Dr. Jim Bowyer

Senior Contributor





Dr. Jim Bowyer is Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. He is a specialist in wood-based bio-products and environmental life-cycle assessment. While at the university he led a research group focused on environmental performance of structural and non-structural biomaterials,  served as  department  head,  founded the Minnesota Cold Climate Housing Center and established and led the Bio-products Management Development Institute. Upon retirement from the “U” he incorporated a consulting firm focused on helping organizations  to  improve environmental  performance, and became an associate in Dovetail Partners, Inc. – an environmental nonprofit that provides authoritative information about the impacts and trade-offs of environmental decisions. He is currently a Senior Contributor to Dovetail Partners and author of a monthly series on responsible consumption.


A forester in his early life, Bowyer worked for the U.S. Forest Service in Wyoming, Colorado, and West Virginia. Bowyer has served as President of the Forest Products Society (1993-94) and of the Society of Wood Science and Technology (1987-88), and Vice President and co-founder of the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (1992-2003) – an association of fourteen major North American Universities organized for the purpose of conducting life cycle assessments of renewable materials and products. He is an elected Fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science. Bowyer also served on the Executive Board (1994-2008) and as Chairman (2006-2008) of the Tropical Forest Foundation – an organization with major operations in Brazil, Guyana, Indonesia, and Gabon.


His latest book – The Irresponsible Pursuit of Paradise – was a finalist for the 2017 Midwest Book Award in the business category. He has published widely on the topics of life cycle assessment, carbon tracking and reporting, bioenergy, green building standards, and environmental policy and is a frequent speaker nationally and internationally on these topics. 


Presentation Topics

Consumption, Raw Materials, and U.S. Environmental Policy

Responsible Consumption – What, Why, and Specifics