Second International Conference

Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity

25-28 March 2010, Barcelona, Spain

Call for abstracts

ECONOMIC DEGROWTH TODAY

(Español abajo, Français ci-dessous, Català a baix)

The second international conference on Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity is planned towards the end of March 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. It is organised by the Institute of Science and Environmental Technology (ICTA), Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (www.icta.uab.es), and the organization Research & Degrowth (www.degrowth.net). The conference follows the one held in Paris in April 2008 (proceedings available at http://events.it-sudparis.eu/degrowthconference/en/).

We invite you to submit abstracts of 400 words to the email barcelona2010@degrowth.net by 30 November 2009.

The conference focuses on “socially sustainable economic degrowth”, and links economic, environmental and social perspectives, with an emphasis on practical policies and concrete proposals. Papers accepted will be presented as posters at the conference and included in the published conference proceedings. A list of the best papers will be selected by the scientific committee and included in special issues to be published in scientific journals. A special issue with papers from the 1st conference is under publication at the Journal of Cleaner Production.

The Barcelona conference will have a special set-up, the focus being on intensive workshops where groups of participants will discuss specific policy proposals and research priorities. Selected speakers will also give plenary speeches. The conference will mainly take place in English, and translation will be limited. More information about the conference is available at http://www.degrowth.net/-Barcelona2010-

Please forward this call to your networks. We would also be interested in contacts of people who wish to receive information on the conference. More precise information on venue and program will soon be available.

Please send abstracts with title, author(s), affiliation and address in word or open office without formatting or tabulation, named in the following way: nameofauthor_titleofpaper__degrowthconference.

We look forwards to your contributions!

Francois Schneider, Giorgos Kallis, Joan Martinez-Alier, Marta Conde

For more information click here.

M.S. in Sustainability Management Information Session

You are cordially invited to join us for an information session on Thursday, November 19th at 6:00 p.m. to learn more about the proposed M.S. in Sustainability Management being developed by Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education and The Earth Institute.

The M.S. in Sustainability Management is a brand-new program that will formally train and educate sustainability practitioners for a broad range of fields. Students will learn sophisticated environmental measurement tools and cutting-edge environmental science to fully understand the systematic and organizational role of sustainability in any organization. This program is ideal for practitioners and aspiring professionals working in organizational management, regulatory compliance, facilities operations, and environmental stewardship. This program will accommodate busy schedules and have both a full-time a part-time track.

For more information about this program, please go to:

www.ce.columbia.edu/sustainability

Date: Thursday, November 19

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: The Hilton Times Square Hotel

To register for the information session, please go to:

https://register.applyyourself.com/?id=col-scems&pid=1953&eID=25106&rid=1

Master of Science in Sustainability Management School of Continuing Education and The Earth Institute Columbia University www.ce.columbia.edu/sustainability

Pending approval by the University Senate, the program plans to accept the first class beginning in fall 2010.

Contact: Columbia Univ. School of Int’l & Public Affairs, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

Portland State University Associate/Assistant Professor Needed

Portland State University

Position Title:  Associate/Assistant Professor, Environmental and Resource Economics Department of Economics

***Revised October 2009 ***

Position Summary

The Department of Economics at Portland State University invites applications for a tenure track associate or assistant professor position, which begins September 2010. We are conducting a search in any area of environmental and natural resource economics, though expertise in renewable energy and energy efficiency would be especially welcome.

Responsibilities

  • Teaching load includes courses in candidates’ areas of specialization at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Assist with curriculum development
  • Advise graduate and undergraduate students
  • Conduct academic research for publication.
  • Present and discuss research at scholarly meetings
  • Contribute fully to departmental, college and university service. This includes, but is not limited to attending monthly faculty meetings, participating in departmental social events, seminars, community outreach activities and serving on or leading departmental, college or university committees.
  • Contribute fully to the intellectual environment of the Department of Economics.

Required Qualifications

  • Candidates must have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. prior to September 2010.
  • Qualifications for appointment include a distinguished Ph.D. record, evidence of commitment to research, teaching and creating community partnerships, capability to secure extramural research support and interest in policy issues.
  • Active research agenda in environmental and resource economics.
  • Candidates are expected to display exceptional ability to teach a diverse student body at an urban university.

Compensation

The starting annual salary rate for this position will be between $85,000 to $90,000 with an excellent benefits package that in 2008/2009 includes fully paid healthcare, retirement package and reduced tuition rates for employee, spouse or one dependant at any of the Oregon University System schools.

