The Alward Institute for Collaborative Science is a non-profit corporation with research and education missions to further regional science.  Through our networks encompassing business, government and academia, the Alward Institute builds collaborative, interdisciplinary partnerships to provide deep insights into the social, economic and environmental dimensions of institutional social responsibility.  We offer unique competencies in global supply-chain and environmental footprint analysis, sophisticated regional social accounting and modeling capabilities about the structure and function of regional economies and workforces, and extensive experience applying the best available science to integrate ecologic and economic systems for multi-disciplinary studies of natural resource management, climate change, natural and human-caused hazards.
Funded by grants, donations, and research contracts from our partners in business, government and academia, we carry out research to create open methods for building regional and multi-regional social accounting matrices (SAMs) for economies throughout the world.  We create open, transparent models and analysis protocols using a variety of empirical data contained in SAMs.  We also conduct instructional workshops and provide project advice, review, and consulting services to determine the Best Available Science and Data protocols to address complex issues and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of our partners’ economic and environmental studies, projects, and proposals.
Research Themes
Our work is oriented around five research and application themes:
  • Theme 1: Enhancing Methods to Construct Social Accounting Matrices (SAMs)
  • Theme 2: Understanding the Structures and Functions of Regional Economies
  • Theme 3: Building Best Available Science and Data Protocols for Regional Science
  • Theme 4: Integrating Bio-Physical and Socio-Economic Systems
  • Theme 5: Providing an Open Analytics Laboratory for Collaborative Regional Science
Support us and join with us as we create the education products and analysis services to enhance the triple bottom line performance of both public and private-sector organizations.

 Greg Alward 3

Greg Alward is internationally recognized as a leader with than 45 years of research and development experience in regional input-output accounting and modeling, studies in the economics of tourism and outdoor recreation, and policy analysis applied in both public and private sector issues. Greg has held analyst positions with federal, state and local governments, owner/analyst positions with private sector businesses, and research/manager positions with academic institutions.

Greg is currently a Senior Research Scientist with the Policy Analysis Group, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho undertaking a research program to evaluate the contributions that natural resources and tourism make to Idaho’s economy. Greg is also an adjunct faculty member with the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, advising UNCC and the State of North Carolina on methods to evaluate economic development proposals. Greg founded the Alward Institute for Collaborative Science, a non-profit research and education organization to further applied regional science research. As Chair of the Board of Trustees, Greg directs the Alward Institute’s current research projects including creating open-source protocols for assembling social accounting databases of sub-national regional economies that can be applied throughout the world. These social accounting databases can be combined with standard open-source protocols for building regional I-O and CGE models for assessing the sub-national economic impacts of proposed actions. These regional social accounts include detailed treatment of tourism and outdoor recreation activities to encourage robust assessments of these sectors. Current applied studies by the Alward Institute include assessing the economic impacts of unplanned events (natural and human-caused disasters), the economic impacts of public sector programs and policies (land management activities, transportation and infrastructure investments, and development proposals), and the economic impacts of travel and tourism. Greg has always provided collaborative leadership for innovative product research, development and delivery strategies for a broad range of business-to-business, NGO, academic, public sector, and end-user products.

He was awarded the "Distinguished Fellow Award" from the Mid-Continent Regional Science Association (MCRSA) June 2016.


· Senior Research Scientist, Policy Analysis Group, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho; November 2016 to Present

· Founder, CEO and Chair, Board of Trustees, Alward Institute for Collaborative Science, Huntersville, NC, now located in Pullman, WA; November 2014 to Present

· Director of Economic Research and Development and Chief Innovations Officer, Owner, and Board Member of IMPLAN Group LLC, Huntersville, NC; June 2013 -
  December 2015

   o Responsible for product innovation, development, application, training and support of all IMPLAN software and data products and services for IMPLAN Group

· Director of Economics Research and Development and Vice President, and Owner Minnesota IMPLAN Group (MIG, Inc.), Hudson, WI; August 2006 - June 2013

   o Responsible for the development, application, training and support of all IMPLAN software and data products and services for MIG, Inc.

· Assistant Director, Ecosystem Management Planning Staff, US Dept of Agriculture, Forest Service, Fort Collins, CO; August 1987 - August 2006

  o Principal economist responsible for the development, application, training and application of economic analysis techniques to land management planning issues;
     Assistant Director, USFS Inventory and Monitoring Institute.

· Research Forester, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, US Dept of Agriculture, Forest Service, Fort Collins, CO; May 1976 - August 1987

  o Lead scientist for regional economics and knowledge-based systems research and staff specialist for the development, application training and support of
     resource analysis techniques for land management planning.

During his 30 year career with the USDA Forest Service, Dr. Alward served in many roles including Assistant Director of the National Ecosystem Management Coordination Staff and the National Planning Systems Analysis Group located in Washington, DC.  Greg provided analytical advice and support throughout the federal government, state and local government cooperators, foreign governments, and private and academic partners.  In Fort Collins, Colorado at the Forest Service detached Washington, DC office, Greg served as the Forest Service National Assistant Director of the Inventory and Monitoring Institute and also as the National Human Dimensions Coordinator.  At the Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, he was a noted Research Forestor, Operations Research Analyst and Policy Analyst.

