B.A. in Economics, University of Washington, 2002

Tyler Davis started the Evans School Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management program in 2007. His research interests include benefit cost analysis, the institutional constraints of environmental policy tools, sustainable natural resource management, and database management.

Prior to starting his doctoral studies at the Evans School, Davis worked for four years as a consultant and researcher in Indonesia and Seattle. His consultancy and research work involved program evaluation, data modeling, economic profiles, and policy analysis with organizations such as UNICEF, Northwest Marine Trade Association, Strategies for A Green Economy (SAGE), World Wildlife Fund Indonesia, Coastal Resource Management Project under USAID, and the Washington State Ocean Policy Work Group (OPWG) Economics Subgroup under the Washington State Department of Trade and Economic Development (CTED).

Through his Ph.D. work at the Evans School, Davis has served as a teaching assistant for Quantitative Analysis I with Assistant Professor Joseph H. Cook and Quantitative Analysis II with Associate Professor Rachel Garshick Kleit and Assistant Professor Diana Fletschner. Davis worked for two years as a researcher assistant to Professor Richard O. Zerbe, Jr. in the Benefit Cost-Analysis Center. Under the direction of Zerbe, Davis worked on benefit-cost analysis standards for the Army Corps and presented findings to the Congressional Research Service. Davis also worked with Zerbe to develop standards for benefit-cost analysis for the MacArthur Foundation.

Davis currently works with the Technology and Social Change (TASCHA) research team in the Information School at the University of Washington. Davis leads the team working on benefit-cost analysis of survey data on access to information and communication technology in Chile, Bangladesh, Brazil, Lithuania, and the Philippines.

Davis decided to pursue a Ph.D. during the middle of his master’s studies at the University of Washington’s School of Marine Affairs and contract work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). His academic work at the School of Marine Affairs taught him the political landscape and types of policy conflicts contemporary to natural resource management, and his work with NOAA showed him the types of data available to policy makers in this field. However, neither setting was providing the analytical skills to extract the full meaning from the data available to inform policy decisions, so he opted for a higher-level academic program to develop more tools that would allow for having a greater impact on natural resource policy.

After he completes his Ph.D., Davis would like to work on standardizing methods for including natural resource values in public policy, and to build on his background in economic and data analysis by working with federal agencies and environmental NGOs. He is particularly interested in specific policy problems involving economic impacts of global warming, natural resource valuation, and benefit-cost analysis.

On why Davis chose the Evans School, he said, “For me, the Evans School Ph.D. program represents the nexus of policy and higher-level quantitative analysis. This unique combination provides an opportunity for researchers to work on significant policy problems of our time using cutting edge quantitative analysis.”

Davis was the recipient of a 2004 SAGE research grant to study baseline economic activity and market basket research and a 2004 World Wildlife Fund research grant to study the economic impacts of dive tourism on local and regional economies in Bunaken National Park, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Davis holds a B.A. in Economics and a Master of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington.

Current Position: 
Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder, PotaVida
Benefit-Cost Analysis
Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
Environmental Management
Policy Implementation
Dissertation title: 
Challenges to Effective Third-Party Certification in Environmental Governance Policy
Recent Publications: 
  • Forecasting Recreational Boats Sales in Washington State; 2007 Update for the time series regression model commissioned by the Northwest Marine Trade Association
  • Forecasting Recreational Boats Sales in Washington State with Daniel Huppert for the series regression model commissioned by the Northwest Marine Trade Association, March 2006
  • Ocean Policy Working Group Subcommittee Synthesis Report: Sustainable and Resilient Communities on the Washington Coast, June 2006
  • Economic Profiles of Cities and Town: Resources, Demographics, and Economic Measures for the Washington State Ocean Policy Work Group, Sustainable and Resilient Communities Subgroup, March 2006
  • Local and Semi-Local Economic Impacts of Dive Tourism in Bunaken National Park, North Sulawesi, Indonesia for the World Wildlife Fund and Strategies for A Green Economy research contracts, June 2005 (unpublished)
Dissertation Committee Members: 
Craig W. Thomas (chair)
Joseph H. Cook (Washington State University)
David L. Fluharty (School of Marine & Environmental Affairs)
Aseem Prakash (Political Science)
Dissertation URL: 
Major Area Paper (MAP) Title: 
Knowledge in the Environmental Policy Process: A Critical Review of the Literature