The Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks has named Matthew Fienup its new executive director, the college announced on Monday. Fienup assumes the post of center founder Bill Watkins, who recently retired from the university.

Fienup has served as an economist at the center and as a member of Cal Lutheran’s faculty since 2014, where he teaches courses in econometrics and environmental economics. His academic research examines the unintended consequences of environmental policies and potential market-based solutions to major public policy challenges.

An expert on the economics of land use, Fienup is chairman of the Water Market Group at the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency in Ventura, where he has been working with local farmers and municipal water providers to design an incentive for water usage reductions. The group plans to launch a pilot program for buying and selling groundwater in early 2017.

Fienup holds a master’s degree in economics and has completed the requirements for a doctorate in environmental economics from the University of California – Santa Barbara. He earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Woodbury University in Burbank.