In January, Spencer Banzhaf, the new director of CEnREP, arrived on campus to begin his new position. Spencer has been a professor of economics at Georgia State University since 2006. He is also a fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC). Outgoing Interim CEnREP Director Roger von Haefen sits down with his new colleague to discuss his new position.
Roger: Welcome to NCSU!
Spencer: Thank you!
Roger: You’ve been at Georgia State University for a long time, but in some ways coming to NC State and to CEnREP is a homecoming for you, no?
Spencer: That’s right. Besides having family roots in Raleigh, my wife and I lived here for about 12 years when we were young. I got my start in environmental economics working at RTI after college. As a young professional there, I made my first research presentation at the very first Camp Resources in 1993. Eight years later, as I was finishing graduate school, I worked here as a research assistant. So, yeah, you definitely could say it’s a homecoming.
Roger: What else are you looking forward to about your new position?
Spencer: It’s an unbelievably strong team here, with an incredible breadth and depth of talent. So the opportunities are tremendous. We have expertise on so many environmental issues, sliced from so many angles — agricultural policy to energy policy, urban sustainability to coastal resilience, the behavior of firms to the behavior of households. I’m learning so much from my colleagues already. The chance to work together, to bring economics and our understanding of markets and incentives to bear on the environmental issues confronting North Carolina—that’s a terrific opportunity.