Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Jeff Langholz


I am passionate about: research and teaching that makes a difference and focuses on the "real world" rather than the "ivory tower." 

What excites me about being a professor at MIIS: Our students and faculty are on fire! People here want to build a better world, and have the skills and knowledge to make it happen.

Dr. Langholz’s research focuses sustainable use of natural resources worldwide. How can we use fisheries, forests, wildlife, water, and other natural resources in ways that guarantee their long term survival while also being good for people and profits? He is a recognized authority on the growing role that private lands play in accomplishing the triple goals of biodiversity conservation, economic development, and social justice. A past member of the World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN), much of Dr. Langholz's work takes place in and around parks of varying kinds. He was a Visiting Fulbright Scholar at South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University for the 2005-2006 academic year, researching best practices for combining conservation and development on private lands in southern Africa. Dr. Langholz's conservation and sustainability work been covered by The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, and other media outlets.

Dr. Langholz’s scholarly publications span multiple fields. They appear in journals that focus on biology (Conservation Biology, BioScience), sociology (Society and Natural Resources), economics (Ecological Economics), business (Corporate Environmental Strategy), oceans (Marine Policy) and law (Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy). He also co-authored a popular climate change paperback that describes simple things people can do to reduce household greenhouse gas emissions. Called You Can Prevent Global Warming (and Save Money!), the book has been featured by the New York Times, National Geographic, Chicago Tribune, and more than 250 other media outlets.

A popular international speaker and trainer, Dr. Langholz is a past recipient of the campus Excellence in Teaching Award. He teaches a wide portfolio of courses at the Institute focusing on protected natural areas, environmental science, environmental conflict management, research methods, sustainable agriculture, conservation leadership, business & biodiversity, and project design & evaluation. In 2013, Stanford University hired Dr. Langholz as a Visiting Associate Professor to design and deliver a new course called the Ocean Leadership Practicum. Delivered at the Institute and open to students from MIIS, Stanford, and other area campuses, the course delivered critical leadership skills that the world's most successful ocean champions indicated are most critical to their success.

Before entering academia, Dr. Langholz worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C., where he spent five years designing and implementing environmental policy. He is also a trained mediator with experience in two- and multi-party disputes on environmental and other topics. He has served as a consultant in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, North America, and Europe for a variety of international organizations. He has participated in several social venture businesses in roles ranging from founder and CEO to advisor and angel investor.

Dr. Langholz's background also includes working as a fisheries technician in Prince William Sound, Alaska and a two-year assignment with the U.S. Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Recent Accomplishments

Dr. Langholz has signed a contract with Harvard University Press to publish a 2014 book called Private Protected Areas: A Global Movement for Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development.

Dr. Langholz published two peer reviewed journal articles in 2013 on recent challenges to sustainable agriculture in the USA (see Publications).

What does it take to prevent or resolve conflicts over fisheries, forests, wildlife, water, and other natural resources? Dr. Langholz and six students published a landmark 2013 journal article documenting "best practices" based on more than 120 such conflicts worldwide (see Publications).

What to the most successful ocean champions have in common? Which skills are most critical to their success?  With co-author Adina Abeles from Stanford's Center for Ocean Solutions, Dr. Langholz published a peer reviewed journal article documenting what it takes to succeed "on a sweeping scale, in a short time frame, and with limited resources" (see Publications).

Dr. Langholz's 2013 Ocean Leadership Practicum course was a big success. Graduate students from the Institute, Stanford, U. of California, and other area campuses mastered ten leadership skills that successful practitioners indicated were most critical to their success (see Publications). Participant skills improved an average of 558% across the ten topics. 58% of participants rated the Ocean Leadership Practicum "one of the best courses I have ever taken." Another 38% rated it "the single best course I have ever taken." The remaining 4% rated it "above average."


Biodiversity conservation, environmental conflict management, international environmental policy, protected natural areas, research methods, project design, program evaluation, social entrepreneurship, adaptive management, conservation leadership, sustainable development


PhD, Natural Resource Policy and Management, Cornell University; BA, History, Dana College; MS, Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology University of Maryland

Selected Publications

Langholz, J. (forthcoming in 2014). Private Protected Areas: A Global Movement for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Langholz, J. and A. Abeles. 2014. Rethinking postgraduate education for marine conservation. Marine Policy 43(1):372–375.

Langholz, J., Sand, K., Raak, L., Berner, A., Anderson, H., Geels, B., McKeehan, A., and A. Nelsen. 2013. Strategies and tactics for managing environmental conflicts: Insights from Goldman Environmental Prize recipients. Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, 5(1): 1-17.

Langholz, J. and M. Jay-Russell. 2013. The potential role of wildlife in pathogenic contamination of fresh produce. Human-Wildlife Interactions 7(1):140–157.

Gennet S., Howard J., Langholz J., Andrews K., Reynolds M., and S. Morrison. 2013. Farm practices for food safety: An emerging threat to floodplain and riparian ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology & Environment; doi:10.1890/120243.

