J. Keith Gilless joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, as a professor of forest economics in 1983, and is a member of the faculty of both the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He served as Dean of Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources from 2007 to 2018, and retired from active professorial status in 2020.
He currently serves the campus as the Secretary of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Faculty Club, a member of the Council of Friends of the Bancroft Library, and as Faculty Advisor for the Ecosystems Management and Forestry undergraduate major.
Off campus, Gilless serves as chair of the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection. Under his leadership, the Board has engaged in substantive revisions to the portions of the California Public Regulatory Code dealing with protection of watercourses, fire safety-related land use planning, non-industrial forest management plans, etc., and promulgated emergency rules to allow the public to quickly address with problems such as tree mortality resulting from drought and fire. At the national level, he served for two terms on the US Department of Agriculture’s Forest Research Advisory Council.
Gilless research has encompassed structure survival in large urban-wildland conflagrations, simulation modeling of fire behavior and initial attack on wildland fire, effects of climate change on fire management, public engagement in the development of Community Wildfire Protection Plans, natural hazards impacts and planning, the economic impacts of changes in USFS harvest levels, competition for woody biomass between the paper and biofuels sectors, long-term forecasting of prices and regional growth in the pulp and paper sector, and forest harvest scheduling. He is also the co-author of two textbooks on forest resource management and economics.
Ph.D. Forestry/Agricultural Economics, 1983, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.S. Forestry, 1982, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.A. Agricutural Economics, 1982, University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.S. Forestry, 1978, Michigan State University
Castillo, Federico; Heiman, Amir; Zilberman, David and Gilless, J. K. 2016. Time of Adoption and Technology Transfer: An Institutional Analysis of Offices of Technology Transfer in the United States. Journal of Technology Transfer. DOI 10.1007/s10961-016-9468-5
Gilless, J.K. 2015. The Berkeley Summit. Journal of Forestry 113(6): 587–591.
Gilless, J.K. 2015. The Berkeley Summit -- Looking Forward to the Future for Forestry Education. Journal of Forestry 113(6): 527.
Gilless, J.K. 2015. UC Berkeley's Forestry Program Celebrates 100 Years. California Agriculture 69(1): 4.
Zhang, S., Gilless, J.K., and W. Stewart. 2014. Modeling Price-Driven Interactions Between Wood Bioenergy and Global Wood Product Markets. Biomass and Bioenergy 60: 68-78.
Gilless, J.K., Guy, A.B., Johnson, E., Rustad, B., Seltenrich, N., Standiford, R., Stangenberger, A.S., Stewart, W.C., and R. York. 2014. A Century of Cal Forestry 1914-2014. University of California, Berkeley. 56 pages.
Castillo, F. and J.K. Gilless. 2013. Climate Change, Extreme Events and Migration: A Framework of Research In Costa Rica in the Third Millennium: Proposals for the Reduction of Vulnerability. Adamson, Marcos and Castillo, Eds. Editorial Luz. San Jose, Costa Rica.
Gilless, J.K. and R.C. Smith. 2012. Management Response To Eroding Wildland Buffers Between Developed And Protected Areas Through Education And Collaborative Planning Efforts. George Wright Forum 29(2): 236-245.
Smith, R.C. and J.K. Gilless. 2011. Institutional Obstacles to Success in Implementing a Statewide Community-Based Fire Planning Mandate. California Journal of Politics and Policy 3(1): Article 12.
Gilless, J.K., Smith, R.C., and D. Davis. 2011. Long-term Interagency Fire Safe Council Commitment to Fire-adapted Communities: Lessons From The Bull Fire. Fire Management Today 71(4):34-37.
Lever, Christopher C. and J.K. Gilless. 2008. Stepping Outside the Boundary: Community Building at Yosemite National Park, George Wright Forum 25(3):58-69
Fried, J.S., Gilless, J.K., Riley, W.J., Moody, T.J., Simon, C., Hayhoe, K., Moritz, M., Stephens, S., and M. Torn. 2008. Predicting the effect of climate change on wildfire behavior and initial attack success. Climatic Change 87 (Supplement 1):193-213.
Battles, J.J., Robarts, T., Das, A., Waring, K., Gilless, J.K., Schurr, F., LeBlanc, J., Biging, G., and C. Simon. 2008. Climate impact on forest resources. Climatic Change 87 (Supplement 1):251-264.
Gilless, J.K. 2007. What deforestation? California Forests 11(2):14-15.
O’Hanley, J.R., Church, R.L., and J.K. Gilless. 2007. The importance of in situ site loss in nature reserve selection: Balancing notions of complimentarity and robustness. Biological Conservation 135(1):170-180.
O’Hanley, J.R., Church, R.L., and J.K. Gilless. 2007. Locating and protecting critical reserve sites to minimize expected and worst-case losses. Biological Conservation 134(1): 130-141.
Gilless, J.K., Tack J., and A. Peterson Zwane. 2006. Who pays for sudden Oak Death? An econometric investigation of the impact of an emerging pathogen on California nurseries. Pages 465-466 in Proceedings of the sudden oak death second science symposium: The state of our knowledge. 2005 January 18-21; Monterey, CA General Technical Report PSW-GTR-196. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Albany, CA. 571 Pages.
Fried, J.S., Gatziolis, D., Gilless, J.K., Vogt, C.A. , and G. Winter. 2006. A prescription for fostering support for fuel treatments at the wildland urban interface: Change beliefs, build trust. Fire Management Today 66(3): 51-54.
Fried, J.S., Gilless, J.K., and J. Spero. 2006. Analyzing initial attack on wildland fires using stochastic simulation. International Journal of Wildland Fire 15:137-146.
Buongiorno, J., and J.K. Gilless. 2003. Decision methods for forest resource management. Academic Press, San Diego. 439 pages.
Committee on Prospects and Opportunities for Sustainable Management of America’s Nonfederal Forests, Board on Agriculture, National Research Council. 1997. Forested landscapes in perspective: Prospects and opportunities for sustainable management of America’s nonfederal forests. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. 206 pp.
Buongiorno, J., and J.K. Gilless. 1987. Forest management and economics: A primer in quantitative methods. Macmillan, New York, New York. 285 pp.
2018 UC Berkeley Faculty Service Award
2017 UC Berkeley Excellence in Advising Award
1996-2006 S.J. Hall Chair in Forest Economics
2006 ESPM Departmental Award for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence
1992 PG&E Award for Research Excellence in Wildlands
1988 UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award
ESPM 183 Forest Ecosystem Management
EEP 1/Econ 3 Introduction to Environmental Economics & Policy