Our Leadership


David Batker

President, Chief Economist, and Co-Founder

David Batker is a renowned expert in Ecological Economics and an acclaimed speaker, leader, educator, and advocate. Dave co-founded Earth Economics to improve investment locally and globally to secure ecological health, sustainable economies, and prosperity. His work has been quoted in over 300 newspaper, radio, and television stories. His projects span over 40 countries and 35 US states. David’s path-breaking studies show natural systems’ value for providing food, water, flood risk reduction, climate stabilization, recreation, and other benefits. His pragmatic work has been used to establish the value of watersheds for providing water, by FEMA to estimate the value of floodplains for flood risk reduction, and to establish funding mechanisms for maintaining natural capital. David is working with the Earth Economics team on a practical web-based tool to establish consistent values for nature’s benefits and new funding mechanisms for conservation.

+ Education

  • BS in Earth Sciences & Biology, Pacific Lutheran University

  • MS in Economics, Louisiana State University

  • Fellow, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, University of Vermont

+ Key Publications

  • Co-Author, What’s the Economy for, Anyway, ranked among the New York Book Review’s top ten economics and business books

  • Collaborative author on over 20 ecosystem services valuation studies


Matt Chadsey

Executive Director and Program Director for Benefit-Cost Analysis

Matt Chadsey has over 30 years of experience navigating the interface between critical environmental issues, a balanced economy, and truly resilient communities. Matt’s career has spanned challenges from global ozone depletion to estuary protection and wetland restoration. He has extensive experience as a management consultant helping businesses find innovative, practical solutions.

Since joining Earth Economics in 2014, Matt has led our community resilience and benefit-cost programs. He pioneered our engagement as a Platform Partner with the 100 Resilient Cities Initiative, providing ecosystem services valuations and consulting for participating cities worldwide. In 2015, Matt provided training and consultation for over 300 participants in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s National Resilience Academies. He has also helped clients value their natural resources to improve planning and governance in Washington, California, Arizona, and Texas. His goal is always to identify and monetize the enormous unrealized value that the environment provides to the local economy and communities. A healthy environment yields community resilience.

+ Education

  • BS in Science, Technology and Society, Cornell University

+ Key Publications

  • Open Space Valuation for Central Puget Sound

  • The Value of Ecosystem Services in Lower Sabino Creek



Senior Economist and Program Director for Ecosystem Services Valuation

Maya Kocian works closely with NGOs, local, state and federal government agencies, and businesses in applying ecosystem service valuations to understand the links between ecology and economics. She also focuses on cost-benefit analysis, jobs, and environmental indicators. She worked on the Yasuní-ITT initiative in Ecuador and marine ecosystems in Canada, and she led the economic valuation for Costa Rica’s Térraba-Sierpe National Wetland Reserve. As an avid traveler, she enjoys working in places where she can use her advanced open water PADI certification.

+ Education

  • BA in Economics, Pacific Lutheran University

  • International Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway

+ Key Publications

  • “Trillion Dollar Valley” Mat-Su Valley, Alaska

  • Valuing Nature’s Benefits: An Ecological Economic Assessment of Iowa’s Middle Cedar Watersheds

  • An Ecological Study of Ecuador’s Intag Region: The Environmental Impacts and Potential Rewards of Mining


Tania Briceno

Ecological Economist and Program Director for Industry Analysis

Tania Briceno serves as lead team economist for Earth Economics’ Louisiana-based projects, linking landscape changes to socio-economic impacts. She also leads work on the economics of outdoor recreation and the valuation of ecosystem services for international court cases. Prior to joining Earth Economics, she worked with the Canadian federal government on climate change adaptation policy and with the City of Montreal on ecosystem service-based land-use planning. She also worked with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology on the use of life-cycle assessment tools and input-output modeling for sustainable transport policy.

+ Education

  • Université de Montreal, Ph.D., Environmental Economics, Montreal-Canada, 2013

  • University of Leeds, M.A., Ecological Economics, Leeds, United Kingdom, 2003

  • McGill University, B.A., Economics and International Development, Montreal - Canada, 2002

+ Key Publications

  • Scoping Report for the Basin-Wide Socio-Economic Analysis of Four Proposed Sediment Diversions.
    Presented to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

  • Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State

  • Evaluación Económico Ecológica de los Impactos Ambientales en la Cuenca del Bajo Anchicayá por Vertimiento de Lodos de la Central Hidroeléctrica Anchicayá


Rowan Schmidt

Program Director for Finance and Investment Strategies

Rowan Schmidt grew up in New Zealand. Rowan leads Earth Economics’ 21st Century Utility program, a national effort alongside major water utilities and other public agencies to advance benefit-cost analysis, accounting, asset management, and funding mechanisms for natural capital investments. Rowan also leads a three-county ecosystem service valuation effort in the San Francisco Bay area, the results of which were used to support an open space protection funding measure in Santa Clara County. 

