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Patuxent Environmental & Aquatic Research Laboratory

Natural Resource Economics


The mission of PEARL Environmental & Natural Resource Economics Research team is to produce the applied economics research needed to guide the development of natural resource management policies that will produce sustainable environmental outcomes in Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and beyond. PEARL researchers have diverse expertise spanning a wide range of applied economics fields. A common theme across many projects is the use of surveys, focus-groups, and one-on-one interviews to obtain the data necessary to address policy-relevant questions. Research projects are funded by a wide range of Federal and State agencies, including the: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce(NOAA), Environmental Protection Agency, Maryland Sea Grant, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of the Environment, and Maryland Port Administration.


  • Research Interests:
    • Non-Market Valuation
    • Revealed Preference Methods
    • Stated Preference Methods
    • Human Dimensions of Fish and Wildlife Management
    • Survey Development and Methodology
    • Discrete Choice Analysis
    • Regional Economic Impact Analysis
    • Aquaculture Economics
    • Environmental Justice
  • Funded Research Projects:
    • “Ocean Fisheries Economic Study: Offshore Wind & Fisheries Impact Fees” - Maryland Department of Natural Resource
    • “Economic and Decision Analysis Support for MDOT” - Maryland Port Administration
    • "Examining Perceptions, Preferences, and Economic Benefits Associated with Coastal Urban Greenspace" - Maryland Port Administration
    • "Assessing Hunter and Public Opinion Regarding Black Bear Management in Maryland" - Maryland Department of Natural Resources
    • "Conducting Analysis of Public Survey Data to identify a Quantitative and Qualitative Trash Threshold for the Recreational Designated Use of Rivers/Streams" - Maryland Department of the Environment
    • “Sustainable Aquaculture Systems Supporting Atlantic Salmon” - U.S. Department of Agriculture NIFA-AFRI
    • “Economic Valuation of Freshwater Lakes and Reservoirs Experiencing Harmful Algal Blooms” U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    • “Baltimore BLUE-CORE – BLUEspace COllaborative REsearch for Urban Coastal Access and Climate Resilience in South Baltimore” - Maryland Sea Grant
    • Partnership to Advance and Enhance Aquaculture Economics and Marketing Research and Extension” - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Scott Knoche

PEARL Director

Program Lead

Kehinde Ojo

Senior Research Economist

Emily Hoyt

Research Associate

Anjali Gulati

Research Associate

Abubakar Ringim

PhD Student

Kristen Jones

PhD Student

Research Snapshot in Photos

Salmon Consumer Preferences (USDA)

Urban Coastal Greenspace (MPA)

Black Bear Management (MDDNR)

Freshwater Lakes and Reservoirs Experiencing Harmful Algal Blooms (USACE)

Urban Coastal Access (MDSG)

Anacostia Trash TMDL (MDE, EPA)