Thomas M. Bonnicksen, Ph.D., is staff scientist for The Jackson Law Firm, P.A. He earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in forestry, resource policy, and decision sciences from the University of California-Berkeley. He is Professor Emeritus of Forest Science and a former Department Head at Texas A&M University and Research Scholar in Residence at California Polytechnic State University.
Governor Reagan appointed Dr. Bonnicksen to the California State Park and Recreation Commission where he served on several committees. He also served on many Congressional and state advisory committees and most recently as a member of the U.S. Senate’s California Forest EIS Review Committee and the U.S. House of Representatives’ Forest Health Science Panel. In addition, he presented invited testimony before U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate committees 13 times as well as state legislative committees, commissions, and local governments. He also conducted several Congressional fact-finding missions as well writing legislation for both the California legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives.
Dr. Bonnicksen received many awards, including Citizen Conservationist of the Year by the California Forestry Association and the Bush Excellence in Public Service Award, Bush Presidential Library Foundation, for a lifetime of public service (first recipient; award presented personally by President George H. W. Bush).
Dr. Bonnicksen’s research and publications emphasize resource management, policy, and environmental decision-making. He uses methods that integrate natural resource management within an interactive system that includes socioeconomic and political relationships. His methods have helped resolve forestry, wildfire, water-based recreation, river, coastal, and other issues. In 2008, Dr. Bonnicksen created the Forest Carbon and Emissions Model (FCEM) and published several reports that revolutionized perceptions of wildfire issues in California. FCEM is an innovative computer model that makes it possible to estimate potential sequestration of carbon on forestlands and brushlands, and greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires and insect infestations.
Dr. Bonnicksen published over 120 scientific and technical papers, articles, books and chapters, and other publications, 9 computer programs, and 4 multimedia CDs. He also published a book with John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (Copyright 2000, 594 pages), titled America’s Ancient Forests: from the Ice Age to the Age of Discovery. The book documents the 18,000-year history of North America’s forests and their relationship to climate change. Finally, Dr. Bonnicksen is a frequent guest opinion writer for newspapers throughout the United States and he has delivered over one hundred presentations to a wide range of academic, scientific, professional, and other organizations.