New Program “Economics for the Anthropocene” Recruiting PhD Students

The Gund Institute at the University of Vermont (UVM), McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and York University in Toronto, Ontario seek up to nine PhD students to join a new international research initiative, “Economics for the Anthropocene” in Fall 2014.   This first cohort of students will focus broadly on applying approaches based on ecological economics to water security and watershed management issues.  The Lake Champlain Basin and lower St. Lawrence watershed provide an ideal model for this theme, but students will have considerable latitude and assistance in developing the direction of their work. In addition to the initial focus on transboundary water management, the full scope of research will include work on applying ecological economics theory and methods to regional energy management and climate justice.

BACKGROUND: McGill University, York University, UVM, and 25 other partners will launch the Economics for the Anthropocene in 2014. The partnership will (1) Create a vibrant international research network in ecological economics; (2) Train future leaders capable of analyzing and managing the unique challenges of the Anthropocene; (3) Actively link academic and non-academic partners in solving transnational problems that exemplify these new challenges; and (4) Integrate the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities to improve education, train new leaders, and enhance life’s prospects in the Anthropocene.

The partnership will train up to 60 graduate students in three cohorts over six years. Students will enroll at any of the three universities, and cohorts will take core courses together through web-enabled classrooms that link our campuses. Joint field courses will engage non-academic partners in providing hands-on experience in transdisciplinary problems and their ecological, social, and economic dimensions.  The partnership consists of 25 academic and non-academic partners and 60 collaborators who will help guide research questions, mentor students, provide internship opportunities and serve on graduate committees.  Through this network students will work on policy-relevant research grounded in solving real-world issues. This will include extending core ideas of ecological economics to finance, law, governance, ethics and philosophy.  The partnership will focus on three daunting regional challenges: water security, energy resources, and climate justice.

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OFFER: The PhD students at UVM, McGill, and York will receive a generous 12-month research stipend.  The majority of tuition for this program will be covered via scholarships and teaching assistantships. Travel and research funds are also available. Funding (once approved) is guaranteed for three years. The partnership has applied for a grant for this program that will be announced in late April 2014.  If the grant is not awarded, funding cannot be guaranteed.

QUALIFICATIONS: Master’s degree preferred, but all highly qualified candidates will be considered.  Students must have a strong interest in ecological economics, sustainability science, transdisciplinary research, and practical application of scholarship.

APPLICATION: Interested students should contact one of the following:

McGill University:

Peter Brown:
Nicolas Kosoy:

Applicants must apply to the Department of Natural Resource Sciences by February 15.

University of Vermont:

Jon Erickson:
Joshua Farley:
Taylor Ricketts:
Asim Zia: (on Sabbatical FY 14)

Applicants must apply to the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources PhD program at UVM by February 1st and meet all of the admissions requirements.

York University:

Peter Victor:
Ellie Perkins:
Christina Hoicka:
Graduate admissions: Gwen Gringhuis:

Applicants must apply to the Faculty of Environmental Studies PhD program by January 8, or the Masters in Environmental Studies (MES) program by February 5 (international applicants) or March 12 (Canadian applicants), and must meet all of the admissions requirements.

Applications from women and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are encouraged.