Robert Costanza, Ph.D.


Robert Costanza, Ph.D.
Robert Costanza
Professor and Director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions
Portland State University
City, State
Portland, OR
Award year


Project Details

Costanza's fellowship efforts focused on the ecology-economy interface to create effective and stable change toward biodiversity conservation and sustainability. To this end, he designed alternative ecological economic models and supported interactive workshops involving business, academic, government and public interest stakeholders to develop overlapping consensus on biodiversity conservation policies with an emphasis on economics and the environment.

Costanza endeavored to communicate that consensus to a broad audience through a variety of publications and other outreach mechanisms. One outcome was a collaborative paper on the value of "ecosystem services" printed in the journal Nature. He also produced a technical book, a trade book, a video and a textbook all focusing on ecological economics. He continues to use this integrated group of products to reach a full spectrum of audiences.


As co-founder and president of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) and chief editor of its journal, Robert Costanza has sought to protect biological diversity and achieve long-term sustainability by integrating ecology and economics. His plans include using the tools of environmental dispute resolution to improve problem solving where both economics and ecological forces threaten biological diversity.

He was previously director of the University of Maryland Institute for Ecological Economics, and a professor in the Center for Environmental Science, at Solomons, and in the Biology Department at College Park.


The Gund Institute for Ecological Economics



Ph.D., University of Florida
1979: Systems Ecology, Environmental Engineering Sciences, Florida, USA

Master of Arts, University of Florida
1974: Architecture/Urban and Regional Planning, USA

Bachelor of Arts, University of Florida
1973: Architecture, Florida, USA


International Society for Ecosystem Health
1994-Present: Co-founder and Vice-President

Ecosystem Health
1994-Present: Editorial Board

Ecological Applications
1993-Present: Editorial Board

Trends in Ecology and Evolution
1992-Present: Chief Editor

Ecological Engineering
1991-Present: Editorial Advisory Board

Ecological Economics
1989-Present: Chief Editor

International Society for Ecological Economics
1988-Present: Co-founder and President

1994-1995: National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology

National Research Council
1993-1995: Board on Global Change

US National Committee for the Man and the Biosphere Program

International Society for Ecological Modeling, North America Chapter
1987-1992: Vice President


Marine Fellow
1993: Pew Fellows Program in Conservation and the Environment

Distinguished Achievement Award
1992: Society for Conservation Biology

Outstanding Publication Award
1985: National Wildlife Federation

National Leadership Fellowship
1982: Kellogg Foundation


American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Institute of Biological Sciences

American Water Resources Association

Estuarine Research Federation

Ecological Society of America

International Society for Ecological Modeling

Society for Conservation Biology

Society for Human Ecology

Union of Concerned Scientists


  • Robert Costanza, Francisco Andrade, Paula Antunes, Marjan van den Belt, Dee Boersma, Donald F. Boesch, Fernando Catarino, Susan Hanna, Karin Limburg, Bobbi Low, Michael Molitor, Joáo Gil Pereira, Steve Rayner, Rui Santos, James Wilson, and Michael Young. 1998. Principles for Sustainable Governance of the Oceans. Science 281:198-199.
  • Costanza, R. and C. Folke. 1997. Valuing ecosystem services with efficiency, fairness and sustainability as goals. In: Nature's Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems (G. Daily ed.). Island Press, Washington, D.C., p. 49-70
  • Costanza, R., J.C. Cumberland, H.E. Daly, R. Goodland and R. Norgaard. 1997. An Introduction to Ecological Economics. St. Lucie Press, Boca Raton, FL. (275 pp)
  • Costanza, R., R. d'Arge, R. de Groot, S. Farber, M. Grasso, B. Hannon, S. Naeem, K. Limburg, J. Paruelo, R.V. O'Neill, R. Raskin, P. Sutton an dM. Van den Belt. 1997. The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature 387:253-260
  • Cowling, R. and R. Costanza. 1997. Introduction to the special section on valuations and management of fynbos ecosystems. Ecological Economics 22:103-104
  • Cowling, R.M. and R Costanza. 1997. Services supplied by South African fynbos ecosystems. In: Nature's Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems (G. Daily ed.). Island Press, Washington, p. 345-36
  • Higgins, S.I., J.K. Turpie, R. Costanza, R.M. Cowling, D.C. le Maitre, C. Marais and G. Midgley. 1997. An ecological economic simulation model of mountain fynbos ecosystems: Dynamics, valuation, and management. Ecological Economics 22:155-169
  • Costanza, R. and R.V. O'Neill (eds.). 1996. Ecological economics and sustainability. Ecological Applications 6:975
  • Costanza, R., O. Segura and J. Martinez-Alier (eds.) 1996. Getting Down to Earth: Practical Applications of Ecological Economics. Island Press (472 pp)
  • Prugh, T., R. Costanza, J.C. Cumberland, H.E. Daly, R. Goodland and R. Norgaard. 1995. Natural Capital and Human Economic Survival. ISEE Press, Solomons, MD. (216 pp).
  • Jansson, A.M., M. Hammer, C. Folke and R. Costanza (eds.). 1994. Investing in Natural Capital: The Ecological Economics Approach to Sustainability. Island Press, Washington, DC. (504 pp)
  • Costanza R., B. Norton and B.J. Haskell (eds.) 1992. Ecosystem Health: New Goals for Environmental Management. Island Press, Washington D.C. (269 pp).

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