USSEE Board of Directors

  • Robert B Richardson President

    Robert B Richardson is an ecological economist and Associate Professor at Michigan State University with interests in the study of the environment and development, particularly the contribution of ecosystem services to socioeconomic well-being. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Colorado State University. His research, teaching, and outreach program focuses primarily on sustainable development, and he uses a variety of methods from the behavioral and social sciences to study decision-making about the use of natural resources and the values of ecosystem services. He has conducted research related to agricultural-environmental linkages, household food and energy security, and tradeoffs in decision-making about environmental management in southern and eastern Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia, as well as in various regions of the USA. His work has been published in Ecological EconomicsJournal of Environmental Management, and World Development. Dr. Richardson is a former member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and former chairperson of the subcommittee on Sustainable and Healthy Communities. He is an affiliate faculty member with MSU’s Environmental Science and Policy Program, Center for Advanced Study of International Development, Center for Regional Food Systems, African Studies Center, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

  • Jim Kahn Past-President

    KahnJim75_092508_015 Jim Kahn is an environmental and ecological economist, and a founding member of USSEE. He received his PhD in environmental economics from the University of Maryland in 1981, studying under one of the leaders of the original ecological economics movement, John Cumberland. He is a past Secretary/Treasurer of USSEE. Jim Kahn is the John Hendon Professor of Economics at Washington and Lee University, and the Director of the Environmental Studies Program there. He has been a faculty member at the Center for Environmental Science and the Graduate Program in Tropical Fishery Science at the Federal University of Amazonas (Brazil) since 1992. Past positions include SUNY-Binghamton (now Binghamton University) from 1980-1991 and a joint appointment at the University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1991-2000. He has over 150 publications (including 9 in Ecological Economics). Kahn has co-authors from diverse fields including ecology, chemistry, engineering, political science, hydrology, and fishery science. He held a Fulbright Scholarship in Brazil in 2001. Kahn has received numerous teaching awards including a SUNY-system-wide award for teaching excellence, and an Outstanding Faculty award from the Virginia State Council of Higher Education. Research interests focus on global climate change policy, sustainable development in remote regions, Amazonian issues, fishery management, causes of deforestation, economic incentives for preservation, and environmental valuation. Kahn has received research funding from NOAA, USEPA, US Department of Education, NYDEC, Mellon Foundation, CNPq (the Brazilian National Science Foundation) and the State of Amazonas, among other agencies.

  • John A. Sorrentino Secretary-Treasurer

    Photo of John A. Sorrentino John A. Sorrentino is Associate Professor of Economics at Temple University. He was a co-founder of Temple University’s Environmental Studies Program, and was honored by the University with a 1999 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Most of his publications and consulting work have involved the micro-economics of energy and the environment, and have appeared in journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Environmental Economics & Management, Environmental Management, and Landscape & Urban Planning. His works-in-progress include such topics as sustainable housing placement, environmental information systems, sustainable business practices, urban agriculture, and using environmental and health amenities to offset wealth inequality. John was a charter member of USSEE, is a member of the Scientific Committee organizing the 2015 Biennial Conference, and looks forward to having a direct hand in the Society as Secretary-Treasurer. Carefully documenting the operational and financial activities of any organization is important, and USSEE is no exception. The period of damage-control is over, and the future should bring stability and growth. John received his B.B.A. from Baruch College of the City University of New York and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University, all in economics.

  • Georgia Mavrommati Member at Large

  • Dr. Georgia Mavrommati is an Assistant Professor of Ecological Economics in the School for the Environment at University of Massachusetts Boston. She received her Master in Economic Theory and Policy from University of Crete and her PhD in ecological economics from Panteion University where she served as the Greek contact point of the European Society of Ecological Economics. After completing graduate school, Georgia was a Postdoctoral scholar in the Center for Water Sciences at Michigan State University and afterwards in the Environmental Studies Program at Dartmouth College. Her research focuses on the interface of the economy with the environment. In particular, the dependency of socioeconomic process on ecosystems and the provision to society of ecosystem services attracts her main interest. In her work, she is collaborating with scientists from a variety of disciplines (e.g. decision scientists, aquatic ecologists, forest ecologists, climate scientists) to characterize and value ecosystem services at the watershed level. This research addresses some practical challenges of conventional valuation methods through the development and application of a novel framework based on a deliberative multicriteria method into which sustainability considerations are incorporated and community engagement is ensured. Her teaching is concentrated in the fields of environmental policy and management, sustainable development and coupled social-ecological system dynamics. Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed papers and she recently founded the Ecological Economics and Systems Lab at UMass Boston.
  • Regina Ostergaard-Klem Member at Large