+ Education

  • BS in Biology and BA in Philosophy, University of Auckland, New Zealand

  • Kyoto University, Japan

+ Key Publications

  • Environmental and Social Benchmarking Analysis of Nautilus Minerals Inc. Solwara 1 Project
    Nature’s Value in Santa Clara County

  • Natural Infrastructure: Investing in Forested Landscapes for Source Water Protection in the United States

  • Technical Inquiry to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board: Emerging Issues in Carbon and Ecosystem Accounting


Our Staff



GIS Analyst


Corrine Armistead’s studies focused on analyzing remote sensing techniques and understanding river systems. After graduation, Corrine followed her passion for travel to lead cross-country camping trips around the U.S. As an avid hiker, traveler, and all-around outdoor enthusiast, her passion for protecting and understanding the relationship between humans and nature motivates her professional interests. Corrine supports the Earth Economics team with research and GIS work.

+ Education

  • B.S. in Economics and Environmental Geoscience, Boston College


Peter Casey

Research Lead

Peter Casey focuses on evaluating the socio-economic impacts of delta restoration, performing life cycle analysis of shipping vessels, and analyzing the economic impact of recreational lands. He likes how ecological economics plays a role in correcting externalities and combines science with economics. Prior to Earth Economics, Peter worked in an Americorps position for Tacoma Community House, a non-profit adult education and ESL center. After a stint at an internet retail firm, he began studying organic chemistry, biology, and environmental science at Tacoma Community College, where he discovered literature on ecological economics and ecosystem service valuation.

+ Education

  • BA in Economics, Seattle University


Zachary Christin

Project Director

Zachary Christin leads research focused on social and health valuation, urban systems, cultural services, and advancing applications of benefit-cost analysis (BCA) in federal policy. Zac led research to incorporate environmental benefits for FEMA’s BCA tool, resulting in FEMA Policy FP-108-024-01. Zac also participated in HUD’s National Disaster Resilience Competition as a Subject Matter Expert on BCA.

+ Education

  • BS Economics and minor in philosophy from the University of Puget Sound

  • MPA from the Evans School of Policy and Governance at the University of Washington (in progress)

+ Key Publications

  • Economic Impact of Metro Parks Tacoma Ecosystem Services

  • Open Space Valuation for Central Puget Sound

  • Nature’s Value from Cities to Forests: A Framework to Measure Ecosystem Services along the Urban-Rural Gradient in the Green-Duwamish Watershed

  • Return on Investment Analysis of North Wind's Weir

  • Christin, Z.L., Bagstad, K.J., Verdone, M.A. 2016. A Decision Framework for Identifying Models to Estimate Forest Ecosystem Service Gains from Restoration. Forest Ecosystems. 3(3).


Ken Cousins

Senior Research Lead and Ecological Economist

Ken Cousins has been active in the sustainability and resilience movements for over 25 years, working with the Forest Stewardship Council, US Green Festivals, Sustainable Cascadia, Sustainable Seattle, Eat Local Now!, Seattle-area SCALLOPS affiliates, Transition Network groups, and others. As a Peace Corps volunteer, he taught agriculture at the Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria in Caraparí, Bolivia. From 2001-2006, he researched the certification of sustainable forest management practices in the Chilean forestry industry. He believes that sustainability—broadly realized—is necessary for a healthy, just, and vibrant society.

+ Education

  • BA in Ecological Agriculture, The Evergreen State College

  • MA in Political Economy, University of Maryland

  • Ph.D. in Environmental Politics, University of Maryland

+ Key Publications

  • Dennis Pirages and Ken Cousins (eds.) From Environmental Scarcity to Ecological Security: Exploring New Limits to Growth, MIT Press (2005).

  • Trista Patterson, Tim Gulden, Ken Cousins, and Egor Kraev, "A Dynamic Model Of Tourism In Dominica,"  Ecological Modeling 175: 121-36 (2004).



Senior Accountant

Ruby Ellis advises on financial policies, procedures and internal controls. She brings expertise in financial analysis, comptrolling, cost accounting, taxation, and small business growth, and confirms the integrity of Earth Economics’ accounting practices by ensuring compliance with GAAP rules. A military spouse, she is the proud parent of four children and six grandchildren. She has received several awards, including the Patriotic Volunteer Award at Ft Lewis, Washington, Volunteer of the Year at Fort Riley, Kansas, and Student of the Year at Columbus Technical Institute (CTI). She also served as Leader, Treasurer, and Budgeter for the Family Readiness Group Alpha Company at Ft Lewis and as President of the CTI Accounting Association. She currently volunteers with the American Red Cross and the Girl Scouts of America.

