Social and Ecological Sustainability Issues

On June 1st of the conference there will be four parallel sessions offered in the area of social and ecological sustainability issues dealing particularly with economic development and will be given by Maya Kocian, Dr. Marina Vornovytsky, Dr. Sirisha Naidu and Dr. Bernhard Gunter.

Maya Kocian graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a B.A. in Economics and is currently working with Earth Economics.  She has done research in several areas and has studied the impact of various development projects on natural resources, particularly in Ecuadorian oil fields.  Her presentation titled Ecological Economics In Ecuador will cover the topic of Ecuadorian efforts to preserve natural resources and discusses the efforts being made in the OPEC organization to cover the financial costs of preservation.

Dr. Marina Vornovytsky graduated magna cum laude from American University in 4 years with 3 separate degrees in Economics, Mathematics, and International Studies.  She also received her doctorate from University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Economics and currently serves as an Economics instructor at Loyola College in Maryland.  She will be presenting Inter-regional Inequalities and Environmental Degradation: Understanding the Political Economy of Pollution Shifting which will deal with the possible effects of economic inequality on pollution control, taking data from Russian Statistical Agency to prove her assertions.

Dr. Sirisha Naidu serves as an assistant professor of Economics at Wright University and will be presenting Green Is In: The Impact Of ‘green’ Policies On Social And Ecological Sustainability which will primarily focus on the effects and effectiveness of environmental policies on the forest dwellers of India and the forests themselves using Marxist, feminist, and ecological views.

Dr. Bernhard Gunter, currently the president of the Bangladesh Development Research Center, will present The Impact Of Development And Growth On Energy Use And Co2 Emissions: A Case Study For Bangladesh Until 2050 which looks at the environmental impact Bangladesh is expected to have in the near future and how this reflects on global development as a whole.  He will also reflect on the effectiveness of the increased use of alternative energy sources in reducing CO2 emissions.

ARIES Conference

From 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. on June 2 at the 2009 USSEE Conference, Dr. Marta Ceroni, Dr. Ferdinando Villa, and Kenneth Bagstad will be giving parallel sessions on the Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services project, also known as ARIES.  ARIES is a complex, web based program that utilizes artificial intelligence to aid policy makers and researchers by making the complex relationships between a regions various natural resources clearer.  Because of its innovative design, it is able to help fill in missing data by assessing and learning from the patterns that it sees, giving the user the best possible estimate of the actual information.  The project designers have also taken great measures to incorporate local information and sources as well, which gives a perspective overlooked when simply transferring known data to new situations.

ARIES is a government funded project and will not only enhance the ability of policy makers to plan appropriate uses of natural resources, but will also offer interesting insights into the ability of machines to learn and grow as well as link information intelligently.  The program will also bridge the gap between human and machine communication as it helps the user make informed and intelligent decisions while simultaneously compiling the effects of those decisions and communicating them back to the user.

Dr. Marta Ceroni, who is a research assistant professor at University of Vermont, will be chairing the sessions, and will also be presenting Conservation Planning and Management Using ARIES.  Dr. Ceroni has a wide range of experience in ecosystem assessment and environmental services and works with the ARIES project as well as the United Nations, Mexico, Brazil, Madagascar, and Thailand in various consulting capacities.

Dr. Ferdinando Villa, presenting A Demonstration of the ARIES System, is a software designer and engineer at the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics and is one of the project leads for ARIES.  He has extensive skills in both human and machine languages and has done a great deal of research in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), ecology, and ecoinformatics (which is the science of making natural objects understandable to machines and humans and then integrating that information to make it relevant).

Kenneth Bagstad is a graduate student with the Gund Institute and has received a B.A.  in botany and environmental studies as well as an M.S. and his research focused on the effects of groundwater pumping in southeastern Arizona on plants near the San Pedro River.  He has worked as an environmental consultant and has done research on tropical plant taxonomy, as well as participating in environmental restoration in the Midwest.  He will be presenting Linking Spatial Data and Ecological Knowledge to Map Ecosystem Services Provision, Use, and Benefit Flows.

The USSEE Conference starts in just a few days. We don’t want you to miss out on this exceptional opportunity. If you have not registered we are offering a weekend special rate of $325 for USSEE/ISEE members and $425 for non-members. This special is a savings of $30. Register at http://ussee.org/conference09/.  The weekend special registration ends at Midnight PST on Monday, May 25.

USSEE Conference Registration Special

The USSEE Conference starts in just a few days. We don’t want you to miss out on this exceptional opportunity. If you have not registered we are offering a weekend special rate of $325 for USSEE/ISEE members and $425 for non-members. This special is a savings of $30. Register at http://ussee.org/conference09/

Of course you won’t want to miss the special lunch event that will feature a presentation by Herman Daly. There are also other featured speakers throughout the event that you won’t want to miss. The weekend special registration will start at 8am EST on Thursday, May 21 and run through Midnight PST on Monday, May 25.

