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Lisa Wainger


Lisa Wainger

Research Professor
Lisa Wainger
Research Professor
Chesapeake Biological Laboratory


Dr. Wainger is a professor of environmental economics at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and has over 20 years of experience in integrating ecological and economic analysis tools to evaluate costs, benefits and risks of ecosystem restoration and protection. She is known for pioneering work to include aspects of land spatial configuration in economic valuation techniques and wetland mitigation accounting. She is also known for work developing economically-based non-monetary benefit indicators to improve the representation of tradeoffs in natural resource policy and decision-making.

Current research is testing whether findings from behavioral sciences can more effectively engage farmers and local government officials in environmental problem solving under changing conditions. As Past Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (EPA Chesapeake Bay Program) she collaborates with a wide network of scientists to provide scientific review and direct future research. She also serves on numerous advisory boards to federal and state governments and non-governmental organizations.

Areas of Expertise

  • Benefit and cost analysis of environmental restoration
  • Ecosystem service valuation with monetary values and non-monetary benefit indicators
  • Water quality and wetland credit trading, mitigation & offsets
  • Invasive species risk assessment
  • GIS and statistical modeling of spatial data
  • Oyster fisheries and aquaculture


  • Ph.D. (1997) University of Maryland, College Park - Environmental and Ecological Economics
  • B.S. (1986) University of California, Santa Cruz - Earth Science (honors, Phi Beta Kappa)

Graduate Program Foundation Areas