Headshot of Pierce Donovan

Pierce Donovan

Assistant Professor of Economics


Pierce Donovan is working on problems involving endangered species conservation, land use, and climate change. Within these settings, his research emphasizes sustainable ecological-economic systems. He has developed cost-effective management plans for riparian species interaction and hydropower generation in the Grand Canyon ecosystem, bycatch management in California, and emissions abatement at a global scale.

Professor Donovan teaches environmental economics and econometrics. In the former, students learn how to apply the principles of economics towards the design of sound environmental policy. In the latter, students study the fundamentals of empirical research in economics, and focus on finding those special occasions where correlation does imply causation.

Research interests

  • Bioeconomics
  • Endangered species conservation
  • Land use
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Dynamic optimization
  • Causal inference

Selected publications

  • Pierce Donovan and Michael Springborn (2022). "Balancing conservation and commerce: A shadow value viability approach for governing bycatch." Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 114, 102689.
  • Pierce Donovan, Lucas Bair, Charles Yackulic and Michael Springborn (2019), "Safety in numbers: cost-effective endangered species management for viable populations." Land Economics 95 (3), 435-453

Courses taught

  • ECON 307: Environmental Economics
  • ECON 441: Introduction to Econometrics


  • Ph.D. Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, 2020
  • B.S. Physics and Economics, Rochester Institute of Technology, 2015