Dr. Alward has been integral to the IMPLAN system and data since its inception in the 1970s.  As IMPLAN's principle designer and creator, Greg coined the name "IMPLAN" for the system in 1977.  To meet federal requirements, he designed and implemented several versions of IMPLAN, worked with contractors and partners in the development of the software system databases, led and collaborated with numerous federal, state and foreign partners on impact studies and policy evaluations.  Greg designed and conducted training programs oriented around using IMPLAN for a variety of policy studies.  He also led the federal effort to "privatize" IMPLAN which resulted in the creation of MIG, Inc. in 1993.  Greg continued to provide federal requirements and enhancement guidance to MIG, Inc. regarding the IMPLAN system until his retirement from the federal government service in 2006.  Dr. Alward's leadership was instrumental in MIG's product research, development and delivery strategies related to the IMPLAN economic impact analysis system.


  • Colorado State University, PhD, Forest Economics, 1980
  • Colorado State University, M.S., Recreation Resources, Regional Resource Planning, 1975
  • Grand Valley State University,  B.S., Environmental Sciences, 1973

 For a limited list of selected publications, presentations and classes for Dr. Alward, please select "read more."

Linda Schick 3Linda develops and directs the annual program of work for the Alward Institute. She establishes the product development objectives and integrates the individual project work plans into a coordinated program. She is the Project Manager and coordinates the collaborative work of each member of the Alward Institute and our research and education partners to assure the combined efforts achieve the annual work plan objectives set by the Chairman and Board of Directors. She assures that the Alward Institute has access to all resources required to successfully accomplish their work. Linda monitors work progress, scheduling, accomplishments, and performance of all Institute members, and provides status reports to the Chairman and Board of Directors. Linda builds and maintains strategic relationships with scientific organizations, government agencies, academic and federal research organization, and economic research organizations. Linda prepares and conducts background research for professional and scientific papers and presentations, manages an internal peer-review process to assure high levels of technical quality and schedules the presentation at high profile conferences and events.  Linda's works out of her office in Windsor, Colorado and she can be reached at 970-217-3942.

Linda retired from the federal government after 36 years. The majority of her service was with the USDA Office of the Chief Information Officer as a Senior Telecommunications Mission Area Control Officer ( in a Department position located in Fort Collins, CO and Washington, DC, and as a USDA OCIO Telecommunications Manager.  In her early years, Linda worked for the USDA Forest Service and was instrumental in the development and implementation of IMPLAN, led by Dr. Greg Alward.

agecon watson 196

Dr. Philip S. Watson is an Associate Professor with the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology with the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.  Phil is a teaching and research faculty member and is jointly appointed in the Bioregional Planning Graduate Program and affiliated with the Environmental Science Graduate Program.  Phil is a natural resource and regional development economist whose research focuses on the role of natural resources in the economic health of communities and evidence based economic development planning.  He has worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, National Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, and possesses a quantitative background in Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modeling, input-output analysis, benefit-cost analysis and spatial econometrics. 

While on sabbatical from the University of Idaho the summer of 2015, Phil partnered with the Alward Institute for Collaborative Science.  The Alward Institute is honored to have Dr. Watson permanently serving as the Alward Institute Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council and also on the Institute’s Board of Directors.  Phil works out of the Alward Institute's Pullman, Washington office.

Thomas F. Rutherford

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Professor, Agricultural & Applied Economics



PhD 1987, Stanford University (Operations Research, Supervisor: Alan S. Manne)

BS 1977, Yale University (Engineering and Applied Science)


  • The University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 2012–present.
  • The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich, Switzerland. Chair in Energy Economics, 2008–2011.
  • Freelance Professional Economist, 2005–2008.
  • Professor of Economics, 2003–2005. University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
  • Associate Professor, 1997–2002. University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
  • Assistant Professor, 1992–1996. University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
  • University of Western Ontario, Canada. Assistant Professor of Economics, 1987–1992.
  • Yale University, Post-Doctoral Research Associate and Lecturer, 1986–1987.
  • Norwegian School of Economics. Researcher, 1982–1983.
  • Peace Corps, Nepal. Rural Suspension Bridge Engineer, 1977–1979.

Research Description:

Interests include Energy Markets, Climate Policy, International Trade, Technical Change and Computational Economics.


  • GTAP Hall of Fame Award, User Community of the “Global Trade Analysis Project,” 2007.
  • Daeyang Prize (with Glenn W. Harrison and David G. Tarr), Journal of Economic Integration, 1997.
  • Cowles Foundation Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Yale University, 1986.
  • Yale College McCloskey Award in Mechanical Engineering, 1977.

For an extensive list of selected publications please follow the link below: