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's Richard Booth Retires after Decades Devoted to Public Service and Teaching
- 2020 Togo Awards Recognize Community as 'A Place of Heart'
- Booth Receives Howard Zahniser Adirondack Award
- CRP's Richard Booth Receives Adirondack Wilderness Award
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)