John A Sorrentino

Professor John SorrentinoAssociate Professor
580 Meetinghouse Road
Temple University Ambler – West Hall 118
Ambler, Pennsylvania 19002


Sustainable housing placement, watershed-wide decision making, urban agriculture



Dr. Sorrentino received his Ph.D. from Purdue University and came to Temple University in 1973. Most of his publications and consulting work have involved the micro-economics of energy and the environment. On the subject of aircraft noise abatement, the Brooklyn native published a short article in the American Economic Review, and a longer article in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. He contributed a chapter on staying off the “Technology Wave” in a 2004 book edited and written by faculty and graduate students who initiated online learning at Temple University. He has authored a study manual (2002) for actuaries; “Energy,” “Equilibrium, Partial/General,” “Game Theory,” “John D. Rockefeller,” and “OPEC” for the Encyclopedia of Capitalism (2004); and “Poverty in the United States” for the Encyclopedia of World Poverty (2006). After taking two courses in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and working on an EPA grant on ecological vulnerability in a suburban Philadelphia watershed from 2003-2006, he published a piece on residential location at the watershed level in Environmental Management with colleagues from the Center for Sustainable Communities and Community and Regional Planning Dept. This topic was continued in a further collaboration of economists & planners published in Landscape and Urban Planning in 2014. His works-in-progress include topics such as food insecurity, environmental information systems, income/wealth inequality, sustainable housing placement, sustainable business practices and urban agriculture.

In June 2012, the long-term Temple professor presented “Food Insecurity & Urban Agriculture: A GIS-Based Approach” at the meetings of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In June 2013, he presented “Targeting Food Insecurity in the Philadelphia Metro Region,” to the conference of the US Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE) in Burlington, VT. He also took training there in “Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs” (InVEST) & “Resource Investment Optimization System” (RIOS) software. Reykjavik, Iceland was the site of Dr. Sorrentino’s presentation, “Transitioning into a Green & Just Future: the Case of Greenworks Philadelphia,” at the August 2014 Conference of ISEE. In 2015, he presented “Using In-Kind Environmental and Health Amenities to Compensate for Increasing Wealth Inequality: A Philadelphia Story” to the Western Economic Association International (WEAI) Meetings in Honolulu, HI. He served on the USSEE Scientific Committee, organizing the content of “Pathways for Change: Towards a Just and Sustainable Economy,” a joint conference of the US & Canadian Societies for Ecological Economics held in October 2015. In the meantime, he was elected Secretary-Treasurer of USSEE. In June 2016, the environmental/ecological economist will present, “”Green Amenities, Local Food, and Economic Justice in a Large US City: The Legacy of Greenworks Philadelphia,” to the ISEE 2016 conference in Washington, DC. He is committed to presenting, “Can the Provision of Local Green Public Goods and Healthy Food Choices Promote Economic Justice in a Large Urban Area?” to the WEAI Meetings in Santiago, Chile in January 2017.

“Dr. John” was the first MBA online instructor in the business school, and taught one, and then two, online courses in the MBA program from 1997 to 2006. He has taught economics courses from principles to Ph.D. mathematical economics, taught statistics and management information systems courses when Temple economists were in over-supply, taught economics seminars for actuaries, and was a co-founder of Temple’s Environmental Studies Program. He was honored by Temple University with a 1999 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, and has performed service on numerous committees at all levels of the university and in the outside community. His favorite Committee at Temple is the Teaching, Learning & Technology Roundtable. He has been a member since its inception in the mid-1990s.

Selected Publications

  • “Private Resolution of Production Externalities” Eastern Economic Journal, April 1975, 131-42 (with A. Whinston)
  • “The Economic Implications of Recycling Exhaustible Natural Resources: The Case for Crude Oil” Ecological Modelling, September 1975, 219-33 (with A. Whinston)
  • “Externalities in a Regulated Industry: The Aircraft Noise Problem” American Economic Review, September 1977 (reprinted from Papers and Proceedings, February 1977; with J. Muskin)
  • “An ‘Effluent’ Charge Approach to Aircraft Noise Abatement” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 5(4), December 1978, 333-50 (with J. Muskin)
  • “Modelling Aircraft Noise Abatement: Dealing with a ‘Flow’ Pollutant,” in Application of Ecological Modelling in Environmental Management, Part B, edited by S.E. Jorgenson and W.J. Mitsch, Elsevier Scientific Publishing Co., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1983 (with C. Fiorentino)
  • “A Model of ‘Social Consciousness’ with Applications to Personal Exchange and Energy/Environment Decisions,” in “Mathematical Modelling in Science and Technology,” edited by E.Y. Rodin and X.J.R. Avula, published as Volume 11 of Mathematical and Computer Modelling, Pergamon Press, New York, 1988
  • Going Virtual: What to Bring Along from the F_2_F Classroom and LAN Computer Lab?” on Technology Tools for Today’s Campuses, ,a CD_ROM ed. by James L. Morrison, & produced by Microsoft under the direction of Jim Ptaszynski, Spring 1997
  • “Can a Viable Distance Education Program Stay Behind the Technology ‘Wave?'” in A Distance Education Evolution: Issues and Cases, edited by D. Monolesque, C. Schifter & L. Greenwood, Idea Publishing Group, Hershey, PA, 2004
  • “Suitable Housing Placement: A GIS-Based Approach,” (with Md M. R. Meenar & Bradley J. Flamm) in Environmental Management, Vol. 42, No. 5, November 2008
  • “Coupling GPS and GIS” (with Md M. R. Meenar & S. Yesmin) & “Dealing with 3D Surface Models: Raster and TIN,” (with Md M. R. Meenar) in The Handbook of Geoinformatics, Idea Publishing Group, Hershey, PA, November 2008. ISBN: 978-1-59140-995-3.
  • “Successfully Preserving a Farm as Open Space: What Values Were Behind the Giving?” Expert Opinion on Environmental Biology, Vol. 2, Issue 2., doi:10.4172/2325-9655.1000105, Fall 2013
  • “Housing location in a Philadelphia metro watershed: Can profitable be green?,” (with Mahbubur M. Meenar, Alice J. Lambert & Donald T. Wargo) in Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol. 125,, May 2014, Pages 188-206

Courses Taught

  • GRADUATE: Advanced Microeconomic Theory, Mathematical Economics, Theory of Welfare Economics, Environmental Economics, Independent Studies: Natural Resource Modelling/Energy Economics/Environmental Modelling, MBA Economic Analysis, MBA Economic Analysis,MBA Introduction to Management Information Systems, MBA Economic Decision Making in the Firm;
  • UNDERGRADUATE: Micro and Macro Principles, Micro/Macro for Engineers, Intermediate Micro Theory, Mathematical Analysis for Economists, Economics of Energy (developed by self), Managerial Economics, Independent Studies: Advanced Energy Economics, Honors Course: Ecology/Economics/Energy, Economics Component of Freshman Interdisciplinary Studies, Contemporary Economic Problems, Field Experience in Economics; Selected Topics in Statistics; Introduction to Management Information Systems