Jay O’Laughlin is a professor emeritus and director emeritus of the College of Natural Resources Policy Analysis Group at the University of Idaho.O’Laughlin is a Professor of Forestry and Policy Sciences and full-time Director of the Policy Analysis Group in the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho. He earned a BSBA in business finance at the University of Denver.
After service as a U.S. Army artillery office in Vietnam, he worked in a manufacturing firm for three years before earning an MS in forestry and PhD in forest policy and economics from the University of Minnesota. During the 1980s he was tenured at Texas A&M University while teaching forest policy and forest resource economics.
He moved to Idaho in 1989 to direct the Policy Analysis Group, a position created by the Idaho Legislature to provide objective data and analysis on natural resource and land-use issues important to Idaho citizens, as suggested by an advisory committee of the state’s natural resource leaders. Those have included endangered species conservation, water quality, and sustainable forest management on state and federal lands.
Recently he has focused on wildfire policy, forest carbon management, and wood bioenergy. In the past 5 years he was invited to give 90 off-campus presentations. (See www.uidaho.edu/cnr/pag.) He co-authored a Forest Resource Policy textbook (Wiley, 1993), currently being revised as a Natural Resource Policy textbook (Waveland Press, 2015).