Professional and Biographical Information


Ph.D., Harvard University (2008)
M.A., Harvard University (2005)
B.A., Princeton University (1998)


Katharine (Kate) Sims is a Professor in the Economics and Environmental Studies Departments at Amherst College. She studies how policies simultaneously affect environmental protection and economic development and how changes in policy design can improve the balance between multiple social goals. She has led long-term evaluations of land conservation policies including protected areas, payments for environmental services and community forestry in Mexico, Thailand, Nepal and the U.S. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, the World Bank’s Impact Evaluation to Development Impact program, the Andrew Carnegie Fellows program, the USDA, and the Highstead Foundation. At Amherst, she enjoys teaching econometrics, environmental and natural resource economics, environment and development, and introductory economics with environmental applications. She hopes to contribute to evidence and dialogue to support conservation policy that protects ecosystems and creates the conditions for local economies and communities to thrive.

Research Interests

See my RESEARCH PAGE or Google Scholar page for more information on my research.

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

I am primarily an environmental economist, but my interests overlap with development economics and political economy.  See environmental economics for links to other resources about the field.


I teach classes including Environmental and Natural Resource Economics Economics (Econ 210), An Introduction to Econometrics with Environmental Applications (Econ 111E), Econometrics (Econ 360), Environment and Development (Econ 410) and the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar (ENST 495).