Michael Jacobson, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Forest Resources
Michael Jacobson, Ph.D.
309 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-865-3994
Fax: 814-865-6275

Areas of Expertise

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

Connect with Michael Jacobson, Ph.D.



  1. B.A., University of Connecticut (1984)
  2. M.E.M, Duke University (1990)
  3. 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.

Michael was born in South Africa and raised there until emigrating to Connecticut in 1977. He is married to Linda Nodine Jacobson and has two daughters.

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.


Dr. Michael Jacobson's CV

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

Recent Publications

Jiang, W., Zipp, K., & Jacobson, M., "Economic Assessments of Landowner's Willingness to Supply Dedicated Energy Crops on Marginal Lands." Biomass and Bioenergy 10.1016/j.biombioe.2018.03.005

Jacobson, M. Y. Shr, F. Delemans, C. Magaju, R. Ciannella. 2018. Using a choice experiment approach to assess production tradeoffs for developing the croton value chain in Kenya. Forest Policy and Economics 86:76-85 10.1016/j.forpol.2017.09.015

De Stefano A., M. Jacobson. 2017. Soil carbon sequestration in agroforestry systems: a meta-analysis Agroforestry Systems.

Toth G, Nair PK, Jacobson M, Y. Widyaningsih anmd C. Duffy. 2017. Malawi's Energy Needs and Agroforestry: Adoption Potential of Woodlots. Human Ecology.

Woodbury, P., A. Kemanian, M. Jacobson, and M. Langholtz. 2017. Improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay using payments for ecosystem services for perennial bioenergy feedstock production. Biomass and Bioenergy

Ciolkosz, D., M. Jacobson, N. Heil, W. Brandau. 2017. An assessment of farm scale biomass pelleting in the Northeast. Renewable Energy. 108:85-91

Chamberlain, James L.; Frey, Gregory E.; Ingram, C. Denise; Jacobson, Michael G.; Downes, Cara Meghan Starbuck. 2017. Forest Ecosystem Services: Provisioning of Non-Timber Forest Products. In: Sills, Erin O.; Moore, Susan E.; Cubbage, Frederick W.; McCarter, Kelley D.; Holmes, Thomas P.; Mercer, D. Evan, eds. Trees at work: economic accounting for forest ecosystem services in the U.S. South. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-226. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 65-93. Chapter 5.

Bomuhangi A, Nabanoga G, Namaalwa J, Jacobson M and Gombya-Ssembajjwe W (2016). Gendered decision making and adaptation to climate change in Mt. Elgon Region, Eastern Uganda,International Research Journal of Environmental Sciences and Studies, Vol. 1 (1), pp: 1-23

Bomuhangi A, Nabanoga G, Namaalwa J, Jacobson M and Abwoli B (2016). Local communities' perceptions of climate variability in the Mt. Elgon region, Eastern Uganda. Cogent Environmental Science Journal

Recent Project Reports

Jacobson, M. 2017. Evaluating Impact of Fertilizer Tree Uptake in Zambia: Attribution to ICRAF/CGIAR. Submitted to CGIAR Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).

Jacobson, M., 2016. A review of Croton Megalocarpus production with a focus on Eco Fuels Kenya (EFK) operations. Submitted to: ICRAF-IFAD Programme for the Development of Alternative Biofuel Crops.

Jacobson, M. 2015. Analysis of Eucalyptus production as feedstock for pellet production in Kenya. Submitted to Gatsby Foundation.

Jacobson, M., C. Canham, R. Ready, M. McDill. 2016-2017. Predicting the Cumulative and Ecological Impacts of Pests and Pathogens in the Forest of Eastern United States. Submitted to USDA APHIS.