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Josh Goldstein

Josh Goldstein


Josh is an economist and ecosystem services scientist with the Human Dimensions Program, working to mainstream incorporation of nature’s benefits to people in planning and policy contexts. His work focuses on developing and applying new approaches for ecosystem services mapping and valuation, designing payments for ecosystem services, quantifying conservation return-on-investment, and expanding conservation on private lands. His projects are located throughout the United States and internationally, where he works collaboratively with private landowners, government agencies, corporations, and other stakeholders to incorporate nature’s values into decision-making.

Prior to joining the Conservancy, Josh was an assistant professor of ecological economics in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. In this position, he was the founding academic director of the Conservation Leadership master’s program.

Josh received his B.A. in Biology from Williams College and his Ph.D. in Environment and Resources from Stanford University. He was a post-doctoral researcher with the Natural Capital Project applying ecosystem services mapping techniques and advancing market-based approaches for conservation in Hawaii.

Areas of expertise:
Ecosystem services
Ecological economics
Conservation finance
Conservation return-on-investment
Private lands conservation

Download Josh's CV



López-Hoffman, L., Wiederholt, R., Sansone, C., Bagstad, K., Cryan, P., Diffendorfer, J.E., Goldstein, J., LaSharr, K., Loomis, J., McCracken, G., Medellin, R., Russell, A., and Semmens, D. (2014) Market forces and technological substitutes cause fluctuations in the value of bat pest-control services for cotton. PLOS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087912


Diffendorfer, J.E., Loomis, J.G., Ries, L., Oberhauser, K., López-Hoffman, L., Semmens, D., Semmens, B., Butterfield, B., Bagstad, K., Goldstein, J., Wiederholt, R., Mattson, B., and Thogmartin, W.E. (2013) National valuation of monarch butterflies indicates an untapped potential for incentive-based conservation. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12065

Huber-Stearns, H., Goldstein, J.H., and Duke, E.A. (2013) Intermediary roles and payments for ecosystem services: A typology and program feasibility application in Panama. Ecosystem Services 6: 104-116.

Gutwein, M. and Goldstein, J.H. (2013) Integrating conservation and financial objectives on private rangelands in northern Colorado: Rancher and practitioner perspectives. Rangeland Ecology & Management 66(3): 330-338.


Goldstein, J.H., Caldarone, G., Duarte, T.K,. Ennaanay, D., Hannahs, N., Mendoza, G., Polasky, S., Wolny, S., and Daily, G.C. (2012) Integrating ecosystem services into land-use planning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(19): 7565-7570.

Chan, K.M.A., Satterfield, T., and Goldstein, J.H. (2012) Rethinking ecosystem services to better address and navigate cultural values. Ecological Economics 74: 8-18.


Goldstein, J.H., Presnall, C.K., Lopez-Hoffman, L., Nabhan, G.P., Knight, R.L., Ruyle, G.B., and Toombs, T.P. (2011) Beef and beyond: Paying for ecosystem services on Western US rangelands. Rangelands 33(5): 4-12.

Toombs, T.P., Goldstein, J.H., Maness, N., Fankhauser, T.R., and Hanson, C. (2011) Rangeland ecosystem services, risk management, and the ranch bottom line. Rangelands 33(5): 13-19.


Daily, G.C., Polasky, S., Goldstein, J.H., Kareiva, P.M., Mooney, H.A., Pejchar, L., Ricketts, T.H., Salzman, J., and Shallenberger, R. (2009) Ecosystem services in decision-making: time to deliver. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7(1): 21-28.

Nelson, E., Mendoza, G., Regetz, J., Polasky, S., Tallis, H., Cameron, D.R., Chan, K.M.A., Daily, G., Goldstein, J., Kareiva, P., Lonsdorf, E., Naidoo, R., Ricketts, T.H., and Shaw, M.R. (2009) Modeling multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, commodity production, and tradeoffs at landscape scales. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 1(7): 4-11.


Goldstein, J.H., Pejchar, L., and Daily, G.C. (2008) Using return-on-investment to guide restoration: a case study from Hawaii. Conservation Letters 1(5): 236-243.

Fischer, J., Brosi, B., Daily, G.C., Ehrlich, P.R., Goldman, R., Goldstein, J.H., Manning, A.D., Mooney, H.A., Pejchar, L., Ranganathan, J., and Tallis, H. (2008) Should agricultural policies encourage land-sparing or wildlife-friendly farming? Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 6(7): 380-385.


Goldstein, J.H., Daily, G.C., Friday, J.B., Matson, P.A., Naylor, R.L., and Vitousek, P. (2006) Business strategies for conservation on private lands: koa forestry as a case study. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103(26): 10140-10145.

Josh Goldstein


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