Michael Jacobson, Ph.D.

Michael Jacobson, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Forest Resources
309 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Water Energy Food Nexus
  • Bioenergy
  • Agroforestry
  • Forest Economics and Finance
  • International Forestry
  • Forest Extension
  • Non Timber Forest Products


  • B.A., University of Connecticut (1984)
  • M.E.M, Duke University (1990)
  • Ph.D., North Carolina State University (1997)

Dr. Michael Jacobson is a professor of Forest Resources in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State. He teaches courses in forest economics, global agricultural systems, agroforestry and international forestry. He has received over 70 grants and contracts and over $4 million in external funding in topics related to forest economics and finance, agroforestry, and bioenergy, invasive species, and land restoration. He has a significant presence in international activities, including experience working in over a dozen countries in Africa. He is an extraordinary professor at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, in addition to having current projects in Kenya, Morocco, and Zambia.

Academic Interests

Water energy food nexus; Bioenergy; sustainable forestry; forest economics, finance, policy, and taxes; agroforestry and non timber forest products; gas taxation, forest certification and incentive programs; private forestry; and international forestry.

Courses Taught

  • Forest Conservation and Economics FOR 440
  • Global Agricultural Systems INTAD 577
  • Agroforestry FOR 418
  • Global Forest Conservation FOR 488

Professional Affiliations

  • Society of American Foresters
  • Association of Natural Resources of Extension Professionals
  • Forest History Society
  • Association for Temperate Agroforestry
  • International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF)
  • Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Association


Food resilience in a dark catastrophe
Ambio, Winstead, Daniel Jefferson, Jacobson, Michael Gregory, 2022

Operationalising the water-energy-food nexus through the theory of change
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Naidoo, Dhesigen, Nhamo, Luxon, Mpandeli, Sylvester, Sobratee, Nafisa, Senzanje, Aidan, Liphadzi, Stanley, Slotow, Rob, Jacobson, Michael, Modi, Albert T., Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe, 2021

Producers, production, marketing, and sales of non-timber forest products in the United States: a review and synthesis
Agroforestry Systems, Frey, Gregory E., Chamberlain, James L., Jacobson, Michael G., 2021

Comparison of sUAS Photogrammetry and TLS for Detecting Changes in Soil Surface Elevations following Deep Tillage
Journal of the Surveying and Mapping Division, ASCE, Bolkas, Dimitrios, Naberezny, B., Jacobson, M. G., 2021

Mechanical characteristics of wood-bark interface of shrub willow
Industrial Crops and Products, Chahal, Azadwinder, Ciolkosz, Daniel, Puri, Virendra, Jacobson, Michael, Liu, Jude, 2021

Perceptions of Debarking Small-Diameter Stems in the Wood Products Community
Forest Products Journal, Singh Chahal, Azadwinder, Tripathi, Jaya, Ciolkosz, Daniel, Wurzbacher, Sarah, Jacobson, Michael, 2021

The (un)broken promise of agroforestry
Environment, Development and Sustainability, Jacobson, Michael, Ham, Cori, 2020

Factors affecting wood-bark adhesion for debarking of shrub willow
Biosystems Engineering, Chahal, Azadwinder, Ciolkosz, Daniel, Puri, V, Liu, Jude, Jacobson, Michael, 2020

Plantation forestry and pellet production in Kenya
Biomass and Bioenergy, Jacobson, Michael, Ciolkosz, Daniel, 2020

Malawi's energy needs and agroforestry
Energy for Sustainable Development, Toth, Gregory G., Nair, P. K.Ramachandran, Jacobson, Michael, Widyaningsih, Yekti, Duffy, Colm P., 2019

The Impact of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program on the United States Forest Products Market: An Application of the Global Forest Products Model
Forests, Jiang, Wei, Carter, Douglas R., Fu, Hanliang, Jacobson, Michael G., Zipp, Katherine Y., Jin, Jiang, Yang, Long, 2019

Modeling spatial dependence and economic hotspots in landowners’ willingness to supply bioenergy crops in the northeastern United States
GCB Bioenergy, Jiang, Wei, Zipp, Katherine Y., Langholtz, Matthew H., Jacobson, Michael G., 2019

