All posts by Erin Lennox

USSEE Webinar Series: Ostrom, Commons, and Voluntary Environmental Programs

Wednesday April 15th, 1pm EDT

Erik Nordman will apply concepts from Elinor Ostrom’s work on managing the commons to analyze the 2030 District Energy Program

to Register

About this Event

Twenty cities (including Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and Detroit) have established 2030 District Energy Programs. Building owners within the districts voluntarily pledge to reduce their building energy use, water use and transportation-related greenhouse gases by 50% by 2030. The question is, can a voluntary program result in real resource use and pollution reductions? If so, how can the members hold each other accountable? Aseem Prakash, a student of Elinor Ostrom, and Matthew Potoski extended Ostrom’s ideas about managing a commons to voluntary environmental programs. The 2030 District program is evaluated using their “club theory” of voluntary environmental programs.

Erik Nordman is an associate professor of natural resources management at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. He teaches courses and conducts research in natural resource policy and environmental economics. He is on sabbatical as a visiting scholar at Indiana University’s Ostrom Workshop and is the author of a forthcoming book about Elinor Ostrom, to be published by Island Press.

For those that can not attend the live webinar, a recording will be made available on the USSEE webinar page after the event

USGS Social Science Research Assistant

The Social and Economic Analysis Branch ( of the US Geological Survey in Fort Collins, CO, is hiring a social science research assistant to start summer 2020.  

They are looking for a BA/BS (or possibly MA/MS) level candidate with experience doing social science research. This would be an ideal opportunity if you have students who might eventually be thinking about graduate school and/or with an interest in federal service. The research assistant will have the chance to interact with a range of scholars and federal agency managers while contributing to applied social science and economics research about water, natural resource management, and/or wildland fire. 

Please pass this announcement and position description below along to any of your current students or recent graduates who might be interested. 

Employment Opportunity: Social Science Research Assistant

The Social and Economic Analysis Branch of the U.S. Geological Survey in Fort Collins, CO, ( is looking for a research assistant to support multiple projects about water, natural resources, and wildfire.

The research assistant will provide support for projects investigating environmental decision making processes; how policies, institutions, and decision support tools influence management outcomes; and decisions about wildfire risk. Key tasks include: identifying, obtaining, synthesizing, and reviewing interdisciplinary literature from a range of social science fields such as social-ecological systems, political ecology, and institutional analysis; and producing written summaries of these literature reviews. Additional duties may include analyzing qualitative and/or quantitative data, interpreting results, and contributing to peer-reviewed publications or other means of disseminating results.

The Social and Economic Analysis Branch is a dynamic, collegial group of social scientists and economists providing applied social science for a range of government agencies. The research assistant will have the opportunity to interact with Branch scientists, project partners from other institutions and government agencies, and collaborating natural scientists.

The research assistant must have:

● At least a bachelor’s degree in a social science field.

● Experience conducting social science research.

● Demonstrated ability to conduct interdisciplinary literature reviews.

● Excellent writing ability.

Our preferred candidate will have:

● A degree related to and/or experience with natural resource management or policy.

● An understanding of federal land management agencies, water policy, and/or the wildland fire context.

● Experience with any of the following: qualitative and/or quantitative social science research methods, interview studies, document analysis, network analysis, NVIVO, Stata, and/or R software, and interdisciplinary research environments.

● A U.S. driver’s license as operation of a Government vehicle may be required.

This position is a USGS Student Services contract position. This means:

● Applicants must be U.S. citizens

● Applicants must either have graduated within the past year or be currently enrolled as a student.

● For all legal purposes, student is regarded as an independent contractor. Payments for services are reportable and taxable as earned income. No Federal, State, or Local income taxes will be deducted. No Social Security or Medicare taxes will be deducted. Student is responsible for payment of all taxes. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will report the total amount paid under this order to the Internal Revenue Service on a Standard Form 1099. The student is not considered an employee and will not receive a W-2 form.

This is a full-time position and begins on or around July 1, 2020. Employee will be physically located in Fort Collins, CO. Currently, one year of funding is available for this position.

Contact Information:

For questions related directly to the job, contact Amanda Cravens, Research Social Scientist, at or James Meldrum, Research Economist, at

To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, transcripts (unofficial ok), and a writing sample demonstrating your ability to synthesize social science literature to by 11:59 PM (Mountain Time) Sunday, April 19th. Please use “Social Science Research Assistant application” as the subject line for your email.

Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy: Job Openings

The Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CANSEE) is looking to hire a Communications Specialist, and an Ecological Economist to join their team. For more information on either of the positions described below, contact Brian Czech, Executive Director, at

Position Description:  Ecological Economist


The Ecological Economist analyzes, interprets, and synthesizes environmental and economic data. The purpose of such analysis is to help CASSE elucidate limits to growth and the need for a steady state economy as the sustainable alternative to growth. The Ecological Economist also helps formulate public policies and identifies consumer reforms conducive to a steady state economy.

Primary Responsibilities

  1. Analysis, Interpretation, and Synthesis
  • Monitors environmental, economic, and demographic variables with a focus on trends reflecting limits to growth.
  • Assesses the impact of economic growth on biodiversity, soils, water quality, air quality, climate and other key ecological components and functions.
  • Synthesizes macroeconomic, ecological, and social variables (for example, GDP, Genuine Progress Indicator, Ecological Footprint, Human Development Index, Happiness Index) to demonstrate the perils of prioritizing GDP growth in the 21st century.
  • Interprets microeconomic variables (e.g., natural capital prices) in the context of limits to growth.
  • Maintains CASSE’s ecological and economic databases.

2. Writing, Reviewing, and Editing

  • Writes a monthly column for the Steady State Herald (CASSE’s blog).
  • Drafts journal articles on the theoretical and empirical evidence of limits to growth and the occurrence of uneconomic growth.
  • Produces internal briefing statements to apprise CASSE staff of key ecological and economic developments.
  • Contributes to online discussion of the fundamental conflict between economic growth and environmental protection, economic sustainability, national security, and international stability.
  • Reviews book manuscripts for consistency with the principles of ecological economics.
  • Contributes content for the Steady Stater (CASSE newsletter).

3. Policy Formulation

  • Assists in development of Full and Sustainable Employment Act (CASSE’s featured legislative initiative).
  • Advises counties, boroughs, parishes, townships, towns, and other local or regional polities on planning for a steady state economy, including stabilized populations, consumption, and ecological footprint.
  • Assists with international policy initiatives such as Harmony with Nature and the Kiev Communique.

4. Public Speaking

  • Gives talks on limits to growth and steady state economics at ecological and economics conferences.
  • Provides guest lectures at colleges and universities.
  • Addresses political and other public assemblies for purposes of advocating the steady state economy.

5. Networking

  • Serves as a CASSE ambassador to the ecological economics community.
  • Maintains a CASSE presence in professional ecological and economic societies.
  • Serves as a liaison to conventional economics programs and think tanks.

Skills and Experience

The ideal candidate would have a Ph.D. in economics with a graduate certificate in ecological economics. The minimum academic requirement is a master’s degree (in ecological economics, economics, natural resource economics, or a closely related field). A strong ecological background is also required.

Supervision and Logistics

Supervision:  The Ecological Economist is supervised by the Executive Director. Given instructions, the Ecological Economist is expected to be independently productive for significant periods of time. The Executive Director prioritizes duties as needed and has final discretion on CASSE activities and operations.

Office:  4601 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia

Starting Salary:  $45,000–$60,000 depending on education and experience. Standard benefits package.Promotion potential depending on performance.

Starting Date:  March 1, 2020 (with some flexibility)

To apply:  Send resume, copies of transcripts, and contact information for three references to:


Position Description:  Communications Specialist


The Communications Specialist conducts public outreach and marketing activities for print and the web, including creating email campaigns and newsletters, managing email lists, creating outreach activities, managing public engagement, and helping with market research, grant writing and external communications planning. This is a full-time salaried position. Incumbent works in an office setting in Arlington, Virginia.

Primary Responsibilities

  1. Marketing  & Promotion
  • Develop marketing campaigns for CASSE projects that can be sent to our lists and the public
  • Develop newsletters that highlight recent activities and that invite donations and signatures
  • Organize and maintain email lists using online email list management programs
  • Create and mail press releases for CASSE news items to the appropriate lists and news outlets
  • Contribute ideas to the organization’s branding assets such as boilerplates, taglines, logos, etc.

2. Public Relations & Communications

  • Help identify target audiences and develop marketing strategy for reaching audience segments
  • Assist/design outreach programs to effectively communicate CASSE concepts to the public
  • Work with media outlets to place CASSE news items and provide information to journalists
  • Field inquiries about CASSE mission and activities from both partner and opposed organizations
  • Manage social media channels and publish information in tandem with marketing campaigns

3. Business Development

  • Develop plans for building affinity with various target audiences through the appropriate channels
  • Design and execute successful donation campaigns and help staff track incoming donations
  • Maintain leads drawn from donor lists, signatory lists, and CASSE related events
  • Create lists of actionable insights drawn from email campaign results
  • Analyze and troubleshoot email list opens, clicks, bounces, etc.