To Apply

Applicants should send a curriculum vita, minimum three letters of professional recommendation, papers, publications and evidence of high-caliber teaching by post to Environmental Economics Search Chair, Department of Economics, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751 or electronically to environmental_econ@pdx.edu. Applications received by November 30, 2009 are guaranteed full consideration, but will be accepted until the position is filled. Questions can also be directed to environmental_econ@pdx.edu. Interviews to be conducted at 2010 ASSA meetings in Atlanta, Georgia.

Portland State University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Institution and, in keeping with the President’s diversity initiative, welcomes applications from diverse candidates and candidates who support diversity.

Ecological Economics Reviews

The USSEE is publishing Ecological Economics Reviews in collaboration with the NY Academy of Sciences.  The first issue will be published in January of 2010 with 16 papers.  You can find the table of contents at http://www.nyas.org/ecoeco.  We would like to thank those of you who reviewed or submitted papers to the first issue.  Your contributions were greatly appreciated.

We look forward to seeing additional submissions from you and your colleagues in future issues.

Ida Kubiszewski
Managing Editor
Ecological Economics Reviews
skype: ida.kub
p: 860.729.1126
e: ida.kub@gmail.com
w: http://www.idakub.com/

USGS Mendenhall Research Fellowship in Ecological Economics

Ecosystem services (ES) by definition are the benefits received by people that are provided by ecosystems. The process of identifying, quantifying, and accounting for the economic value of ES has been recognized as a valuable tool for the efficient allocation of environmental resources and management investments on public lands. To permit the practical application of ecosystem services assessment and valuation information in management planning, methods and tools need to be developed that can utilize this information to identify effective management activities and establish optimal or priority management sites. Maps of service provisioning and flow can provide information critical to the identification of suitable management activities on a landscape. Valuation of services and flows can reveal potentially hidden social costs and benefits and internalize them in the process of prioritizing management activities (Troy and Wilson, 2006). The ability to optimize service flows and values associated with trade-offs in the decision making calculus would permit the development of priority management plans that integrate both activities and locations (for example, Polasky and others., 2008; Ligmann-Zielinska and others, 2008).

Few ES research efforts to date have effectively identified, mapped, and modeled both the provision and use of (or supply and demand for) specific ES. Moreover, the spatial and temporal flow or movement of ES across the landscape from ecosystems to people is poorly understood and has rarely been modeled. Accounting for the spatially distributed provisioning, flow, and consumption of ES will provide critical information for use in land management and planning. Spatial knowledge of ES flows in particular is important for the eventual establishment of markets, and by explicitly identifying providers and beneficiaries, can provide information critical for the establishment of payment schemes. This knowledge would further improve the ability of planners and land managers to identify locations and opportunities for conservation and restoration that preserve flows of key ES to human beneficiary groups, and to determine where development or extractive resource uses are more and less compatible with preservation of ES flows to beneficiaries.

This Mendenhall Opportunity focuses on examining spatial patterns of ES provisioning and consumption, and the identification of land management strategies that can optimize service provisioning and the sustainable economic value derived from public lands. Postdoctoral research will be done in close cooperation with existing collaborative ES research partnerships within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), other Federal agencies, county government, and local universities. A number of potential project sites exist, and applicants need to consult with the Research Advisors to identify the one best suited to their interests. The Mendenhall Fellow will build on and improve existing methods, or develop new methods as appropriate for mapping and valuing ES flows, and facilitate trade-off analyses by utilizing stakeholder constraints to identify optimal land management strategies.

Mendenhall project proposals will require a flexible approach that can accommodate multiple methods of ES assessment, as well as both monetary and non-monetary valuation. We anticipate that the applicant will be able to utilize ES provisioning information obtained by a variety of methods and from a number of different project participants who have or are in the process of modeling and mapping specific services. This provisioning information needs to be connected to use by beneficiary groups, and along carrier-specific flow paths from ecosystems to people. For some services valuation may be required; for others it will be established. The applicant will identify the necessary spatial data to populate any selected models, and will work with disciplinary experts to improve both the theoretical soundness of the models and to calibrate them where possible. Methods comparison will be encouraged where possible.

Project proposals must be able to incorporate both baseline and scenario assessments. Scenarios, based on pre-selected environmental stressors for example,vclimate change), will be developed and assessed at potential project sites to account for a range of anticipated future conditions. Proposed methods for the identification of optimal land management strategies will thus require consideration of distinct potential future conditions in addition to the present condition of the landscape. At present, scenarios represent the best available means for anticipating ecosystem change. Management strategies must therefore be designed with the aim of maximizing the achievement of management objectives under a range of potential future conditions.

The results of this research will increase USGS’s capability for mapping, valuing, and optimizing ecosystem service flows to assist with decision making on public lands. We expect that the research will produce new methods and tools that can be incorporated into public domain software to facilitate technology transfer to a wide range of land management problems that can benefit from ES assessment and valuation information.

