Robert Costanza (born 14 September, 1950) is an American ecological economist and the Gund Professor of Ecological economics and Director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont.
Robert Costanza was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He studied architecture and urban and regional planning from the University of Florida and got a Masters degree. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1979 in systems ecology, with a minor in economics.
In 1982 he was selected as a Kellogg National Fellow, in 1992 he was awarded the Society for Conservation Biology Distinguished Achievement Award and in 1993 he was selected as a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment. In 1998 he was awarded the Kenneth Boulding Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions in Ecological Economics. In 2000 he received an honorary doctorate in natural sciences from Stockholm University.
Before he moved to Vermont in August 2002, he was director of the University of Maryland, College Park Institute for Ecological Economics, and a professor in the Center for Environmental Science, at Solomons, and in the Biology Department at College Park.
Costanza is co-founder and past-president of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) and was chief editor of the society’s journal Ecological Economics from its inception until 9/02. He serves on the editorial board of eight other international academic journals. He is president of the International Society for Ecosystem Health.
Dr. Costanza's research has focused on the interface between ecological and economic systems. This includes landscape level spatial simulation modeling; analysis of energy and material flows through economic and ecological systems; valuation of ecosystem services, biodiversity, and natural capital; and analysis of dysfunctional incentive systems and ways to correct them.
Costanza is the author or co-author 16 books. and over 300 scientific papers. Books, a selection:
- 1991, Ecological economics: The science and management of sustainability.
- 1992, with Bryan Norton and Ben Haskell,Ecosystem health: new goals for environmental management.
- 1996, with Olman Segura and Juan Martinez-Alier, Getting down to earth: practical applications of ecological economics
- 1997, with John Cumberland, Herman Daly, Robert Goodland and Richard Norgaard, An Introduction to Ecological Economics
- 2000, with Tom Prugh and Herman Daly and The local politics of global sustainability.
- Articles, a selection
- 1998, Costanza et al. Principles for sustainable governance of the oceans. Science 281:198-199 (1998))
- 2008, Costanza, R. Current History (January 2008) An excellent six-page (including a concise chart) exposition of ecological economics.
- About Robert Costanza
His work has been cited in more than 1700 scientific articles since 1987 (according to the Science Citation Index) and more than 80 interviews and reports on his work have appeared in various media, including Newsweek, US News and World Report, the Economist, the New York Times, Science, Nature, National Geographic, and National Public Radio.