Ken Cordell

Dr. Cordell is Scientist Emeritus with the University of Georgia and with Forest Service’s Southern Research Station, located in Athens Georgia. He is also Scientist Emeritus with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute in Missoula, Montana. His nationwide collaborative research over his career has covered visitation measurement methods, visitor satisfaction and preferences surveying, and secondary economic impacts.


His recent collaborative work covered trends and futures of parks and other public lands and their policies. Special emphasis has been given to public access to public lands, especially wildlands and wilderness, and natural amenity values. One particular recent emphasis was forecasting public demand for natural resource-based outdoor recreation. His research has been used broadly in public land planning and policy formulation.  He has collaboratively published eight books, including The Multiple Values and Wilderness and his latest book entitled Outdoor Recreation Trends and Futures.


He has been the lead scientist for a number of interagency studies involving surveys of visitors to public and of public land managers. He has authored 370 scientific and other technical papers and presented over 230 invited professional papers dealing with Americans’ relationship with their natural lands. Dr. Cordell is viewed as a leading international authority in his field.

Dr. Cordell earned his PhD in Economics and Natural Resources Policy at N.C. State University. He has been recipient of the USDA Forest Service national award as Distinguished Scientist of the Year. He is an elected fellow with the Academy of Leisure Sciences and has served on a variety of national and international committees and boards. He most recently was a member of an elite on-going national team of scientists who assess the status, trends and futures in the country’s forest, rangeland and protected land resources (especially Wilderness). In his previous professional affiliation he was a faculty member at North Carolina State University and currently holds adjunct professor status with other universities. He serves as a consultant in public land and comprehensive planning nationwide.

Dr. Cordell’s personal interests include activism regarding local land and water conservation issues. He is an expert gardener, he has established a wildlife management sanctuary on his forest lands, he regularly plays tennis and weight lifts, and he is working to restore his 1968 Karman Ghia.