Prof. Alon Tal

מדיניות ציבורית סגל אקדמי בכיר
Prof. Alon Tal
Phone: 03-6409524
Fax: 03-6407382
Office: Naftali - Social Sciences, 053




Recent Research Interests

  • Demography: Environmental and social impacts of high population densities in Israel; Carrying capacity of Israel and region; effect of crowding on behavior; incentives for combatting high fertility rates and poverty.
  • Environmental policy: the effect of environmental taxes on pollution in China; regulation of pharmaceuticals and EDC in wastewater.
  • Environmental law:  Biodiversity protection and legislation; new regulatory strategies for addressing offshore gas and oil exploration and production;
  • Environmental History – Israel’s forestry policies; Israel’s nature conservation efforts; Environmental activism;
  • Climate Change Policy – Municipal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; Evaluation of Israeli implementation of Paris Agreement;
  • Transboundary Environmental Cooperation – Design and implementation of peace parks; cooperative approaches to integrated Jordanian/ Palestinian/ Israeli water supply; Cost-effective wastewater treatment strategies.
  • Desertification and public policy – Grazing standards and forest fires; biodiversity protection and afforestation in the drylands; evaluating the impact of global programs and policies to combat land degradation.
  • Environmental education – Evaluation of informal environmental education programs; introducing biodiversity into educational curricula through the TiME initiative.
  • Water Management: Stream restoration; Lake Kinneret watershed management,
  • Sustainable agriculture: Impacts of wastewater irrigation; food security programs and international aid. 

Curriculum Vitae



  • B.A. in Political Science and Economics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1980
  • Ll.B. in Law, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1986
  • M.Sc. Harvard School of Public Health, in Environmental Health Policy, 1987
  • Sc.D. Harvard School of Public in Environmental Health Policy, 1989

Academic Appointments

  • 2016-present   Professor, Chair Department of Public Policy, Tel Aviv, University,
  • 2015-2016       Visiting Professor, James Madison College, Michigan State University.
  • 2016, 2011, 2007Visiting Professor, Otago University School of Law, Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • 2015                Visiting Professor, School of Environment, Natural Resources Renmin University,Beijing China,
  • 2011, 2013-14 Visiting Professor, Stanford University, Department of Biology.
  • 2005-2016       Associate Professor, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology. , Head of Environmental Studies Graduate Track, (2008-2011).
  • 1996-2005       Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Kibbutz Ketura, Founding Director of programfor Middle Eastern and international university students.
  • 1989-1997       Harvard University, School Of Public Heath, Boston MA. Adjunct Lecturer
  • 1990-2003       Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Law, Adjunct Lecturer


Relevant Employment and Appointments

  • 2004-2016       KKL-JNF International Board, Chair of Land Development Committee;
  • 1997-2003       Chair, Life and Environment, Umbrella Organization for Israeli Environmental NGOs.
  • 1995-2016       Board Member, Ecopeace
  • 1991-1998       Adam Teva V'din, Israel Union Environmental Defense, Tel Aviv, Israel, founding director,
  • 1990                Legal Staff, Yael Solel law offices, Eilat, Israel.
  • 1987-1989       Research Associate, Harvard School Of Public Health
  • 1987                Director, Camp Tel Yehudah-Bet, Barryville, NY|.
  • 1985-1986       Assistant, Office of Attorney General, Jerusalem Israel
  • 1983-1985       Legal Aid, Environmental Protection Service, Israel Ministry of the Interior. 

Awards, and Fellowships

  • 2016    Haiken Prize, Best Original Israeli Book on Geostrategic Topics (The Land is Full).
  • 2011 Oxford University, Kennedy Leigh Fellowship (declined)
  • 2011  Prize, best article in the field of international water management by the International  Journal of River Basin Management Competition.
  • 2008  Israel Ministry of Environment, Life Achievement Award for Contribution to  Environmental Protection in Israel, Sixtieth Independence Anniversary.
  • 2006 Haim Shiva Award for Outstanding Academic Research, Ben Gurion Fund.
  • 2006 Charles Bronfman Humanitarian Award for Young Leadership, 2006.
  • 1999 Jewish National Fund (KKL) Lewis Award for Forestry Research, 1999.
  • 1997 Henry Ford European Conservation Award.
  • 1989 Harvard University, Willensky Award for Outstanding Research among Graduate  Students in Health Policy. 
  • 1987-1989 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Network for Environmental Management, Four Time Fellowship Recipient.
  • 1987-1989 Monsanto Agricultural Company, Graduate Student Award for Conducting Policy Research.
  • 1980    Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma.