A sustainability framework for assessing studies about marginal lands for planting perennial energy crops
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Jiang, Wei, Jacobson, Michael G., Langholtz, Matthew H., 2019

Improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay using payments for ecosystem services for perennial biomass for bioenergy and biofuel production
Biomass and Bioenergy, Woodbury, Peter B., Kemanian, Armen R., Jacobson, Michael, Langholtz, Matthew, 2018

Soil carbon sequestration in agroforestry systems
Agroforestry Systems, De Stefano, Andrea, Jacobson, Michael Gregory, 2018

Using a choice experiment approach to assess production tradeoffs for developing the croton value chain in Kenya
Forest Policy and Economics, Jacobson, Michael, Shr, Yau Huo, Dalemans, Floris, Magaju, Christine, Ciannella, Rodrigo, 2018

Malawi’s Energy Needs and Agroforestry
Human Ecology, Toth, Gregory G., Ramachandran Nair, P. K., Jacobson, Michael, Widyaningsih, Yekti, Duffy, Colm P., 2017

Using a choice experiment approach to assess production tradeoffs for developing the croton value chain in Kenya
Forest Policy and Economics, Jacobson, Michael, Shr, Yau-Huo, Dalemans, Floris, Magaju, Christine, Ciannella, Rodrigo, 2017

Soil carbon sequestration in agroforestry systems: a meta-analysis
Agroforestry Systems volume, De Stefano, Andrea, Jacobson, Michael, 2017

An assessment of farm scale biomass pelleting in the Northeast
Renewable Energy, Ciolkosz, Daniel, Jacobson, Michael, Heil, Nichole, Brandau, Will, 2017

Improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay using payments for ecosystem services for perennial biomass for bioenergy and biofuel production
Biomass and Bioenergy, Woodbury, Peter, Kemanian, Armen, Jacobson, Michael, Langholtz, Matthew, 2017

Forest ecosystem services: Provisioning of non-timber forest products
Trees At Work: Economic Accounting for Forest Ecosystem Services in the U.S. South, Chamberlain, James, Frey, Gregory, Ingram, Denise, Jacobson, Michael, Starbuck, Downes, Cara, Meghan, 2017

Gendered decision making and adaptation to climate change in Mt. Elgon Region, Eastern Uganda
International Research Journal of Environmental Sciences and Studies, Bomuhangi, A., Nabanoga, G., Namaalwa, J., Jacobson, Michael, Gombya-Ssembajjwe, W., 2016

Local communities’ perceptions of climate variability in the Mt. Elgon region, eastern Uganda
Cogent Environmental Science, Bomuhangi, Allan, Nabanoga, Gorettie, Namaalwa, Justine Jumba, Jacobson, Michael Gregory, Abwoli, Banana, 2016

Forest Ecosystem Services and the Scourge of Invasive Species
Journal of Forestry, Grebner, Donald L., Jacobson, Michael G., Fajvan, Mary Ann, 2014

Wood-based energy in the Northern forests, Jacobson, Michael Gregory, Ciolkosz, Daniel Edward, 2013

Introduction and overview, Jacobson, Michael, Ciolkosz, Daniel, 2013

The economic availability of woody biomass feedstocks in the Northeast, Langholtz, Matthew, Jacobson, Michael, 2013

Extent of agroforestry extension programs in the United States
Journal of Extension, Jacobson, Michael, Kar, Shiba, 2013

Advancing agroforestry through certification of agroforesters
Journal of Forestry, Mason, Andy, Blanche, Catalino, Crowe, Tom, Gold, Mike, Jacobson, Mike, Jose, Shibu, Josiah, Scott, Norland, Eric, Onokpise, Kome, Wight, Bruce, 2012

Market constraints in NTFP trade
International Forestry Review, Kar, S. P., Jacobson, M. G., 2012

NTFP income contribution to household economy and related socio-economic factors: Lessons from Bangladesh
Forest Policy and Economics, Kar, Shiba P., Jacobson, Michael G., 2012