Over the course of his career, Erik Lichtenberg has made many fundamental contributions to understanding the interactions between agriculture, its natural resource base, and the environment. He is most widely recognized for examining critically various propositions about agriculture and the environment that are widely discussed in policy circles as conventional wisdom, subjecting them to theoretical and empirical examination based on rigorous conceptual frameworks. Many of these contributions have opened new research agendas in addition to informing policymakers.
Of his 60-plus refereed journal articles, five are reprinted in collections of seminal articles on the environment and land use. He also was selected to write the comprehensive review of agriculture and the environment in the Handbook of Agricultural Economics.
Lichtenberg has served on a number of committees and task forces, including the National Research Council Committee on Assessing Crop Yield, ESCOP/ECOP Task Force on Agricultural Biotechnology, the National Research Council Committee on Genetically Modified Crops Containing Pesticide Genes, and the Economics Panel for the U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund Competitive Grants Program.
Lichtenberg has been an active and integral member of the AJAE editorial staff by serving as an Associate Editor from 1997–2002 and Co-Editor from 2008–2012. His commitment to the profession and his work has earned him many awards including the Pew Memorial Trust Fellowship in Health Policy, Fulbright Scholar Award, University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Alumni Association Award for Excellent in Research, a Bronze Metal from University of Helsinki, and the AAEA Publication of Enduring Quality Award.