F. Weston Chair in Natural Economics
- Director, Center for Integrative Environmental Research,
Division of Research
- Director and Professor, Environmental Policy Program,
School of Public Policy
- Co-Director, Engineering and Public Policy Program,
A. James Clark School of Engineering and School of Public Policy
- University of Maryland
- Curriculum Vitae
- Maryland School of Public Policy bio for Matthias
extensive research, teaching and service activities of Dr. Matthias
Ruth are all motivated by the belief that an understanding of
complex environmental issues requires integration of insights
from the engineering, natural, social and health sciences as
well as active dialog across the science-society divide. A pioneer
in the field of ecological economics and industrial ecology, Dr. Ruth combines his interdisciplinary
background in economics, geography, engineering, and biology
to conduct basic and applied research on non-renewable and renewable
resource use, industrial and infrastructure systems analysis,
and environmental economics and policy. Much of that research
is informed by active collaboration with decision makers - all
in an effort to contribute to society's handling of complex
environmental challenges, and with the goal of advancing research
methods and tools in the process.
Ruth holds the Roy F. Weston Chair in Natural Economics at the
School of Public Policy, University of Maryland and is the Founding
Director of the Center for Integrative Environmental Research
at the Division of Research, University of Maryland. He teaches
- nationally and internationally - courses and seminars on microeconomics
and policy analysis, ecological economics, industrial ecology
and dynamic modeling at the undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D.
levels, and has also conducted short courses for decision makers
in industry and policy.
Ruth is the co-author of five books on dynamic modeling and
the author of over 100 reports, book chapters and articles in
peer-reviewed journals. His book entitled "Integrating Economics,
Ecology and Thermodynamics" (published in 1993 by Kluwer
Academic Publishers) is widely considered a milestone in the
development of Ecological Economics and in Industrial Ecology.
He has recently edited volumes on Regional Climate Change
and Variability and Smart Growth and Climate Change (both released in 2006 by Edward Elgar Publishing) with
analyses of climate impacts and adaptation options at scales
relevant to managers of natural resources and infrastructures.
Also recently published are two volumes on industrial ecosystem analysis - "Changing Stocks, Flows, and Behaviors in Industrial Ecosystems" and "The Dynamics of Regions and Networks in Industrial Ecosystems" - and a volume on "Distributional Impacts of Climate Change: Social and Economic Implications." Much like his earlier books, these recent volumes and other
peer-reviewed studies combine cutting edge methods from the
natural and engineering sciences with concepts and insights
from economics and policy, thus opening new research avenues
as well as stimulating dialog about sound investment and policy
recent, large-scale projects illustrate the integrative nature
of Dr. Ruth's research. The first major assessment of the short
and longer-term consequences of climate change on metropolitan
infrastructure in the US was achieved through Dr. Ruth's work
as Co-Principal Investigator on the "Climate's Long-term Impacts
on Metro Boston," (CLIMB) project. CLIMB engaged more than 100
stakeholders through a collaboration with Tufts University,
Boston University, the University of Maryland and the Metropolitan
Area Planning Council. The project was funded by the US EPA
under its STAR ("Science to Achieve Results") Grant Program.
Follow-up projects investigated the impacts of gradual
climate changes on the infrastructure systems and services of
the cities of Hamilton and Wellington in New Zealand. Through
the Mauritius Environmental Resource Management and Industrial
Development (MERMAID) project with the University of Mauritius,
Mauritius Research Council and National Geographic Society,
Dr. Ruth developed a collaborative research and education program
to advance the science of natural resources and resource use
and to contribute to sustainable resource use in Maritius. This
helped the island country to position itself as a leader in
resolving conflicts between economic growth and sustainable
use of unique natural resources.
Recent funded research projects span the full spectrum from local and international analyses of resource use, energy supply and climate mitigation and adaptation, to the identification of strategies that meet investment and policy needs.
various research activities of Dr. Ruth are complemented by
his teaching and institution building. The Engineering and Public
Policy Program, which he co-founded with a colleague in engineering
and for which he serves as Co-Director, trains top students
and experienced professionals to address the critical issues
at the interface of engineering analysis and policy making.
The Joint Program in Conservation Biology, Sustainable Development
and Public Policy, which he initiated and for which he serves
as Co-Director, engages students from the life sciences to understand
and address practical issues of conservation and sustainability.
The Center for Integrative Environmental Research, which he
founded as a unit spanning all colleges and schools at
the University of Maryland, is exclusively dedicated to integrative
Ruth's other affiliations at the University of Maryland include
Professor in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Science Graduate
Program, Affiliate Professor at the Department of Civil and
Environmental Engineering, and Affiliate Professor at the National
Center for Smart Growth Research and Education. In 2004, he
was Visiting Professor with the Departamento de Biologia, Universidad
de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 2005, he was Visiting
Professor with Landcare Research and the Centre for Ecological
Economics, Massay University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Since 2006 he holds a Visiting Professor appointment at the College
of Engineering at the University of Bremen, Germany.
at Boston University, he served as Associate Professor in the
Department of Geography, the Center for Energy and Environmental
Studies, and the Center for Transportation Studies. Professor
Ruth, a German National Scholarship Foundation Fellow, also
held positions in the International Environment and Resource
Policy Program, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the
Tufts Institute of the Environment at Tufts University.
Ruth serves on the editorial boards of, among others, the Journal of Industrial
Ecology, Environmental Economics, the International Journal of Ecodynamics, the Journal
of Environmental Management, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, International Regional Science Review, International Journal of Design & Nature, and Ecodynamics, and as Book Series Editor for Modeling
Dynamic Systems. He is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), advisor to the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), and serves as a special advisor to the European Commission. At the University of Maryland, Dr. Ruth is a founding member of the Sustainability Council for the College Park Campus and serves as the policy advisor on sustainability to the Chancellor of the University of Maryland System, which comprises the State's twelve universities and colleges.
Ruth holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Illinois,
Urbana-Champaign, USA, and a MA in Economics from the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität
Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.