The last day for online registration will be Midnight PST on Wednesday, May 27th. Avoid long lines at the registration desk by preregistering by May 27th.

See you in D.C.

Environmental Economics Assistant Professor

Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

Q Environmental Economics

The department of economics is seeking applications for a one-year visiting assistant professor/instructor beginning August 2009. Responsibilities include teaching an introductory course in environmental economics, a seminar in environmental and resource economics, and econometrics labs. Teaching load is 5 courses per year. Minimum qualifications include: ABD in economics, prior college/university teaching experience, and a demonstrated potential for high quality teaching. Colgate University is an equal opportunity affirmative action employer. Developing and sustaining a diverse faculty, student body, and staff further the University’s educational mission. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please send or email a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, 3 letters of recommendation, and evidence of teaching experience and effectiveness to: Professor Robert Turner (rturner@mail.colgate.edu), Search Committee Chair, Department of Economics, Colgate University; 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346. Email applications are encouraged.

Forest Ecologist

Forest Ecologist in Bozeman, MT

Position Classification: Exempt Grade 5

Salary Range: Competitive

Reporting Relationship: Director of Ecology

Starting Date: July 1, 2009

Position Summary (General Description): The Wilderness Society seeks an ecologist with experience in natural resource issues and an interest in restoration to join its Ecology & Economics Research Department as part of an interdisciplinary regional conservation team working to protect Montana’s wildlands. This is an exceptional opportunity for a conservation scientist interested in applying his or her scientific expertise to real world land management challenges and working at the nexus between science and public policy. We seek an applied ecologist to synthesize and analyze existing scientific information, develop new information, and translate these ideas into a format that will influence federal land management decisions in Montana and federal policies.

Founded in 1935, The Wilderness Society seeks to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. We work from a foundation in science and through collaborations with local and regional and national conservation partners to achieve protection and improved stewardship of (primarily) federally owned wildlands in the United States. In addition to the two overarching goals of increased wildland designation and improved stewardship of public wildlands, we pay particular to three issues affecting wildland health and management: climate change; energy; and recreation.

The principal role of the scientist in this position is to develop and deliver scientific understanding of the ecosystems of the Northern Rockies in order to strengthen conservation practices on federal lands managed by the Forest Service. This position will be a critical part of our multidisciplinary team with expertise in economics, landscape analysis, communications, outreach, organizing and advocacy. The ecologist provides the foundation for science-based advocacy in Montana and the broader Northern Rockies, as well as contributing to the overall efforts of our Ecology and Economics Research Department.

The ecologist will be involved in numerous aspects of The Wilderness Society’s program, but project work will be centered on the development of ecological information needed to shape the Forest Service’s decisions regarding forest restoration, management and protection. . The ecologist will lead the development of ecological information relevant to restoring watersheds and forest ecosystems, habitat fragmentation, and wildland fire management. Analyses will help quantify values, threats, and develop restoration solutions.

The ideal candidate has substantial scientific experience post graduate school, experience with land conservation issues and policies, expertise in Northern Rockies ecosystems, outstanding communication skills, and a proven ability to translate ecological information into public policy and land management recommendations. This is a senior science level position within The Wilderness Society and compensation is competitive with university and governmental science programs.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work closely with research department, regional conservation, and stewardship climate change, and other program staff to develop and integrate scientific program priorities into the campaign to influence forest management in Montana national forests;
  • Design and develop scientific analyses that bring ecological information, including results from spatial analyses, to bear on forest restoration and protection plans for priority areas in Montana;
  • Develop scientific reports, white papers, peer-reviewed papers and science and policy briefs needed to build the scientific case for protection, restoration, and good stewardship of wildlands;
  • Help develop policy recommendations based on scientific data;
  • Analyze select federal land management plans, policies, and environmental impact statements to assess ecological impacts on Montana wildlands;
  • Communicate research, analytical findings, and policy recommendations to government agencies, elected officials, conservation partners, and other audiences;
  • Share scientific findings and related policy recommendations with the media;
  • Where appropriate, use scientific research and information from Montana to help influence national level policy issues;
  • Support development of funding proposals;
  • Manage contract research, internships, and other means of augmenting analytical capacity; and
  • Travel to attend short-duration meetings, give presentations, and visit specific project sites

Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in forestry, ecology, wildlife biology, landscape ecology or related field;
  • Passion for and commitment to wildland conservation;
  • Familiarity with Northern Rockies ecosystems;
  • Working knowledge of GIS concepts and principles;
  • Knowledge of conservation issues on western public lands and how they relate to natural resource management and federal public land policy;
  • Understanding of federal environmental laws;
  • Ability to work with the media, elected officials, and the public;
  • Exceptional communication skills and demonstrated ability to translate complex ecological information into terms that can be understood by a non-scientific audience;
  • Ability to think strategically and develop conservation advocacy programs;
  • Ability to work with diverse stakeholders and interact in a group setting;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, think creatively, and write convincingly

This position is available July 1, 2009 and is located in our Bozeman office. The Wilderness Society is an equal opportunity employer. The Wilderness Society offers a competitive compensation and benefits package.

