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Timothy Searchinger


Timothy Searchinger is a Research Scholar with the Princeton Environmental Institute and the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Searchinger’s expertise is on biofuels, agriculture, and climate change. Most recently, Searchinger served as Senior Fellow of the Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Institute, Georgetown University Law Center.

Searchinger worked at the Environmental Defense Fund, where he co-founded the Center for Conservation Incentives and supervised work on agricultural incentive and wetland protection programs.  As deputy General Counsel to Governor Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania and a law clerk to Judge Edward R. Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Searchinger proposed the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program to the USDA and worked closely with state officials to develop programs that have now restored one million acres of riparian buffers and wetlands to protect priority rivers and estuaries in Maryland, Minnesota, and Illinois, among other states.

Searchinger received a National Wetlands Protection Award from the Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 for a technical book about the functions of seasonal wetlands for which he was principal author. His most recent writings focus on the greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels and agricultural conservation strategies to clean-up nutrient runoff. He is currently writing a book about the interaction of agriculture and the environment.

In Spring 2008, Searchinger taught a Freshman Seminar, Food and the Planet, at Princeton.  This upcoming Spring, he will teach a new ENV course, Feeding the Planet While Saving the Planet, which will focus on the challenges of addressing agriculture’s contribution to global warming.

Searchinger earned his B.A. from Amherst College and his J.D. from Yale Law School.