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Wallace Kaufman

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Hands-on experience and clear thinking have been the core of Wallace Kaufman’s more than 40 years in construction, real estate, and environmental work. He began work in construction at age 14 when he first received working papers, and he went on to work in home building, land development, real estate brokerage, real estate appraisal, teaching appraisal, and serving as an expert witness and court appointed commissioner in cases that ranged from professional ethics to the impact of airport noise on property value. As resident adviser for housing and land reform in the newly independent Kazakhstan, he helped the country create the private and government institutions necessary for sustaining a housing market, a development industry, and government regulation.

He founded his own real estate brokerage business, created several land development corporations and partnerships in the US and abroad, and served as president of three statewide environmental groups. He has served as lead appraiser in cases that range from conservation easements, deficiency judgments on apartment complexes, construction practices, eminent domain takings, developer fraud, and environmental damage. As a Realtor he served on professional standards and grievance committees. 

Kaufman has also written extensively on business, real estate, science, and environment. Besides over 100 articles his work includes books on home values, the development of beaches, environmental history and invasive plants. As a writer he has the experience that enables him to think clearly and put complex issues in accurate and understandable language.

His broad experience led him into mediation, facilitation and arbitration work in the 1980s. He has negotiated business disputes and liquidations for such diverse small businesses as restaurants, electrical contractors and newspapers. Has also represented large and small businesses in property acquisition and contract and sale negotiation. He has served as court appointed commissioner to hear and resolve property disputes and mediated domestic disputes and divorces. Other work indicative of his experience and abilities include:

  • Moderating a debate between the Sierra Club and US Senator John Breaux sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders
  • Facilitating the Second Skidaway Conference on coastal development where he brought development, government and environmental interests to agreement
  • Overseeing the successful and peaceful integration of party political organizations in a rural NC county during hot civil rights conflicts
  • Bridging cultural understandings as lead coordinator and trainer of groups from the former Soviet Union visiting America to study ecotourism, Freedom of Information Act implementation and non-profit organizations
  • Evaluating the communications components of a large foreign aid project in rural Mongolia
  • Mediation of over 200 cases in real estate and construction


The Hunt for FOXP5: A Genomic Mystery Novel, Springer International, 2016. An exploration in fictional form of the ethics and geopolitics of new methods of gene editing.

Invasive Plants, Stackpole Books, 2007. The first continent-wide guide to the impacts, history, management and identification of invasive plants in natural areas. Co-author with Dr. Sylvan Ramsey Kaufman

No Turning Back, Basic Books, 1994. An exploration of the ideas and history of conservation and environmental issues in America. 

Finding Hidden Values in Your Home, McMillan Publishing Co, August, 1987. A book explaining how home values are created and eroded, and how to understand a residential appraisal. Adopted by Popular Science Book Club Book. 

The Beaches Are Moving, Duke University Press, 1984. Co-authored with Dr. Orrin Pilkey and wrote all text. A human and natural history of the U.S. Coastline. Alternate selection of The Book of the Month Club when first published by Doubleday/Anchor in 1979.

Articles, Features, Columns, etc.
Weekly real estate column for N.C. Financial Times while it existed (insert 1976-7 for NC papers); book and media review page for American Forests 1984-1993; personal column for N.C. weeklies 1981-1983; articles for many periodicals including The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, National Wildlife, Audubon, Orion, Chronicles, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and American Health; also Radio (Moscow) and in Kazakstan for Auto Alliance and for All Over the Globe (bilingual paper).
Science Writing Fellowship at Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA. First prize for weekly columns, N.C. Press Association 1982.


    New River Award for Conservation, 1978
    NC Press Association, first place for weekly columns, 1982
    Science Writing Fellow, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, 1989
    Citation for coastal conservation, Natural Resources Defense Council, 1980

    Oregon Mediation Association (served on Finance and Standards and Practice Committees)
    North American Mycological Association

    Oregon Mediation Center, Mediating Divorce Agreement
    Linn Benton Mediation Services, Basic Mediation Training
    Linn Benton Mediation Services, Court Systems Training

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Intensive Russian
    University of Georgia Continuing Education Center, real estate appraisal work, 1976.
    Oxford University, England, Marshall Scholar, M. Litt.
    Duke University, Durham, NC, AB magna cum laude

    RUSSIAN: conversational, can do some teaching in Russian
    SPANISH: good reading and speaking knowledge of Spanish.
    FRENCH: Reading knowledge