Media Recognition

  • 2010 Selected by The Marker, Israel’s National Economic Magazine, “100 Influential Israelis” list.
  • 2010 Selected “Top Ten Israeli Environmentalists”, Israel 21C.
  • 2007 HaAretz, Israeli Daily Newspaper, Recognized as “Leading Israeli Environmentalist”.

Authored Books

1. Tal, Alon Pollution in a Promised Land – An Environmental History of Israel, Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 2002. (546 pages).

2. Tal, Alon Speaking of Earth: Environmental Speeches that Moved the World, New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University Press, 2006. (255 pages)

3. Tal, Alon The Environment in Israel: Natural Resources, Crises, Campaigns and Policy from the Advent of Zionism until Twenty-first Century, (in Hebrew) B'nei Brak, HaKibbutz HaMeuhad Press,2006. (620 pages)

4. Bar-Ilan, Yael, Pearlmutter, David, Tal, Alon, Building Green: Policy Mechanisms for Promoting Energy Efficiency in Buildings in Israel, The Technion, Center for Urban and Regional Studies Press, 2010. (187 pages)

5. Tal, Alon, All the Trees of the Forest, Israel’s Woodlands from the Bible to the Present, New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 2013 (328 pages).

Hebrew edition: B’nei Brak, Hotzaat HaKibbutz Hameuchad, 2014.

6.Tal, Alon, The Land is Full: Addressing Overpopulation in Israel, accepted for publication, New

Haven, Yale University Press, 2016.

Hebrew Edition - Hotzaat HaKibbutz Hameuchad, December, 2017.


Selected Reviews for The Environment in Israel:

Dov Hanin, HaAretz – Literature Supplement, January 17, 2007.

Shmuel Hayn, “The Environmental Chronicles” Ynet


Selected Reviews for Pollution in a Promised Land:

Gerstenfeld, ManfredPollution in a Promised Land: An Environmental History of Israel (review) Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies - Volume 24, Number 2, Winter 2006, pp. 198-200.

Morton I. Teicher, “Israel’s Environmental Wrongs”, Jerusalem Post, October 2, 2002, reprinted in National Jewish Post and other syndicated American Jewish newspapers.

Jonathan Drew“Israeli Environmentalist Returns for Triangle Talks” Durham Morning Herald, August, 8, 2002.

Zafrir Rinat, HaAretz “The Environmental Price of Zionism Threatens Zionism Itself” Haaretz, Newspaper, Sfarim  (Hebrew and English feature) May 6, 2003, p. 7.

Richard C. Foltz “Book Review, Pollution in a Promised Land”, Environmental History, vol. 8 no. 3

Paul Kay, “Making the Desert Bloom” Alternatives Journal, Spring, 2003, Vol. 9 No. 2 

Noga Morag-Levine, “Book Review, Alon Tal: Pollution in a Promised Land” Ariel, The Israel Review of Arts and Literature, vol. 115, 2003, p. 81.

Stephen S. Anderson Pollution in a Promised Land: An Environmental History of Israel - Books of Note. Environment,  July-August, 2003 


Selected Reviews for All the Trees of the Forest:

B. D. Orr, "All the Trees of the Forest," Choice Reviews of the American Library

Association, April, 2014.

Sharon Udasin, "An Extraordinary Story," The Jerusalem Post, Books Section, January 16,


Sue Fishkoff, "He Can See Israel's Forest for the Trees – and the planet," The J, January 9,


Michael Cohen, "Telling the Story of Israel's Trees," The Forward, February 4, 2014.

Zafrir Rinat, “Not Withstanding the Hostilities, How to Bring Israeli Arabs Closer to Israeli Forests?” Haaretz, February 2, 2015.


Selected Reviews for The Land is Full

Ruth Schuster, “Stop Encouraging Big Families: Israel Is Full, Demography Expert Warns, Haaretz, Aug 22, 2016.

Daniel Orenstein, “Is the Land of Israel Really Full? Read and Decide, Times of Israel, September 19, 2016.

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