References

Ligmann-Zielinska, A., Church, R.L., and Jankowski, P., 2008, Spatial optimization as a generative technique for sustainable multi-objective land-use allocation: International Journal of Geographical Information Science, v. 22, no. 6, p. 601–622.

Polasky, S., Nelson, E., Camm, J., Csuti, B., Fackler, P., Lonsdorf, E., Montgomery, C., White, D., Arthur, J., Garber-Yonts, B., Haight, R., Kagan, J., Starfield, A., and Tobalske, C., 2008, Where to put things? Spatial land management to sustain biodiversity and economic returns: Biological Conservation, v. 141, p. 1505–1524.

Troy, A., and Wilson, M.A., 2006, Mapping ecosystem services: Practical challenges and opportunities in linking GIS and value transfer: Ecological Economics, v. 60, p. 435?449.

Proposed Duty Station: Denver, CO; Fort Collins, CO

Areas of Ph.D.: Geography, ecology, economics, sociology, mathematics, and/or computer science (candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines but with knowledge and skills relevant to the Research Opportunity may be considered).

Qualifications: Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications: Research Geographer, Research Ecologist, Research Economist

(This type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the occupations stated above. However, other titles may be applicable depending on the applicant’s background, education, and research proposal. The final classification of the position will be made by the Human Resources specialist.)

Research Advisor(s): dsemmens@usgs.gov; Jay Diffendorfer, (303) 202-4070, jediffendorfer@usgs.gov; Todd Hawbaker, (303) 202-4303, tjhawbaker@usgs.gov; Lynne Koontz, (970) 226-9384, koontzl@usgs.gov

Human Resources Office contact: Janet Presley, (303) 236-9573, jpresley@usgs.gov

Elinor Ostrom breaks Nobel mould

The economics profession needs to be shaken up. Ostrom’s Nobel prize should encourage us to take a fresh approach

Kevin Gallagher
guardian.co.uk,
Tuesday 13 October 2009 17.00 BST

The economics profession is in such disarray that one of the Nobel prizes in economics this year went to political scientist Elinor Ostrom – the first woman to be awarded the economics prize. This is an excellent choice (in any year) not only because of what Ostrom has contributed to social theory but also because of how she goes about her work.

In a nutshell, Ostrom won the Nobel prize for showing that privatising natural resources is not the route to halting environmental degradation.

In most economics classes the environment is usually taught as being the victim of the “tragedy of the commons”. If one assumes, like many economists do, that individuals are ruthlessly selfish individuals, and you put those individuals onto a commonly owned resource, the resource will eventually be destroyed. The solution: privatise the commons. Everyone will have ownership of small parcels and treat that parcel better than when they shared it.

Many environmental experts also reject the tragedy of the commons argument and say the government should step in.

Ostrom says the government may not be the best allocator of public resources either. Often governments are seen as illegitimate, or their rules cannot be enforced. Indeed, Ostrom’s life work looking at forests, lakes, groundwater basins and fisheries shows that the commons can be an opportunity for communities themselves to manage a resource.

In her classic work Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, Ostrom shows that under certain conditions, when communities are given the right to self-organise they can democratically govern themselves to preserve the environment.

At the policy level, Ostrom’s findings give credence to the many indigenous and peasant movements across the developing world where people are trying to govern the land they have managed for centuries but run into conflict with governments and global corporations. Some economists on the frontier of their discipline have started to use Ostrom’s insights in their work. In their recent book Reclaiming Nature: Environmental Justice and Ecological Restoration, James Boyce, Liz Stanton and Sunita Narain, show how communities in Brazil, India, West Africa and even in the United States have managed their resources in a sustainable manner when given their rightful access to their assets.

Indeed, Boyce and his collaborators find that communities should be paid for their services, since they can sometimes do a far better job than government or corporations at managing resources. Indeed, “payment for environmental services” has become a buzzword in development circles. Now even the World Bank has a fund for PES schemes across the world.

In terms of methodology, Ostrom proves her findings three times over. As opposed to many economists who never leave the blackboard, Ostrom often conducts satellite analyses of resource depletion to measure amounts of degradation. Second, she actually goes out into the field and performs case studies of human and ecological behaviour all across the world. However, she doesn’t stop there. When she gets back from her fieldwork she conducts behavioural experiments to see if random subjects replicate her findings in the field.

The Nobel committee should be applauded for recognising such rigorous theoretical and empirical work. Shining light on Ostrom is a call to economists to spend a lot more time analysing human behaviour, rather than assuming that we are all rational selfish individuals. It is also a call on economists to become more empirical and to find ways to validate their theories.

