J.; Hohenstein, William G.; Murray, Brian C.; Haight, Robert G. 1990. Changes in Area of Timberland in the United States, 1952-2040, By Ownership, Forest Type, Region, and State. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-64. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 34 p.
- Haight, Robert G.; Monserud, Robert A. 1990. Optimizing any-aged management of mixed-species stands: II. effects of decision criteria. Forest Science 36(1):125-144.
- Haight, Robert G.; Getz, Wayne M. 1987. Fixed and equilibrium endpoint problems in uneven-aged stand management. Forest Science 33(4):908-931.
- Haight, Robert G. 1985. A comparison of dynamic and static economic models of uneven-aged stand management. Forest Science 31(4):957-974.
- Haight, Robert G.; Brodie, J. Douglas; Adams, Darius M. 1985. Optimizing the sequence of diameter distributions and selection harvests for uneven-aged stand management. Forest Science 31(2):451-462.
National Research Highlights
Balanced Approach to Surveillance Reduces the Costs of Invasive Species Detection and Control (2012)
New planning tool helps organizations make decisions on where and how much money to spend on invasive pests detection programs
Cost of Potential Emerald Ash Borer Damage to United States Communities for 2009-2019 (2010)
Emerald ash borer (EAB), a nonnative invasive bark boring beetle discovered near Detroit, MI, and Windsor, Ontario, in 2002, is now found in fourteen states and two Canadian provinces (May 2010) and is causing widespread ash mortality in urban forests. NRS scientist Robert Haight was a member of a working group that assessed the economic impacts of non-native forest pests, including EAB.
Feedbacks Through the Land Market Affect Success of Open Space Conservation Policy (2012)
A new planning tool helps decide which land parcels to save
Improving the Deployment of Wildland Fire Suppression Resources (2013)
While managers typically aim to minimize the number of escaped fires, they have limited funds to acquire suppression resources or construct operating bases. A new computer model developed by Forest Service scientists helps managers evaluate and improve equipment and crew deployment by optimizing both seasonal deployment and daily dispatch decisions with an objective of minimizing the number of fire ignitions that do not receive a standard response subject to funding and capacity constraints. A standard response is defined as the required number of resources that must reach a fire within a maximum response time.
Municipal Cooperation in Managing Emerald Ash Borer Increases Urban Forest Benefits (2014)
The best approach to managing an emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation is to fight it like a human health epidemic. Just as epidemiologists cannot fight a flu epidemic city by city, EAB cannot be efficiently fought city by city. Better results are achieved through regional cooperation and implementation of treatment strategies.
Non-native Forest Pathogens Cost Homeowners Millions of Dollars Annually (2011)
Two big killers of residential trees--the oak wilt pathogen in the East and the sudden oak death (SOD) pathogen in the West cost homeowners millions of dollars annually. Millions are spent to treat, remove, and replant oak trees and millions are lost in property value where ever these diseases have spread. Forest Service researchers calculated economic costs and losses to homeowners and communities and found that programs to slow the spread of forest diseases such as oak wilt and sudden oak death provide important benefits, in terms of reduced expenditures and losses, to both homeowners and communities.
Protecting Habitat for Bats in the Face of Development Pressure (2013)
Wildlife managers and planners make their best estimates of where to purchase or acquire conservation easements on areas for habitat protection before they are developed. A new modeling framework developed by Forest Service scientists helps planners to select habitat reserves that wildlife populations need for food, shelter, and reproduction.
The Value of Urban Tree Cover (2013)
Forest Service researchers are estimating how much home buyers are willing to spend for greater neighborhood tree cover; and, the results for home buyers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area of Minnesota suggest an average homeowner is willing to spend hundreds of dollars for a 10 percent increase in neighborhood tree cover. This willingness to pay reflects a preference for tree-lined streets and the shading and aesthetic environment they offer, and it represents an important portion of the economic value of services associated with urban trees: the portion that contributes directly to tax bases.