Margaret A. Walls

Senior Fellow; Director, Climate Risks and Resilience Program; Director, Environmental Justice Initiative

Margaret Walls’s current research focuses on issues related to resilience and adaptation to extreme events, ecosystem services, and conservation, parks and public lands.

Walls’s work on resilience assesses the factors that affect household location decisions in coastal areas, how individuals perceive flood risks, and how risk perceptions affect adaptation decisions. She has estimated the value of natural lands—such as wetlands—in providing protection from hurricanes and flooding, and is assessing the extent to which hurricanes affect U.S. migration patterns.

Walls has written extensively on parks and conservation funding, including options for the U.S. national park system and state parks. In 2008 and 2009, she was the study director for the Outdoor Resources Review Group, a bipartisan commission of experts assessing status and trends in conservation, public lands, and outdoor recreation resources. She has carried out widely-cited research on the local economic impacts of national monuments.

Walls currently serves on the board of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. From 2010 to 2013, she was the first appointee to the Thomas J. Klutznick Chair at RFF. She was an associate professor in the Department of Economics at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, from 1996 through 2000. Walls has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Public Economics, National Tax Journal, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of Urban Economics, and Journal of Economic Literature, among others.


  • PhD in economics, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1988
  • BS in agricultural economics, University of Kentucky, 1981

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