James Meldrum is an economist in the Social and Economic Analysis Branch at the Fort Collins Science Center. His primary research focus is measuring, modeling, and understanding human relationships with natural resources.
James' economics and applied social science work spans many areas of interest to the USGS and our federal and non-federal partners. His main research topics include measuring, modeling, and understanding human relationships with natural resources, especially through the lens of ecosystem services, and with natural hazards, especially focused on mitigating the risks of wildland fire. James is a founding member of the Wildfire Research (WiRē) Team, an interdisciplinary collaboration focused on coproducing science in support of community wildfire adaptedness and wildfire risk mitigation on private lands, and he is an active participant in numerous USGS- and DOI-wide communities of practice.
- Environmental economics
- Wildfire risk mitigation
- Ecosystem services
- Behavioral economics
Research Economist; U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, Colorado; June 2016 to present
Research Associate; University of Colorado Boulder, Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES); 2012 to 2016
Policy Analysis Intern; National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Strategic Energy Analysis Center, Golden, Colorado; 2011 to 2012
Engineering Physicist; Stereotaxis, Inc., Systems Group, St. Louis, Missouri; 2005 to 2006
Education and Certifications
Ph.D. 2012, University of Colorado Boulder Environmental Studies Program, focus on Environmental Economics
M.S. 2010, University of Colorado Boulder Environmental Studies Program, focus on Environmental Economics
B.S. 2005, Washington University in St. Louis School of Engineering and Applied Science, Primary major in Physics with a secondary major in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology
Science and Products
Science and Products
Non-USGS Publications**Meldrum, J., L. Falk, J. Gomez, C. Barth, H. Brenkert-Smith, T. Warziniack, and P. Champ. 2017. Living with wildfire in Telluride Fire Protection District, Colorado. Research Note RMRS-RN-75. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 30pp. https://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/53729Meldrum, J. 2016. Floodplain price impacts by property type in Boulder County, Colorado: Condominiums versus standalone properties. Environmental and Resource Economics 64(4): 725-750. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10640-015-9897-xMeldrum, J. 2015. Comparing different attitude statements in latent class models of stated preferences for managing an invasive forest pathogen. Ecological Economics 120: 13-22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.09.024Brenkert-Smith, H., J. Meldrum, and P. Champ 2015. Climate change beliefs and hazard mitigation actions: homeowners and wildfire risk. Environmental Hazards 14(4): 341-360. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17477891.2015.1080656Meldrum, J., P. Champ, H. Brenkert-Smith, T. Warziniack, C. Barth, and L. Falk 2015. Understanding gaps between the risk perceptions of wildland-urban interface (WUI) residents and wildfire professionals. Risk Analysis 35(9): 1746-1761. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/risa.12370Meldrum, J., C. Barth, L. Falk, H. Brenkert-Smith, T. Warziniack, and P. Champ 2015. Living with wildfire in Delta County, Colorado: cross-community comparisons. Research Note RMRS-RN-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 33pp. http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_rn067.htmlMeldrum, J., P. Champ, T. Warziniack, H. Brenkert-Smith, C. Barth, and L. Falk 2014. Cost shared wildfire risk mitigation in Log Hill Mesa, Colorado: survey evidence on participation and willingness to pay. International Journal of Wildland Fire 23(4): 567-576. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF13130Heath, G., J. Meldrum, N. Fisher, D. Arent, and M. Bazilian 2014. Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from Barnett Shale gas used to generate electricity. Journal of Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources 8: 46-55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.juogr.2014.07.002Cohen, S, K. Averyt, J. Macknick, and J. Meldrum 2014. Modeling climate-water impacts on electricity sector capacity expansion. Proceedings of the ASME Power 2014 Conference. Jul 28-31, Baltimore, MD. http://proceedings.asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/proceeding.aspx?articleid=1938877Meldrum, J., C. Barth, L. Falk, H. Brenkert-Smith, T. Warziniack, and P. Champ 2013. Living with wildfire in Log Hill Mesa, Colorado. Research Note RMRS-RN-66. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 34pp. http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_rn066.htmlAveryt, K., J. Meldrum, P. Caldwell, G. Sun, S. McNulty, A. Huber-Lee, and N. Madden 2013. Sectoral contributions to surface water stress in the conterminous U.S. Environmental Research Letters 8: 035046. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/035046Yates, D., J. Meldrum, and K. Averyt (2013). The influence of future electricity mix alternatives on southwestern US water resources. Environmental Research Letters 8: 045005. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/8/4/045005Yates, D., K. Averyt, F. Flores-Lopez, J. Meldrum, S. Sattler, J. Sieber, and C. Young 2013. A water resources model to explore the implications of energy alternatives in the southwestern US. Environmental Research Letters 8: 045004. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/8/4/045004Yates, D., J. Meldrum, F. Flores-Lopez, and M. Davis 2013. Integrated impacts of future electricity mix scenarios on select southeastern US water resources. Environmental Research Letters 8: 035042. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/035042Meldrum, J., S. Nettles-Anderson, G. Heath, and J. Macknick 2013. Life cycle water use for electricity generation: a review and harmonization of literature estimates. Environmental Research Letters 8: 015031. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/015031Averyt, K., J. Macknick, J. Rogers, N. Madden, J. Fisher, J. Meldrum, and R. Newmark. 2013. Water use for electricity in the United States: an analysis of reported and calculated water use information for 2008. Environmental Research Letters 8: 015001. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/015001Meldrum, J., P. Champ, and C. Bond 2013. Heterogeneous nonmarket benefits of managing white pine blister rust in high-elevation pine forests. Journal of Forest Economics 19: 61-77. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfe.2012.10.001Rogers, J., K. Averyt, S. Clemmer, M. Davis, F. Flores-Lopez, P. Frumhoff, D. Kenney, J. Macknick, N. Madden, J. Meldrum, J. Overpeck, S. Sattler, E. Spanger-Siegfried, and D. Yates 2013. Water-smart power: Strengthening the U.S. electricity system in a warming world. A report of the Energy and Water in a Warming World initiative. Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists: 50pp. http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/energy-and-water-use/water-smart-power.html
Meldrum, J., C. Bond, and P. Champ 2011. Valuing the forest for the trees: willingness to pay for white pine blister rust management. The future of high-elevation, ﬁve-needle white pines in Western North America: Proceedings of the High Five Symposium. RMRS-P-63. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 226-234. http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/38228Bond, C., P. Champ, J. Meldrum, and A. Schoettle 2011. Investigating the optimality of proactive management of an invasive forest pest. The future of high-elevation, ﬁve-needle white pines in Western North America: Proceedings of the High Five Symposium. RMRS-P-63. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 295-302. http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/38241
**Disclaimer: The views expressed in Non-USGS publications are those of the author and do not represent the views of the USGS, Department of the Interior, or the U.S. Government.