4. Outreach Activities

  • Attend events to promote the organization, obtain signatures, and gain insight on audience needs
  • Facilitate communication among head office and subchapters and write/obtain bios and photos
  • Assist with branding projects and assessing consistency and effectiveness for target audiences
  • Help with projects such as educational outreach for K-12 audiences and college students
  • Identify new, untapped audiences for CASSE outreach and market projects to new segments

5. Other Responsibilities

  • Assist with subscription and signatory list management via WordPress website
  • Work with director, staff, interns on various projects to develop marketing and outreach strategies

Skills and Experience

The ideal candidate would have knowledge about the communication tasks at a nonprofit including print, online, written and multimedia assets. This knowledge would be supported by technical ability using Microsoft Word, Excel and online email list management programs such as Send in Blue, Vertical Response, Feedburner, MailChimp, etc. Basic knowledge of WordPress websites or a willingness to learn will benefit the candidate in working with other project teams. Ideally, the candidate would have a strong ability to view the big picture of various communications and outreach needs and to provide services across the spectrum of marketing, public relations, communication, and outreach. This knowledge and ability should be demonstrable on a resume with relevant academic and/ or work experience.

An interest in sustainability and/or economics is a bonus. The ideal candidate would already be familiar with the concept of a steady state economy. However, candidates interested primarily in communications initiatives at a nonprofit organization are encouraged to apply as well.

Supervision and Logistics

Supervision:  The Communications Specialist is supervised by the Executive Director. Given instructions, the Communications Specialist is expected to be independently productive for significant periods of time. The Executive Director prioritizes duties as needed and has final discretion on CASSE operations.

Office:  4601 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 1200, Arlington, Virginia

Salary:  $43,000-$51,000 depending on education and experience

Starting Date:  March 2020 (with some flexibility)

To apply:  Send resume, copies of transcripts, and contact information for three references to:

Tenure track Applied Environmental Economist at U-Hawaii Manoa

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM) in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) at the University of Hawaii Manoa seeks an applied environmental economist who will apply cutting edge modeling and statistical techniques as part of a novel, integrative research program that is relevant to the sustainability and resiliency of Hawaii and the Pacific Region. Our ideal colleague will contribute knowledge and tools that complement and strengthen the department, college, and university (e.g., data science, systems modeling, policy evaluation). The person will be excited to support undergraduate and graduate research and employment preparation by teaching analytical study designs (e.g., quasi-experimental techniques), statistical approaches (e.g., mixed effects models), and/or system modeling approaches (e.g. system behavior and structural equation modeling). This is a 9-month, tenure track position to be filled at the Assistant Professor level, with 60% teaching and 40% research responsibilities. 

Apply: Interested individuals can apply at and search position #83848. Please include a cover letter, CV, teaching statement, research statement, and transcripts of undergraduate and graduate degrees, along with contact information for three references.

Inquiries: For further information, contact Dr. Kirsten Oleson ( with subject line Applied Econ Search. 

A Community on Ecosystem Services: Call for Proposals

ACES will be held December 14-17, 2020 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Florida.

The ACES 2020 central theme is “Focusing on the Future of Ecosystem Services” with an emphasis placed on accelerating the use of ecosystem services for land and resource management and fostering the next generation of ecosystem service researchers and practitioners.
The Program Committee is seeking input from the community and invites you to assist with program development by submitting a session or workshop proposal.
All ecosystem services related research and applications proposals are welcome; we especially encourage ideas on these topics:

  1. Ecosystem Services in Action – land and resource management using ecosystem services; case studies encouraged
  2. Human Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Ecosystem Services – translation of ecosystem function to human health outcomes and valuation; mental health studies of ecosystem services
  3. Cultural Ecosystem Services – non-use ecosystem services methods and valuation

For additional information, click here. We look forward to receiving your ideas!
Submission Deadline: February 26, 2020

2020 sustainability Travel Awards Opportunity

From the Journal Sustainability:

“We are pleased to announce that applications are open for the 2020 Sustainability Travel Awards. The awards (800 Swiss Francs each) will be granted to four PhD students or postdoctoral fellows (as of 31 December 2020) conducting research in sustainability-relevant areas (broadly defined as any discipline covered by the journal Sustainability) and go towards supporting their attendance at a conference in 2020.

We are accepting applications for these awards until 17 January 2020 .Please find additional details here.

We look forward to receiving your applications.”

