New faculty profile: Craig Johnston studies forests and climate change mitigation

Craig JohnstonCraig Johnston joined the faculty in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology on January 1. eCALS asked him a few questions:

Briefly describe your career path—up to this point.

Growing up in rural Canada, the forest was the backdrop of my childhood. As I progressed through my formal education at Queen’s University, I quickly learned that forests play a significant role in the economic prosperity of many regions. I went on to receive my M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Victoria where I examined how climate change mitigating policies affect global forestry markets. During this time, I worked with the Industry, Trade and Economics Research Group at the Canadian Forest Service on regional and national forestry issues.

What is the main focus of your research program?

My research focuses on the relationship between the forest and its role in climate change mitigation. Governments around the world are quick to adopt legislation that rely on forests as an answer to climate change, yet little is known about the true cost of these policies. My goal is to better understand how we can maximize the carbon sequestration potential of forests, while at the same time improve the economic viability of the forest products industry. With this in mind, my research group works on issues in forest management, international trade, and bioenergy systems.

What drew you to UW-Madison?

UW-Madison is a cutting-edge research institution with an unparalleled tradition of landscape ecology and forest management. It was an easy decision to join such a talented and collaborative research community. Further, Madison is a beautiful and vibrant place that has been fun to discover.

What do you like to do outside of work?

As a good Canadian, I love to play hockey! However, on those rare occasions I am not on the ice, you can find me out hiking with my wife.