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Ron Sands

Agricultural Economist


Ron Sands joined the Resource and Rural Economics Division of ERS in January 2009 as a Senior Economist. Ron's primary activity is development of the Future Agricultural Resources Model (FARM) to include options for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture and forestry. The FARM model was developed at ERS in the 1990s for analysis of global agriculture with a changed climate. The model has recently been used to assess the impact of biofuels on global land use. New versions of FARM will consider greenhouse gas mitigation options such as carbon sequestration from land use change, forest management, and advanced biofuels.


Prior to joining ERS, Ron had nearly 22 years of service with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) at various locations: Richland, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; and the Joint Global Change Research Institute in College Park, Maryland. Ron's research at PNNL included the development of economic models to simulate global land competition and energy systems in the context of a greenhouse gas mitigation policy.


Ron received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree and a Ph.D. in economics, both from the University of Minnesota.

Professional Affiliations:

Ron is a member of the American Economic Association, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and the International Association for Energy Economics.

Selected Publications:

Marshall Wise, Katherine Calvin, Allison Thomson, Leon Clarke, Benjamin Bond-Lamberty, Ronald Sands, Steven J. Smith, Anthony Janetos, and James Edmonds. "Implications of Limiting CO2 Concentrations for Land Use and Energy", Science, Vol. 324 (2009), pp. 1183-1186.

Ronald D. Sands and Man-Keun Kim. "Modeling the Competition for Land: Methods and Application to Climate Policy", Chapter 7 in Economic Analysis of Land Use in Global Climate Change Policy, edited by Thomas Hertel, Steven Rose, and Richard Tol, Routledge (2009).

Bruce A. McCarl and Ronald D. Sands. "Competitiveness of Terrestrial Greenhouse Gas Offsets: Are They a Bridge to the Future?" Climatic Change, Vol. 80, Issues 1-2 (2007), pp. 109-126.

Allen A. Fawcett and Ronald D. Sands. "Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases in the Second Generation Model", in Multi-Greenhouse Gas Mitigation and Climate Policy, edited by Francisco de la Chesnaye and John Weyant, The Energy Journal, Vol. 27, Special Issue #3 (2006), pp. 305-322.

Ronald D. Sands and James A. Edmonds. "Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment; Part 7. Economic Analysis of Field Crops and Land Use with Climate Change", Climatic Change, Vol. 69, Issue 1 (2005), pp. 127-150.

Ronald D. Sands and Marian Leimbach. "Modeling Agriculture and Land Use in an Integrated Assessment Framework", Climatic Change, Vol. 56, Issue 1 (2003), pp. 185-210.

Michael J. Scott, Ronald D. Sands, Norman J. Rosenberg, and R. Cesar Izaurralde. "Future N2O from U.S. Agriculture: Projecting effects of changing land use, agricultural technology, and climate on N2O emissions", Global Environmental Change, Vol. 12 (2002), pp. 105-115.

Last updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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