Sustainability Editorial Office

St. Alban-Anlage 66

CH-4052, Basel, Switzerland

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Climate Adaptation Research Symposium 2020, Measuring and Addressing Societal Impacts

This symposium features research that seeks to measure the scale and scope of climate impacts, as well as how best to mitigate those impacts through adaptive markets, public policies, and planning. The symposium invites research from within climate science, economics, geography, law, public health, sociology, urban planning, and related disciplines.

We invite abstract submissions to be considered by our Symposium selection committee by January 31, 2020. Abstracts should feature methods and findings and be no longer than 500 words. All travel and lodging costs for presenters will be covered.

Please upload all presentation abstracts and papers to this submission form.

Location: UCLA Luskin Conference Center, hosted by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation

Symposium date: Friday, May 8, 2020

Please direct questions to Michelle Einstein at

Assistant Professor – Urban Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech invites applications for a tenure-track position at the level of Assistant Professor from applicants who conduct research on fish and wildlife conservation in urban environments. We encourage applications from social scientists working on urban conservation issues. The full-time, tenure-track, 9-month appointment will be based at the Blacksburg campus of Virginia Tech, a land-grant university. This position will complement existing departmental strengths and contribute to our growing undergraduate human dimensions curriculum and a college-wide priority of scholarship in urban natural resources. This hire is part of the Global Systems Science Destination Area, a university-wide initiative to build scholarly capacity related to socio-environmental issues. The appointment is in the College of Natural Resources and Environment and reports directly to the Head of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation. Anticipated start date is August 2020. 

All application materials must be submitted electronically, using the online system at, referring to posting No. 512414. Review of applications will begin on January 24, 2020. 

For more information, please contact Ashley Dayer:

Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions, Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Affiliated Faculty, Global Change Center

Virginia Tech

Cheatham Hall, Room 101 (0321)

310 West Campus Dr.

Blacksburg, VA 24061


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Gund Postdoc Positions for 2020

The Gund Institute seeks exceptional postdoctoral scholars to start Fall 2020 and conduct interdisciplinary research on major global environmental challenges. Applications are due February 15, 2020.

The Gund Institute is a newly expanded campus-wide research accelerator, where 180 faculty, global affiliates, postdocs, and graduate students collaborate widely to understand interactions among ecological, social, and economic systems. We explore environmental issues at the interface of four pressing research themes: climate solutions, health and well-being, sustainable agriculture, and resilient communities.


Gund Postdocs pursue rigorous, original research that spans traditional disciplines and advances Gund research themes. Postdocs are supervised by at least one Gund Faculty Fellow. Co-advisors from different departments are encouraged.

These two-year positions have an annual salary of $49,000, plus benefits, and a $5,000 per year discretionary fund for research costs and travel. Postdocs also benefit from professional development opportunities, including communications and policy training.

Learn more about Gund Postdoctoral Fellowships online.

The Gund Institute catalyzes environmental research, develops real-world solutions to global issues, and connects UVM with leaders in government, business and beyond. We are committed to ensuring an inclusive environment where diverse voices and perspectives are active and welcome. We encourage applicants who bring diverse perspectives to our community.


Bailey Rowland

Program Specialist

The Gund Institute for Environment

University of Vermont

Tel: 802.656.2906  I  Email:

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Call for Papers: UC Berkeley Climate Economics Workshop

UC Berkeley is  currently soliciting papers from PhD students and post-docs for a climate economics workshop. The deadline for submissions is 9 A.M. December 9, 2019 (Pacific time zone).
They encourage papers by PhD students and post-docs undertaking research in any area related to the economics of climate change. They encourage papers that use empirical methods, theory or numerical modelling. Papers can be single authored or co-authored. No restrictions apply to co-authors, i.e. co-authors can be senior researchers.

The workshop will explore recent advances in climate economics, with an emphasis on the linkage between empirical and numerical modeling methods. One goal of the workshop is to bring junior and senior researchers together. The final program will combine presentations from invited leading senior researchers and presentations from the most promising junior researchers (PhD students and post-docs). This is the second workshop of this kind at UC Berkeley, a summary of the previous workshop can be found at

Applications should be submitted online at Please include either a full working paper or an extended abstract (1-2 pages). PhD students should include a brief letter of recommendation from their advisor that indicates that the submitted abstract/paper will be ready for a full presentation for the workshop.

The workshop will be held at UC Berkeley on Fri 1/31 and Sat 2/1, 2020. All travel and lodging costs will be covered for presenters.
The workshop is organized by David Anthoff (Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley), Max Auffhammer (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley) and Solomon Hsiang (Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley) in collaboration with the Social Science Matrix at UC Berkeley.

Any questions regarding the workshop should be directed to Eva Seto (