Application review will begin in early-May and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. To apply please submit a cover letter explaining your qualifications for this position, resume, samples of both technical and popular writing in relevant fields, and names, addresses, phone numbers of three references to:

Forest Ecologist Search
The Wilderness Society
1615 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
email: research_jobs@tws.org

Georgist Economics

Georgist Economics is a theory developed by Henry George, an economic genius born to the United States over one hundred years ago. He lived with little formal education during the beginning industrialization of the US from 1839-1897.  The book, Progress and Poverty, was written with George’s spare time, outlining the problems he saw with the U.S economy.

George had an idea, one that many are trying to incorporate to today’s markets. This was the idea that all taxes should be abolished for one tax on all “common” assets of mankind. His thought was that everything belonged to everyone collectively, especially land. George thought that land belonged to everyone, and that it was the beginning of our economic system in the U.S.  Land was the bottom, then it required labor to work that finite land, and that resulted in capital. His plan was to levy a tax on all land, average it all and have all people pay one tax on that land. This would support the entire U.S budget.  He didn’t have the same publicity that other economists of his day. This resulted in almost no one reading or incorporating his theories except select cities, namely Arden, Delaware in the U.S.

On June 2 at 11 a.m. four panelist will discuss Georgist Economics at the 2009 USSEE Conference:  Science and policy for a sustainable future.   The panel will be led by Jeff Smith, President, Forum on Geonomics.  Here is a sample of their abstracts.

  • Alanna Hartzok from the Earth Rights Institute; Land Rights And Land Value Capture. “Land Value Capture is a public revenue policy recommended for national action by consensus of all UN member states in both the UN Habitat II Agenda in 1996 and The Vancouver Action Plan, the 1976 founding document for UN Habitat.”
  • Bill Batt; Georgist Economics and Ecological Economics.  “Ecological Economics lacks a moral framework….Georgist Economics, which many argue is a very compatible framework, is explicitly moral. By amending Georgist economics to ecological economics, each becomes that much stronger and more cogent. This presentation explains the moral dimension of Georgism and how it fits with Ecological Economics.”
  • Gary Flomenhoft; An Inventory of Potential Economic Rent on Common Assets in Vermont. “Valuation of potential economic rent from minerals, spectrum, land, internet, fish and wildlife, forests, atmosphere, groundwater, surface water, and wind in Vermont was conducted in Spring of 2008. This report will summarize the results as a potential funding source for state government or social dividend as originally proposed by Henry George.”
  • Dr. Joshua Farley from the University of Vermont; Vermont’s Common Asset Trust: A Practical Application of Georgist Ecological Economics. “This paper explains how a CAT policy integrates Georgist and Ecological Economic policy principles. I will explain why certain assets are likely to be managed more sustainable, fairly and efficiently as common property than as private property.”

We look forward to having you join us at the 2009 USSEE Conference in Washington, DC at the American University.  It will be held May 31 – June 3.  The USSEE website is the place to check for regular schedule and speaker updates. If you have any questions, please contact secretariat@ussee.org.

Post-Doctoral Position Available

Modeling complex freshwater landscapes

University/Agency: Michigan State University

Location: East Lansing, MI

Job Description: A two-year post-doctoral position is available to work with the Landscape Limnology Research Group and partners (funded by the Center for Water Sciences at Michigan State University). The successful applicant will work with an interdisciplinary team that includes the landscape limnology research group (Kendra Spence Cheruvelil, Mary Bremigan, Patricia Soranno, and Katherine Webster) and collaborators in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (Daniel Kramer) and the Department of Geography (Arika Ligmann-Zielinska). The successful applicant will build upon on-going research to integrate landscape limnology, economics, human behavior, and policy into a framework that develops a richer understanding of lakes and their landscapes as coupled human and natural systems (lakes and their watersheds). Products of the work include high-impact scientific publications and a proposal submission to NSF’s Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems Program.

Qualifications: A PhD is required. Applicants from all related disciplines (social science, natural resource economics, aquatic ecology, environmental science) are invited to apply. Persons experienced with quantitative approaches and the use of systems modeling are especially encouraged to apply. Excellent organizational skills and the ability to effectively work with an interdisciplinary team of researchers, managers, and policy-makers across a variety of disciplines are required.

Salary: $40,000/year plus competitive benefits package

Last Date to apply: June 15, 2009 or when position is filled.

