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Dr. Steve Hackett

Professor, Dept. of Economics Currently NOT accepting graduate students

I am a fifth generation Californian, though I have also lived in nearly every region of the US.  I have never known a time in which I was not passionate about the natural world, and I began my university studies in resource management. At the same time I was heavily influenced by the economic crises of the 1970s, and in particular the dilemma of providing stable livelihoods and a vibrant economy while reducing pollution and conserving wildland habitats. These fundamental concerns led me to graduate degrees in economics and to the academic life of a professor. I was fortunate to begin my work life as a professor at Indiana University in Bloomington, where I was mentored by Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom and became a faculty associate of her interdisciplinary Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Being a part of the Workshop I found others who shared my values and who helped me focus my research on the economics of common-pool resource dilemmas. While at Indiana I was a member of the graduate faculty, taught both undergraduates and PhD students, and served on many doctoral dissertation committees.

After a number of years I came to Humboldt State University in 1994. At that time there was very little in the way of environmental economics being taught on campus. Thus I set out to develop and teach courses on the economics of the environment, natural resources, clean energy, and sustainability. In the process I become a faculty associate in interdisciplinary programs such as Environmental Science & Management, Environmental Studies, and Energy Technology & Policy. Along with my colleagues I have had the opportunity to collaboratively shape curriculum and guide these interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Over the years I have had the pleasure of working on numerous research projects with faculty and students from a wide range of programs in the College of Natural Resources and Sciences. Much of this work has been supported by organizations such as the California Department of Fish and Game, the California Energy Commission, the California Ocean Protection Council, California Sea Grant, and NOAA Fisheries.

In 2005 I was honored to receive the award of HSU Scholar of the Year. In recent years my research has been focused on the application of economics to problems of clean energy implementation and natural resource management.  In addition to my faculty duties I also have served a number of administrative roles – I have been chair of three separate academic departments as well as associate dean of the College of Professional Studies.

Contact Information
Specialty Area

Economics of the Environment, Natural Resources, Clean Energy, and Sustainability


PhD Texas A&M Economics
MS Texas A&M Economics
BS Montana State Ag Bus/Economics

Courses Taught

ECON 210 – Principles of Economics
ECON 309 – Economics of a Sustainable Society
ECON 310 – Intermediate Microtheory & Strategy
ECON 423 – Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
ECON 450 – Energy Economics & Climate Policy
ECON 550 – Economics of Energy & Climate Policy

Research Interests

Economics of the Environment, Natural Resources, Clean Energy, and Sustainability


Hackett, S., L. Scheidler, and R. Garcia Jr. Humboldt County as a Renewable Energy Secure Community: Economic Analysis Report. Report CEC-XXX-2012-XXX. Sacramento, CA: California Energy Commission, 2012 (forthcoming).

Hackett, S. “Weak vs. Strong Sustainability: Concepts and Indicators.” In D. Fogel, S. Fredericks, and L. Harrington (eds.) Encyclopedia of Sustainability, Volume 6: Measurements, Indicators, and Research Methods for Sustainability. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing Group, 2012.

Hackett, S. “Weak vs. Strong Sustainability Debate.” In K. Bosselmann, D. Fogel, and J. Ruhl (eds.) Encyclopedia of Sustainability, Volume 3: The Law and Politics of Sustainability. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing Group, 2011, 505-07.

Hackett, S., Environmental and Natural Resources Economics: Theory, Policy, and the Sustainable Society, 4th Edition (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2011).

Hackett, S., D. King, M. Hansen, and E. Price. The Economic Structure of California’s Commercial Fisheries. Technical Report under Contract P0670015, California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento, CA. 2009.

Hackett, S., and M. Hansen. Cost and Revenue Characteristics of the Salmon Fisheries in California and Oregon. Technical Report under Contract 8404-S-004, National Marine Fisheries Service, Washington, DC. 2008.

Hackett, S. “Economic and Social Considerations for Wave Energy Development in California.” In P. Nelson and L. Engeman (eds.) Developing Wave Energy in Coastal California: Socio-Economic and Environmental Effects. Report CEC-500-2008-083. Sacramento, CA: California Energy Commission, 2008, pp. 23-49.

Kellermann, J., M. Johnson, A. Stercho, and S. Hackett. “Ecological and Economic Services Provided by Birds on Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Farms,” Conservation Biology, 22(5), 2008, 1177 - 1185.

Hackett, S. “Natural Resources.” In A. Vaidya (ed.) Globalization: Encyclopedia of Trade, Labor, and Politics, Volume 2. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2006, p. 820-828.

Hackett, S., Environmental and Natural Resources Economics: Theory, Policy, and the Sustainable Society, 3rd Edition (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2006).

Hackett, S., D. Hankin, M. Krachey, and S. Brown. “Derby Fisheries, Individual Quotas, and Transition in the Fish Processing Industry,” Marine Resource Economics, April 2005, 20, pp. 47-60.