    Photo of Regina Ostergaard-KlemRegina Ostergaard-Kelm is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science in the College of Natural and Computational Sciences at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) in Honolulu, Hawaii. She holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University, and both an MS in Environmental Engineering and a PhD in Systems Analysis and Economics for Public Decision Making from The Johns Hopkins University. From 1994-1995, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Lodz, Poland. After completing graduate school, Ostergaard-Klem was a Science and Diplomacy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, DC. Prior to coming to HPU, she worked as an environmental policy advisor at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). There she managed urban environmental and energy projects throughout different regions of the world. At HPU, Dr. Ostergaard-Klem teaches in both the undergraduate level Environmental Science/Studies program and the master’s program in Global Leadership and Sustainable Development, for which she is also the Program Director. Her teaching is concentrated in the fields of ecological economics, sustainable human systems, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. Her most recent research efforts are focused on the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), a framework for evaluating social welfare as a supplement to Gross Domestic Product. She is a co-developer of “GPI Island Style,” the application of GPI at the state level in Hawaii. As an extension of that work, Ostergaard-Klem collaborates with partners across the state on several initiatives, including efforts to develop a state sustainability dashboard.

  • Susan Santone Member at Large

  • Susan Santone is an internationally recognized educator with 25 years of experience in curriculum reform, educational policy, and sustainability. An instructor at the University of Michigan School of Education (and formerly, Eastern Michigan University), she’s designed and taught graduate- and undergraduate courses on education reform, multicultural education, and social justice, the social/political foundations of education, and teaching ecological economics, and curriculum design. She is the author of Reframing the Curriculum: Design for Social Justice and Sustainability, as well as articles and book chapters on educating for sustainability, teaching ecological economics, and countering neoliberal influences in education. Through Creative Change Educational Solutions, the nonprofit she founded, she led teacher education and curriculum reform initiatives with clients ranging from K-12 districts to universities to the United Nations.
  • Phillip Warsaw Member at Large

    Dr. Phillip Warsaw is a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also completed in Ph.D. in Economics. As a master’s candidate in Environmental Studies, Phillip first began his engagement in ecological economics through his thesis work, titled “Beyond Distribution: Moving Towards a Power-Structures Approach to Environmental Justice in Ecological Economics.” As a doctoral candidate, Phillip continued his work in environmental justice in developing his dissertation, “Essays on the Economics of Food Access”, which developed a microeconomic approach to investigating food insecurity in Milwaukee. As a postdoctoral fellow, he has continued to develop his research agenda of building an economic paradigm centered around environmental justice, using a variety of traditional and non-traditional economics tools, as well as interdisciplinary approaches to his work. Phillip has also been involved in building a broader ecological economics agenda on the UW’s campus, developing and participating in a number of ecological economics reading groups, as well as developing a graduate course in ecological economics in Fall 2017.

  • Andrew Gerard  Graduate student Representative

    Andrew Gerard is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University, where he is also pursuing a PhD major in Environmental Science and Policy. His research focuses on institutional and economic issues related to agriculture and food systems. Current research activities include studying (1) policies related to coffee production and marketing in Rwanda and Burundi, (2) voluntary coffee sourcing standards, and (3) food system governance in shrinking, post-industrial cities such as Flint, Michigan. While pursuing his PhD, Andrew served as director of MSU’s Academy for Global Engagement, a program that provides early and mid-career MSU faculty members with opportunities to collaborate and conduct research internationally. In 2018 Andrew won the Malcolm and Ann Kerr Award for Excellence in Scholarship. This award allowed him to serve as instructor of record for the MSU undergraduate course International Development and Sustainability, which featured concepts from ecological economics. Prior to coming to MSU, Andrew was a Senior Program Officer at the Global Knowledge Initiative, a non-profit international development organization based in Washington, DC. There he built collaborative research networks and supported science and technology policy programs in East and Southern Africa. Andrew has a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Sciences from Andrews University and a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University.

  • Emma Rice Undergraduate student Representative

  •  Emma Rice is an undergraduate student at Michigan State University working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Economics and Management with minors in Environmental Studies and Sustainability and in Science, Technology, and Environment Public Policy. Rice is heavily involved with the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resource Economics (AFRE) at MSU. She is the Vice President and co-founder of the Sustainable Business Association, an undergraduate student organization within AFRE, works as a class grader for two professors in the course: Decision Making in the Agri-Food System, and is conducting undergraduate research on the implications of vote-buy gaps in recent animal welfare and GMO ballot initiatives advised by Dr. Melissa McKendree. Rice will present this research at the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting this summer of 2019. Rice also works as in the lab of Dr. C. Robin Buell in MSU’s Department of Plant Biology as an administrative and laboratory assistant and has conducted experiments with DNR, running Polymerase Chain Reactions and Gel Electrophoresis. Rice spent last summer in the field working for the MSU Department of Horticulture as a research assistant on a sustainable vegetable agriculture cover crop project. Rice is interested in the intersection between agriculture and environmental sustainability. Rice plans to attend graduate school in order to obtain a Master’s degree in applied economics, then hopes to pursue a career in environmental policy. This summer, Rice will be in Washington DC for an environmental policy internship with the Federal Government.

Transforming the Economy for a Just and Sustainable World