Start Date: August 16, 2009

To apply: Send statement of interest, current CV, and contact information for three references to:

Dr. Kendra S. Cheruvelil, Assistant Professor
Lyman Briggs School of Science
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
35 East Holmes Hall
(518) 353-9528
ksc@msu.edu

Advances in Sustainability Indicators

On June 1st at 2 p.m. four panelists will make their oral presentations on Advances in Sustainability Indicators.

  • Alexandra Marques from the Instituto Superior Técnico; Urban Environmental Responsibility, “In 2008 the world population reached a turning point: urban population equaled, for the first time, rural population. According to United Nations (UN), this tendency will continue and in 2050, about 70% of world’s population is expected to live in urban areas.”
  • Alejandra Gonzalez Mejia from the University of Cincinnati; Fisher Information As A Measure Of Sustainability In Metropolitan Statistical Areas, “In 1983, during the United Nations General Conference, the World Commission on Environment and Development introduced the term sustainability…”
  • Brynhildur Davíðsdóttir from the University of Iceland; Measuring Sustainable Energy Development (sed): Linking Sed Indicators To Dynamics Of Change, “In 1999, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in collaboration with the UN Committee on Sustainable Energy, the United Nations Work Programme on Energy Indicators of Sustainable Development, and other organizations, initiated a project to develop energy system indicators that could be used in a composite multidimensional index.”
  • Dr. Deepak Malghan from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore;  A Framework For Consistent Biophysical Metrics, “One of the key areas of ecological economics research concerns the development of biophysical metrics that measure the physical size of economic activity.”

Make sure you register for the May 31 – June 3, 2009 conference today!  The conference will be held at American University in Washington D.C.  The USSEE website is the place to check for regular schedule and speaker updates. If you have any questions, please contact secretariat@ussee.org.

Postdoctoral Position Available

Amazonian indigenous people, cultural change, and biodiversity: Join an exciting team on a unique project investigating the consequences on biodiversity of cultural changes in Amazonian indigenous communities. We are seeking enthusiastic candidates for an 18 mo postdoctoral position, jointly based in Stanford University (USA) and Toulouse University (France).

Responsibilities: The successful candidate will contribute to an NSFfunded project, by developing a mathematical model of the hunting practices of Makusi and Wapichana people in Southern Guyana and northern Brazil. Duties will include integration and synthesis of existing socioeconomic, hunting and environmental data sets, statistical analyses, model building, and manuscript preparation. Opportunities to develop independent research projects using data generated by the project are encouraged.

Qualifications: A PhD with a background in ecology/evolution, demonstrated interest in the broader questions in social studies and tropical systems, a proven publication record especially in mathematical modeling, and strong motivation. Research experience in social systems is desirable. Employment Conditions: The starting date is negotiable between July and August 2009. We will offer a competitive salary commensurate with the experience of the successful candidate.

To Apply: Please send a single PDF file containing letter of application with statement of interest, CV and two letters of reference to Jose Fragoso at fragoso@stanford.edu with cc to Jerome Chave at chave@cict.fr.  For full consideration, apply by June 15 2009. The position will remain open until filled.

Conference Exhibitors

The USSEE 2009 Conference features several Conference Exhibitors.

CASSE Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy. Herman Daly says “CASSE is the foremost organization in advancing the precepts of the steady state economy to citizens and policy makers – an indispensable resource!”

 

ESA Ecological Society of America. The ESA will be hosting their 94th ESA Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, NM in August.

 

AFS American Fisheries Society.  The AFS has been advancing the science and profession of fisheries since 1870.  It is the world’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to strengthening the fisheries profession, advancing fisheries science, and conserving fisheries resources.

 

Earth Economics is devoted to advancing and applying the science of ecological economics to promote healthy ecosystems, communities and economies, and to halting the globalization of unsustainable economic policies.

 

Union of Concerned Scientists Citizens and Scientists for Environmental Solutions.  This is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world.

 

GDAE Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University. The GDAE was founded in 1993 to combine the research and curricular development activities of two Tufts programs.

 

Global Footprint Network Advancing the Science of Sustainability.  Global Footprint Network is an international think tank working to advance sustainability through use of the Ecological Footprint, a resource accounting tool that measures how much nature we have, how much we use and who uses what.

 

Earthscan publishing for a sustainable future.

 

EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency. EPA leads the nation’s environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts.  Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.

 

IIE Institute of International Education. IIE, an independent non-profit organization founded in 1919, is a world leader in the exchange of people and ideas.  IIE administers over 200 programs serving more than 20,000 individuals each year.

 

Please join us for the USSEE 2009 Conference in Washington, DC from May 31st – June 3rd.  Check out our website for an updated calendar of events and exhibitors.

Transforming the Economy for a Just and Sustainable World