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Faculty Experts Guide - Robert J. Lilieholm, Ph.D.


Office Address:
Nutting Hall, Room 249

Mailing Address:
School of Forest Resources
5755 Nutting Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5755

Contact Information:
Phone: 207/581-2896

Research Interests

Natural Resources Management, Economics & Policy

Landscape Conservation & Regional Planning

Alternative Futures Modeling

International Development

SSI Projects

Alternative Futures Modeling

Mobilizing to Fight an Invasive Insect


University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. (Forest Management & Economics)

Louisiana State University, M.S. (Silviculture & Forest Soils)

Utah State University, B.S. (Forest Management, cum laude)


HONORS 310: Sprawl, Private Property Rights, & Environmental Protection

SFR 345/617: Acadian Internship in Regional Conservation & Stewardship

SFR 444: Forest Resources Economics

SFR 446: Forest Resources Policy

SFR 477: Forest Landscape Management & Planning

SFR 525: Tropical Forest Ecology & Conservation

SFR 611: Timberland Investment & Finance

E.L. Giddings Associate Professor of Forest Policy, School of Forest Resources, University of Maine

Cooperating Associate Professor, School of Economics, University of Maine

Program Leader, Conservation Lands and Public Values, Center for Research on Sustainable Forests

Researcher and Research Council Member, Sustainability Solutions Initiative


Robert Lilieholm is a faculty member in the School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine, where he teaches and conducts research in natural resources economics, policy, and management. His work is highly integrative and seeks to examine ways in which wildlands can be sustainably managed to promote a wide range of ecological, economic and social goals. Examples include a host of land use issues, including the modeling of alternative future growth scenarios to determine the long-term impact of development on natural systems at the landscape level. Other research has examined wilderness and transboundary management issues, as well as the development of strategies to manage commercial timberlands for biological diversity and wildlife habitat.

Lilieholm’s work with SSI involves creating new tools and processes to help Maine communities plan economic development in more proactive ways. To date his team has met with over 80 leaders in economic development, conservation, forestry and agriculture in Maine to identify strategic opportunities and potential conflicts in land use. Model results have been summarized in an on-line tool, the Maine Futures Community Mapper, that allows stakeholders to explore land suitability indices and stakeholder-derived futures scenarios. In addition, his work has been featured in a 30-minute MPBN TV special.

Lilieholm is a cooperator with UMaine’s NSF-funded Forest Bioproducts Research Initiative, where he works with others to explore the social acceptability of forest-based biomass harvests and bioproducts in Maine and elsewhere. He has also served as a consultant to the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Department of Justice, the Danish Forest Service, National Coffee Growers’ Federation of Colombia, and the Kibale Forest Foundation.

Lilieholm has received funding for his work from the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, Boston Foundation, U.S. Congress, United States Agency for International Development, World Bank Global Environment Facility, U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Selected Publications

S.R. Meyer, C.S. Cronan, R.J. Lilieholm, M.L. Johnson, and D.R. Foster, “Using the Historical Roots of Land Conservation in Northern New England to Derive Alternative Future Scenarios of Landscape Conservation,” Conservation Biology, in press.

R.J. Lilieholm, S.R. Meyer, M.L. Johnson, and C.S. Cronan, “Land Conservation in the Northeastern United States: An Assessment of Historic Trends and Current Conditions,” Environment 55, no. 4 (2013): 3-14.

J.S. Jansujwicz, A.J.K. Calhoun, and R. Lilieholm, “Using Citizen Science Education and Outreach to Engage Municipal Officials and Private Landowners in Vernal Pool Conservation,” Environmental Management 52, no. 6 (2013): 1369-1385.

J. Jansujwicz, A.J.K. Calhoun, J.E. Leahy, and R.J. Lilieholm, “Using Mixed Methods to Develop a Frame-based Private Landowner Typology,” Society and Natural Resources 26 (2013): 945-961.

