Patricia Norris

Patricia Norris

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Department of Community Sustainability



Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
M.S., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
B.S., University of Georgia

Professor Pat Norris was the Guyers-Seevers Chair in Natural Resource Conservation at Michigan State University and a member of the MSU faculty from 1996 to 2021. She has conducted research and developed outreach programs addressing issues in soil conservation, water quality, groundwater management, wetland policy, land markets, land use conflicts and farmland preservation.

In her extension work, she focused largely upon natural resource policy issues, working with private resource owners, local governments, and state and federal agencies as they address the needs for and impacts of institutional change. In addition, her teaching responsibilities have included courses in natural resource economics, environmental economics, ecological economics, environmental science, and agricultural policy.

All of her extension activities are grounded in the core values supported and practiced by Extension public policy educators:

  • A democratic system of government places high priority on the rights of individuals to have a voice in public policy decisions that affect them.
  • Citizens can increase their capacity to make good decisions about public issues by learning about those issues and the processes by which public decisions are made.
  • Science can neither substitute for value choices nor identify the most appropriate set of values. However, scientific information can more fully inform the value choices that people make.
  • Researchers and educators cannot decide what is best for the public, but we can provide research and education to help individuals participate effectively in the public policy process.

Her involvement with the graduate program involves working with graduate students on research projects of common interest. She is also interested in involving graduate students in her extension activities. Outreach projects can provide a rich opportunity for exploring and initiating research projects.

Research and Outreach Interests

  • Economics of natural resource conservation
  • Common pool water resource management
  • Natural resource and environmental governance

Teaching Experience

Publications on Google Scholar