Photograph of Fernando DePaolis
McCone Building M113
(831) 647-3568

Fernando DePaolis is the Dean of Academic Operations and Integration. In addition, he teaches Data Analysis, Development Economics, and other advanced quantitative policy analysis courses. He holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of California-Los Angeles. He has been the Regional Economist with the Denver Regional Council of Governments (Denver, Colorado). Over the years, he has consulted extensively for cities and counties in the United States, international organizations, and multiple non-governmental organizations. Professor DePaolis is also a senior researcher at the MIIS Center for the Blue Economy, where he develops research and teaches courses on the problems and solutions at the interface between large bodies of water (oceans and lakes) and urban agglomerations. Prof. DePaolis has been a Fulbright-LASPAU scholar. At MIIS, he has been Assistant Dean, Program Chair, and President of the Faculty Senate. In his spare time, Prof. DePaolis is an avid outdoorsman, off-roader and explorer of the California wilderness. 

Courses Taught

Course Description

The timeliness of the topic at the national and global scale, is only matched by its political, economic and social relevance. The sustainability of urban areas is assailed by a combination of threats never seen before. At a time when—for the 1st time in history—more than 50% of humans reside in cities, those looming threats demand multidisciplinary approaches both to understand them better and to provide sensible solutions that mitigate the negative effects while amplifying the potential benefits. This class addresses those dimensions (economic, social, environmental, and political) as well as their interactions; it offers a framework under which the potential or already observed impacts are quantified and analyzed; and it surveys the policies implemented around the world. Although there are no explicit pre-requisites, students are expected to have a cursory understanding of economics and basic analytics.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022 - MIIS, MIIS First Half of Term

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Course Description

The purpose of this course is to develop advanced economic skills applied to development and resource issues in the world’s oceans and coasts. The course will focus heavily on analytical and data-driven techniques that can help illuminate the costs and benefits of various policies in the ocean and coastal zones, using a variety of metrics, and incorporating environmental and social values. The course will be divided into two parts: Market economics and coastal planning with Prof. DePaolis and non-market economics with Prof. Scorse.

Student participation in both of these sections will be high, involving many in-class assignments, lab sessions, and extended discussions. Students will be expected to engage in original data collection, analysis, and research. This is an intensive course geared for people who want to pursue careers in marine-related fields, although the topics are more broadly applicable to a range of conservation and development-related careers.

GIS is recommended.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021 - MIIS

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Areas of Interest

Economic Development. Regional Economics. Spatial Statistics & Econometrics. Purpose specific programming languages & modeling software. Mitigation of climate change impacts.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Urban Planning/Regional Economics, University of California-Los Angeles
  • MA in Urban Planning/International Development, University of Kansas
  • Advanced Diploma in Architecture, National University of San Juan, Argentina

Professor DePaolis has been teaching at the Institute since 2001.


  • “The Washington Consensus: A Post Mortem” (with Robert McCleery), in Seiji Naya’s festschrift Forthcoming University of Hawaii Press.
  • “NAFTA and the Broader Impacts of Trade Agreements on Industrial Development: When ‘Second-Order Effects’ Dominate (with Robert McCleery), in Plummer, M. (editor) Empirical Methods in International Trade: Essays in Honor of Mordechai (Max) Keinin, 2005. Edward Elgar Publisher.
  • “Bangladesh: Searching for a Workable Development Path,” with Seiji Naya and Robert McCleery, Journal of East Asian Studies, No 3, December 2004:1-20.
  • “A New Frontier in 21st Century America.” A book review of Terra Incognita by Bowman, A. and Pagano, M. Public Organization Review 4 December 2004.
  • “Trade and the Location of Industries in the OECD and the European Union.” Journal of Economic Geography 2, 2002 (with Michael Storper and Yun-Chung Chen).

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