Michael Jacobson, Ph.D.

Professor of Forest Resources


    Forest Economics and Finance
    International Forestry
    Forest Extension
    Non Timber Forest Products



    Have a question?

    Search for Education by Michael Jacobson, Ph.D.!

    View All Education from Michael Jacobson, Ph.D.

    About Me

    Michael Jacobson is a professor of Forest Resources at Penn State's School of Forest Resources. He has extension, teaching and research appointments. In addition, he was appointed an Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University in South Africa in 2007.

    Between earning degrees, Michael has worked on international forest policy and economics at the World Bank, USDA International Forestry, and Tropical Forest Foundation. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho from 1986-1988. Countries he has worked in include South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Guinea, Uganda, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Costa Rica.

    He has over 50 extension and research publications. As part of his extension work he develops programs in forest taxation and finance and more recently in woody biomass and natural gas. He is currently associate editor of Agroforestry Systems.

    Michael was born in South Africa and raised there until emigrating to Connecticut in 1977. He is married to Linda Nodine Jacobson and has two daughters.

    Academic Interests:

    Bioenergy, sustainable forestry; forest economics, finance, policy, and taxes; agroforestry and non timber forest products; gas taxation, forest certification and incentive programs; and international forestry.

    Courses taught:

    Forest Conservation and Economics FOR 440

    Agroforestry FOR 418

    Global Forest Conservation FOR 488

    Professional Affiliation:

    Society of American Foresters

    Association of Natural Resources of Extension Professionals

    Forest History Society

    Association for Temperate Agroforestry

    International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF)

    Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Association

    Recent Publications:

    Grebner, D. M. Jacobson, and M. Fayvan. 2014. Forest ecosystem services and the scourge of invasive species. Journal of Forestry 112 (6):620-623

    Jacobson M and D. Ciolkosz (eds). 2013 Wood-Based Energy in the Northern Forests. New York: Springer. 245 pp.

    Langholtz, M. and M. Jacobson. 2013 The economic availability of woody biomass feedstocks in the Northeast. In Jacobson M and D. Ciolkosz (eds). Wood-Based Energy in the Northern Forests. New York: Springer

    Jacobson, M. and S. Kar. 2013. Extent of agroforestry extension programs in United States. Journal of Extension. 51 (4)

    Burhart, E. M. Jacobson, and J. Finley. 2012. A case study of stakeholder perspective and experience with wild American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) conservation efforts in Pennsylvania, U.S.A.: limitations to a CITES driven, top-down regulatory approach. Biodiversity and Conservation 21:3657-3679

    Kar, S.P. and Jacobson, M.G. 2012. Market constraints in NTFP trade: Household perspectives in Bangladesh, International Forestry Review. 14(1): 50-61.

    Kar, S. and M. Jacobson. 2012. Non timber forest products (NTFP) income contribution to household economy and related socio-economic factors: Lessons from Bangladesh. Forest Policy and Economics. 14(1):136-142

    Kelso, A. and M. Jacobson. 2011. Community Assessment of Agroforestry Opportunities in GaMothiba, South Africa. Agroforestry Systems. 83(3):267-278

    Fortney, K. Arano, M. Jacobson, 2011. An Evaluation of West Virginia's Managed Timberland Tax Incentive Program. Forest Policy and Economics. 13(1):69-78.

    Greene, J., S. Daniels, M. Kilgore, T. Straka, and M. Jacobson. 2010. Effectiveness of financial incentive programs in promoting sustainable forestry in the West. Western Journal of Applied Forestry. 25(4):186-193.

    Daniels, S., M. Kilgore, M. Jacobson, J. Greene, and T. Straka. 2010. Examining the compatibility between forestry incentive programs in the US and the Practice of Sustainable Forest Management. Forests 1(1):49–64.

    Jacobson, M., J. Greene, T. Straka, S. Daniels, and M. Kilgore. 2009. Influence and effectiveness of financial incentive programs in promoting sustainable forestry in the South. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 33(1):35–41.

    Ham, C., N. Mander, M. Jacobson, M. Falcao, A. Manjoro, T. Dube, M. Howard, and M. Mander. 2009. Increasing the rural livelihood benefits from natural plant product ventures in Southern Africa: Case study analysis and business model. Ford Foundation.

    Cooper, E., and M. Jacobson. 2009. Establishing conservation easements on forested riparian buffers: Opportunities for long-term streamside protection. Small-scale Forestry 8(3):263–268.

    Recent Research/Extension Projects:

    Predicting the Cumulative and Ecological Impacts of Pests and Pathogens in the Forest of Eastern United States USDA APHIS.

    NEWBio: Northeast Woody / Warm-season Biomass Consortium. USDA AFRI

    NE Sun Grant Willow Genetic Improvement project

    Potential and economic impacts of a regional outbreak of the Asian Longhorned Beetle.

    Examining current and future costs and revenues from forest production, oil and gas extraction on Pennsylvania Game Commission Lands. Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee.

    Forest stewardship – continuing awareness and knowledge program support (Annual project). USDA Forest Service.

    Determining costs, product recovery factors, and environmental impacts of biomass harvest treatments in Central Appalachian Forests. NE SunGrant Initiative.

    Increasing the rural livelihood benefits from natural plant product ventures in southern Africa. Ford Foundation.


    B.A., University of Connecticut (1984) M.E.M, Duke University (1990) Ph.D., North Carolina State University (1997)