Adopting Ostrom’s approach will not only help us forge a better relationship with the natural environment, but will help us become more realistic about the economy in general. It’s time for a fresh approach to both.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009
Visit The Guardian and see other Gallagher columns:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/kevingallagher
For more on GDAE’s Globalization and Sustainable Development Program:
http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/policy_research/globalization.html

Ostrom & Williamson win Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 2009

Elinor Ostrom

Co-Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences 2009

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA

“for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons”

Oliver E. Williamson

Co-Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences 2009

University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

“for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm”

For more information you can check out the Nobel Prize website or the New York Times article by Louis Uchitelle.

MSU Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistantship

Title: Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistantships, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Job Description: Graduate research assistant wanted to join interdisciplinary team on NSF supported research (Coupled Natural and Human Systems #0815966). The project, Globalization and the Connection of Remote Communities, addresses the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of expanding market, migration, and technology networks on remote human settlements in twelve small communities along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. Student will conduct field research, write manuscripts for publication, and contribute to the generation of additional grant proposals. Assistantship starts Fall of 2010 although funds will be available to support preliminary field work in the summer of 2010. Please refer to the project web site for additional information: http://www.globalchange.msu.edu/nicaragua/

Qualifications: Seeking outstanding student in the social sciences with strong interdisciplinary interests related to the conservation of biodiversity. Candidate’s primary academic interest should be in a relevant social science (e.g. resource economics, sociology, anthropology, international development, geography) with some training, experience, or interest in the environmental sciences, ecology, conservation biology, fisheries or wildlife. A bachelor’s degree is required although a master’s degree is preferred. Must have excellent GPA and GRE scores. A strong work ethic, good verbal and written communication skills, ability to work independently and as a productive member of a research team are required. International travel and work experience as well as fluency in Spanish are strongly preferred.

Salary & Benefits: Four years of funding (Ph.D.) at a half time appointment of 20 hours per week with a monthly stipend, tuition waver, and health benefits. For more information on graduate assistantships at MSU see http://grad.msu.edu/assistantships/docs/assistantship.pdf.

Application Instructions: Interested candidates should send the following information electronically to Dr. Daniel Kramer at dbk@msu.edu by October 30th, 2009. Pre-application inquiries are welcome.

  1. Cover letter indicating your research, academic, and career interests
  2. CV
  3. Academic transcripts (unofficial copies are fine initially)
  4. GRE scores (unofficial copies are fine initially)
  5. Names and contact information (including email addresses) for 3 references

Contact Information:
Dr. Daniel Kramer
370 North Case Hall
James Madison College and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
East Lansing, MI 48825
Tel: (517) 432-2199
Email: dbk@msu.edu

Temporary Federal Postdoctoral Position at Atlantic Ecology Division in Narragansett, RI

US Environmental Protection Agency

National Health and Environmental Effects Laboratory
Postdoctoral Program Atlantic Ecology Division Narragansett, RI
Temporary Federal Position

Benefit-cost analysis of “gray” versus “green” infrastructure Project Number:  AED-09-14-09-203
Division: Atlantic Ecology Division
Branch: Watershed Diagnostics Branch
Geographic Location: Narragansett, RI

Project Description

The position will support research expected to yield method(s) for benefit-cost analysis of the use of traditional man-made (or “gray”) infrastructure versus the use Green Infrastructure (GI) and Low Impact  Development (LID) to manage storm water. EPA’s Office of Water (OW) has  endorsed the incorporation of GI and LID practices into the development of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), either through the Load Allocation process for current and future nonpoint sources, or through TMDL Implementation Plans or equivalent watershed management plans. Stormwater management practices can be implemented through either regulatory means (e.g., stormwater permits, or local ordinances) or through incentive-based programs. Guidance is needed by EPA Regions, States, watershed/coastal management organizations and local communities on the  benefits and costs of traditional “gray” infrastructure used to manage storm water as compared with GI and LID practices. Estimation of benefits will require valuation of ecosystem services provided by green  infrastructure. Research will be coordinated among EPA’s National Heath and Environmental Effects and National Risk Management Research Laboratories; Office of Research and Development’s Water Quality and Ecosystem Services Research Programs; and EPA’s Stormwater and TMDL Programs.

Projected Duration of Appointment: 3 years
Educational Requirements:  Ph.D. in Ecological Economics, Ecology,Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, or closely related field.
Specialized training or experience preferred:  Cost-benefit analysis,ecological economics, valuation of ecosystem services, evaluation of best management practices
Scientific Contact/Principal Investigator: Naomi Detenbeck, detenbeck.naomi@epa.gov, 401-782-3162
Application information: Due Date: October 30,2009 For application instructions click here.  Please do not apply directly to the scientific contact.

Transforming the Economy for a Just and Sustainable World