Langholz, J. and F. DePaolis. 2013. Economic Contributions of Santa Cruz County Agriculture. Office of the Agricultural Commissioner, Santa Cruzy County, CA.

Langholz, J. and F. DePaolis. 2013. Economic Contributions of San Luis Obispo County Agriculture. Office of the Agricultural Commissioner, San Luis Obispo County, CA.

Langholz, J. and F. DePaolis. 2012. Economic Contributions of Monterey County Agriculture. Office of the Agricultural Commissioner, Monterey County, CA.

Langholz, J. 2010. Global Trends in Private Protected Areas and Their Implications for the Northern Great Plains. Great Plains Research 20(1): 9-16.

Lowell, K., Langholz, J. and D. Stuart. 2010. Safe and Sustainable: Co-Managing for Food Safety and Ecological Health in California’s Central Coast Region. Georgetown University and The Nature Conservancy. 131 pp.

Langholz, J. 2009. Saving Species, Privately. World Watch Magazine 22(5):7-11.

Langholz, J. and K. Turner. 2008. You Can Prevent Global Warming (and Save Money!): 51 Easy Ways (2nd Edition). Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Sims-Castley, R., G. Kerley, B. Geach, and J. Langholz. 2006. Socio-economic significance of ecotourism-based private game reserves in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. PARKS 15:2, 6-15.

Langholz, J. and Krug, W.  2004. New Forms of Biodiversity Governance: Non-State Actors and the Private Protected Area Action Plan.  Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy 7:9-29.

Langholz, J. 2004. Forest Recreation on Private Lands. In: Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. New York: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Langholz, J. 2004. Lessons from Global Climate Change: A Proposed Kyoto Protocol for the World’s Oceans. Pages 43-58, In:  S. Uno, T. Katsumura, and H. Imaoka (editors), Development of Marine Resources and Ocean Governance: The Environment of Coastal Regions along the Sea of Japan. Hamada, Japan: University of Shimane Press.

Langholz, J. and K. Turner. 2003. You Can Prevent Global Warming (and Save Money!): 51 Easy Ways. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Langholz, J. 2003. Privatizing Conservation. Pages 117-135, In: S. Brechin, P. Wilshusen, P. West, and C. Fortwangler (editors), Contested Nature: Promoting International Biodiversity with Social Justice in the 21st Century. New York: State University of New York Press.

Langholz, J. 2002. Privately Owned Parks. Pages 172-188, In: J. Terborgh, C. van Schaik, L. Davenport, and M. Rao (editors), Making Parks Work: Strategies for Preserving Tropical Forests. Covelo, CA: Island Press.

Langholz, J.  2002. External Partnering for the Triple Bottom Line: People, Profits, and the Protection of Biodiversity. Corporate Environmental Strategy 9(1):1-10.

Kramer, R., Langholz, J. and N. Salafsky. 2002. The Role of the Private Sector in Protected Area Establishment and Management: A Conceptual Framework for Analyzing Effectiveness. Pages 335-351, In: J. Terborgh, C. van Schaik, L. Davenport, and M. Rao (editors), Making Parks Work: Strategies for Preserving Tropical Forests. Covelo, CA: Island Press.

Langholz, J., and J. Lassoie. 2002. Combining Conservation and Development on Private Lands: Lessons from Costa Rica. Environment, Development, and Sustainability.

Langholz, J. and K. Brandon. 2001.  Ecotourism and Privately Owned Protected Areas. Pages 303-314, In: D. Weaver (editor), The Encyclopedia of Ecotourism. Oxon, United Kingdom: CAB International.

Langholz, J., and  J. Lassoie. 2001. Perils and Promise of Privately Owned Protected Areas. BioScience 51(12):1079-1085.

Langholz, J., J. Lassoie, and J. Schelhas. 2000. Incentives for Biodiversity Conservation: Lessons from Costa Rica’s Private Wildlife Refuge Program. Conservation Biology 14(6): 1735-1743.

Langholz, J., J. Lassoie, D. Lee, and D. Chapman. 2000. Economic Considerations of Privately Owned Parks. Ecological Economics 33(2):173-183.

Langholz, J. 1999. Exploring the Effects of Alternative Income Opportunities on Rainforest Use: Insights from Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve. Society and Natural Resources 12:139-149.

Uphoff, N., and J. Langholz. 1998. Incentives for Avoiding the Tragedy of the Commons.  Environmental Conservation 25(3): 251-261.

Langholz, J. 1996. Economics, Objectives, and Success of Private Nature Reserves in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Conservation Biology 10(1):271-280.

Langholz, J. 1996. Ecotourism Impact at Independently Owned Nature Reserves in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.  In:  Miller, Joseph and E.Malek-Zadeh (editors), The Ecotourism Equation: Measuring the Impacts. New Haven, CT: Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Bulletin Series, No.99

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