W.R. Zach Willey


Areas of expertise: Climate change, Land, Water & Wildlife Programs, environmental markets, forest communities


Zach Willey, Ph.D., specializes in developing economic solutions to greenhouse gas emission and natural resource degradation problems in terrestrial ecosystems.

  • 1975-80:  Electric utility energy and financial analyst, USA
  • 1980-90:  Water rights and trading analyst, western USA
  • 1990-2000:  Water market developer, Pacific Northwest region, USA
  • 2000-present: Carbon market developer, land sector, USA and China

Founding director of Deschutes River Conservancy, Oregon, USA and Environmental Resources Trust, Washington DC, USA


B.S., M.A., Ph.D. Economics, University of California, Berkeley (1974); Doctoral Dissertation: The Diffusion of Pest Management Information Technology in California Agriculture; Postdoctoral: University of California, College of Natural Resources, 1974-75.

Served as advisor and consultant to state and federal governments, foundations and Indian tribes in the United States as well as to several nations and corporations in the Middle East and Africa.


Author of numerous articles, book chapters, testimonies, and monographs on economic incentives and institutional problems associated with natural resource systems, including below (*= co-author).  

  • Carbon & Greenhouse Gases: “Greenhouse Gas Offsets as a Value-Added Commodity in US Agriculture,” Commodity Classic, Nashville, TN, February 2008; Harnessing Carbon in Farms and Forests in the Low-Carbon Economy, How to Create, Measure, and Verify Greenhouse Gas Offsets Based on Storing Carbon in Trees and Soil and Reducing Emissions from Land Use, Nicolas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University Press, 2007 (co-editor); "Can Farmers be Suppliers in a Market for Carbon Credits?," Agricultural Outlook, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2004; A Bridge to Climate Protection, Slowing Global Warming by Marketing Carbon Stored in Farms and Forests, Environmental Defense, 2003*

  • Water:  "Water Marketing in the Northwest: Learning by Doing," Water Strategist, Vol. 10, No.2, 1996*; Restoring the Deschutes River: Developing Partnerships and Economic Incentives to Improve Water Quality and Instream Flows, EDF and The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, 1995*; "Behind Schedule and Over Budget: The Case of Markets, Water, and the Environment," Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, vol. 15, 1992;  "Federal Water Policy in the United States — An Agenda for Economic and Environmental Reform," Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, 1988*; Economic Development and Environmental Quality in California's Water System, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, 1985; "Trading Conservation Investments for Water" in R. J. Charbeneau (ed), Regional and State Water Resources Planning and Management, American Water Resources Association, 1983

  • Energy:  "Economic Criteria in Environmental Regulation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 64, No. 5, 1982, Alternative Energy Investments in the PG&E Power System, California Public Utilities Commission, 1978; "Energy Alternatives in California," in California Energy, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 1976; Disposition of Oil from the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline, Energy Committee, US House of Representatives, Los Angeles, 1976

  • Fisheries: "Creating Incentives to Curb Overfishing," Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy, vol. 11, 1996*: Water for Salmon: An Economic Analysis of Salmon Recovery Alternatives in the Lower Snake and Columbia Rivers, Northwest Power Planning Council, 1995*

  • Pesticides: "Barriers to the Diffusion of Integrated Pest Management Programs in Commercial Agriculture," Pest Control Strategies, E.H. Smith & D. Pimentel, Academic Press, 1978
  • W.R. Zach Willey

    W.R. Zach Willey


Email W.R.

Media Contact

Sharyn Stein
(202) 572-3396 (office)
Email Sharyn