+ Education

  • In Progress, Master's in Accounting, Florida State University

  • BS in Business Accounting, University of Phoenix

  • Associate's in Accounting, Heald Business College

  • Mastering Adjusting Entries, Mastering Correction of Accounting Errors, Mastering Payroll I and II, Mastering Financial Ratios and Analysis at American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers


Angela Fletcher

Project Director

Angela Fletcher has contributed to more than a dozen ecosystem services valuation projects throughout the United States and South America and has authored several reports on the value and importance of natural capital. Prior to working at Earth Economics, she worked throughout Washington State as a biological researcher and educator in the field of ecological restoration. Her training in statistics, applied mathematics, and biology makes her a versatile analyst dedicated to improving internal valuation methods and resources.

+ Education

  • BS in Mathematics and BS in Biology (marine emphasis), Western Washington University

+ Key Publications

  • The Value of Nature’s Benefits in the St. Louis River Watershed

  • The Trillion Dollar Asset: The Economic Value of the Long Island Sound Basin

  • The Natural Economy of Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Basin


Lola Flores

Project Director

Lola Flores primarily researches ways to implement ecosystem services valuations into local, regional, and national policy. Her main projects focus on quantifying services produced by nearshore and shoreline ecosystems in both saltwater and freshwater systems. Her work includes applying economic tools such as benefit-cost analysis and return on investments to better utilize ecosystem services valuations to influence policy.  Lola is also involved in developing funding mechanisms to provide crucial financial support for environmental restoration, conservation, and mitigation projects.

+ Education

  • BS in Biology, Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Mexico

  • Master’s in Environmental Studies, The Evergreen State College

+ Key Publications

  • The Natural Capital of Thurston County: A Rapid Ecosystem Service Valuation

  • Nature’s Value in Clallam County: The Economic Benefits of Feeder Bluffs and 12 Other Ecosystems

  • Funding Mechanisms for Restoring and Maintaining a Healthy Nisqually


Jessica Hanson

Communications Specialist

Jessica Hanson is a Pacific Northwest native with a love for the great outdoors and a passion for languages. Previously, she taught academic ESL in Portland State University’s Intensive English Language Program and at the College of Education in Graz, Austria. At Earth Economics, she supports internal and external communications and provides writing and editing support for a broad range of projects.

+ Education

  • BA in German, Pacific Lutheran University

  • MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Portland State University

  • Fulbright Scholar, Karl Franzens University of Graz, Austria


Can Huynh

IT Assistant

Can Huynh was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. Can is experienced in Java programming and web development. At Earth Economics, Can resolves numerous technical issues and provides technical training. He also designed and built the GIS workstation. His hobbies include computer gaming, programming projects, and logic challenges.

+ Education

  • Currently pursuing BS in Computer Science and Systems, University of Washington


Johnny Mojica

Research Lead

Johnny Mojica was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and has a passion for everything outdoors. He works extensively on the economic value of recreation, salmon, and hydropower production in the Columbia River Basin. Johnny has contributed to the analysis of International Finance Corporation environmental rules for mining, and he has assessed the recreational benefits of public lands, the benefits of large dam removal, and the ecological benefits of irrigation technology that reduces agricultural water usage. He is also assessing the ecological, social, and economic value of sustainable on-farm agricultural practices to water quality conditions such as clarity, quantity, salinity, and temperature.  

+ Education

  • BA in Economics and Finance, Eastern Washington University

+ Key Publications

  • The Value of Ecosystem Services in Lower Sabino Creek

  • National and Regional Economic Analysis of the Four Lower Snake River Dams

  • A Model for Measuring the Benefits of State Parks for the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

  • International Environmental and Social Standards Compliance Report for the Nautilus Minerals Inc. Solwara 1 Project

  • The Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation at Washington's State Parks


Jared Soares

Research Analyst

Jared Soares researches the value of ecosystem services provided by agricultural lands and the use of natural capital in mitigating natural disasters. As a member of the fund development team, Jared engages in outreach focusing on local and community engagement. His education emphasized econometric analysis with a focus on health and the environment. He is a co-founder of Sound Economics, a student written blog site focused on global development, agriculture, and energy use.

+ Education

  • BS in Economics, University of Puget Sound