R.J. Lilieholm, C.S. Cronan, M. Johnson, S. Meyer, and D. Owen. “Alternative Futures Modeling in Maine’s Penobscot River Watershed: Forging a Regional Identity for River Restoration.” (Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2013), Working Paper WP12RL1, 25 pages.

R.J. Lilieholm, and M. Eaton. “Land as Sustenance and Sanctuary: Settlement History and Resource Use in and around Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument,” in National Parks: Sustainable Development, Conservation Strategies, and Environmental Effects, ed. J.B. Smith (New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2013), 179-200 (Chapter 6).        

S.R. Meyer, M.L. Johnson, and R.J. Lilieholm. 2012. Landscape Conservation in the United States: Evolution and Innovation across the Urban-Rural Interface. Pages 225- 258 (Chapter 13) in W. Zipper, D.N. Laband, and B.G. Lockaby, eds., Urban-Rural Interfaces: Linking People and Nature. Jointly published by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America. 332 pages.

B. Neupane, A. Halog, and R.J. Lilieholm, “Environmental Sustainability of Wood-Derived Ethanol: A Life Cycle Evaluation of Resource Intensity and Emissions in Maine, USA,” Journal of Cleaner Production 44 (2012): 77-84.

P.C. Gomben, R.J. Lilieholm, and M. Gonzalez-Guillen, “Impact of Demographic Trends on Future Development Patterns and the Loss of Open Space in the California Mojave Desert,” Environmental Management 49, no. 2 (2012): 305-324.

D. Ranco, A. Arnett, E. Latty, A. Remsburg, K. Dunckel, E. Quigley, R. Lilieholm, J. Daigle, B. Livingston, J. Neptune, and T. Secord, “Two Maine Forest Pests: A Comparison of Approaches to Understanding Threats to Hemlock and Ash Trees in Maine,” Maine Policy Review 21, no. 1 (2012): 76-89.

J.T. McCloskey, R.J. Lilieholm, and C.S. Cronan, “Using Bayesian Belief Networks to Identify Future Compatibilities and Conflicts between Development and Landscape Conservation,” Landscape and Urban Planning 101 (2011): 190-203.

S. Whitesell, R.J. Lilieholm, and T.L. Sharik. “A Global Survey of Tropical Biological Field Stations,” in BioScience Topics in Biological Field Stations (University of California Press, 2010), 5-14.

C.S. Cronan, R.J. Lilieholm, J. Tremblay, and T. Glidden, “A Retrospective Assessment of Land Conservation Patterns in Maine based on Spatial Analysis of Ecological and Socio-economic Indicators,” Environmental Management 45, no. 5 (2010): 1076-1095.

R.J. Lilieholm and W.P. Weatherly, “Kibale Forest Wild Coffee: Challenges to Market-based Conservation in Africa,” Conservation Biology 24, no. 4 (2010): 924-930.

M.E. Tessema, R.J. Lilieholm, Z.T. Ashenafi, and N. Leader-Williams, “Community Attitudes toward Wildlife and Protected Areas in Ethiopia,” Society and Natural Resources 23, no. 6 (2010): 489-506.

J. Benjamin, R.J. Lilieholm, and C. Coup, “Forest Biomass Harvests: A “Special Needs” Operation?” Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 27, no. 2 (2010): 45-49.

R.J. Lilieholm, L.C. Irland, and J.M. Hagan. “Changing Socio-economic Conditions for Private Woodland Protection,” in Landscape-scale Conservation Planning, eds. S. C. Trombulak and R.F. Baldwin (New York: Springer-Verlag, 2010), 67-98 (Chapter 5).

D.R. Foster, B. Donahue, D. Kittredge, K.F. Lambert, M. Hunter, B. Hall, L.C. Irland, R.J. Lilieholm, D.A. Orwig, A. D’Amato, E. Colburn, J. Thompson, J. Levitt, A.M. Ellison, J. Aber, C. Cogbill, C. Driscoll, and C. Hart, “Wildlands and Woodlands: A Vision for the New England Landscape,” (Harvard University Press, 2010) 36 pages.

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