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Dr. Nicholas H. Johnson

Assistant Professor of Sustainability and Economics

Teaching Area(s)



  • PhD, Energy and Mineral Engineering, Pennsylvania State University
  • MS, Environmental Policy, Michigan Technological University
  • BS, Principia College


"Teaching gives me the opportunity to engage with students interested in addressing the complex challenges society faces today."

Dr. Nicholas H. Johnson's interest in current environmental issues focuses on the way energy is produced and used in society. His multidisciplinary research explores the decision-making processes of Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), the entities responsible for implementing electricity policy in much of the U.S., as well as on the broader field of energy policy. Johnson is also the assistant rugby coach.

Scholarly Interests

  • Electricity economics
  • Decision making in Regional Transmission Organizations 
  • Network analysis
  • Policy-based solutions for renewable energy development and integration, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions
  • The physical basis of climate change

Contributions to Field

  • Developing a model to determine costs of modifying generator dispatch patterns to achieve location-based NOx emissions
  • The study of RTO decision-making processes

Memberships and Affiliations

American Solar Energy Society
Industry Studies Association
International Association for Energy Economics
International Society of Sustainability Professionals
United States Association for Energy Economics

Publications and Presentations

  • Johnson, NH and S Blumsack. 2016. “Voting networks in Regional Transmission Organizations: The benefits and burdens of participation." Industry Studies Association Conference: Meeting the Productivity Challenge, Minneapolis, MN. 24–25 May 2016.
  • Johnson, NH and S Blumsack. 2015. “Of social structures and infrastructure: Voting networks in Regional Transmission Organizations,” Energy Policy Research Conference, Denver, CO. 10–11 September 2015.
  • Solomon, B and NH Johnson. 2012. "Public policies, economics, public perceptions, and the future of bioenergy crops," p. 285–299. In: Kole, C, CP Joshi and DR Shonnard (Editors), Handbook of Bioenergy Crop Plants. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Johnson, NH and B Solomon. 2010. "A net-present value analysis for a wind turbine purchase at a small U.S. college." Energies 3(5):943–959.
  • Solomon, B and NH Johnson. 2009. "Valuing climate protection through willingness to pay for biomass ethanol in the Upper Midwest." Ecological Economics 68(7):2127–2144.

For additional publications and presentations, please see the CV below.

Dr. Nicholas Johnson CV