Richard Booth has mixed his responsibilities as a professor with substantial periods of public service. For example, from November 2007 through June 2016 he served as a member of the New York State Adirondack Park Agency, pursuant to appointments by three governors. He was elected to two four-year terms on the Tompkins County Legislature and served there from 2002 to late 2007 when he resigned to take his seat on the Adirondack Park Agency.
Pursuant to an appointment by a fourth governor, he also served from 1991 to 1995 as a member of the New York State Low-level Radioactive Waste Siting Commission. In addition, he was elected three times to the City of Ithaca's Common Council (two four-year terms and one two-year term). His 10 years of service (1986-1996) on Common Council included six years as chair of the City's Budget and Administration Committee.
He worked in the public sector before joining the Cornell faculty in 1977. From 1975 to 1977, he was a lawyer for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, rising to the position of assistant counsel dealing with land use affairs. Prior to that, he was a senior attorney with the New York State Adirondack Park Agency.
He received a J.D. from George Washington University Law School in 1972 and a B.A. from Amherst College in 1968.
- CRP 1100 The American CityIntroductory course on the evolution of urban problems and opportunities facing the majority of this country's population as we enter the first decade of the 21st century. Readings, discussions, and brief papers explore topics ranging from suburban development to central city poverty, from environmental threats to downtown revitalization, and from municipal finance to the new position of women in the urban economy.
- CRP 4440/5440 Resource Management and Environmental LawIntroduces the application of legal concepts and processes to the management of natural resources and natural-resource areas. Explores the role of the common law, statutory law, administrative regulations, and judicial decisions in managing these resources. Particular focus is given to the management of wildlife, wetlands, and critical resources on public lands, and to the conflicts inherent in government attempts to regulate important natural resources on private lands.
- CRP 4590/5590 Legal Aspects of Land Use PlanninSurvey of leading cases and legal concepts in land-use planning, with particular attention to zoning, subdivision control, condemnation, and growth-control issues.
Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)
- Cornell Institute and Public Affairs Distinguished Faculty Award (2003–04)
- Outstanding Educator selected by Merrill Presidential Scholar (1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2001)
- AAP Distinguished Teaching Award (1983, 1987)
- Adirondack Perspectives, Adirondack Journal Of Environmental Studies (2009).
- "Effectiveness of Municipal Recycling Programs: A Case Study in Ithaca, New York," chapter in LaVille et l'environnement (1994)
- "Forging a Viable Future," chapter in Crossroads: Environmental Priorities for the Future (1988)
- Developing Regional Land Use Planning and Control Institutions–The Adirondack Experience, 28 Buffalo Law (1980)