Category Archives: Education & Publications

Teaching Resources in UG Economics

HEFCE-Funded TRUE Project (Teaching Resources in UG Economics)

Teaching Heterodox Economics

TRUE aims to make teaching resources – syllabi, reading lists, problem sets, assessments, etc – freely available online. The relevant pages on the Economics Network web site are in the form of a wiki. Teachers who express interest will receive a login and can edit the pages – in particular, by uploading their teaching resources, or they can simply email me the files they want uploaded.

For heterodox economists of all kinds this is a great opportunity to show what we are doing in the classroom, to influence future generations of teachers, to inform students (thus allowing them to demand something different of their teachers), and to gain feedback on our teaching resources from our colleagues. Please have a look at the heterodox economics TRUE page http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/heterodox . You can then either (a) email me (a.denis@city.ac.uk) to request a login, which will enable you to start making changes, or (b) email the files you want uploaded and I will do it willingly. You can also make comments at the bottom of each page, and you can make contributions to the 13 other wikis, on development, econometrics, environmental economics, etc – please see the list of links at http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/projects/oer.

Please note that where the course is taught does not matter – it does not have to be in the UK. Contributions must be in English, however. Material which is not yet actually taught but constitutes a suggested syllabus, etc, is fine, as long as that is made clear. Despite the title, materials relating to MSc-level courses are also welcome. I hope you will want to take advantage of this opportunity and I look forward to hearing from you.

Dr Andy Denis
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Economics Department
City University London
London EC1V 0HB
+44 (0)20 7040 0257
http://www.staff.city.ac.uk/andy.denis

Solutions Launch Announcement

I would like to introduce you to Solutions, an online and print publication devoted exclusively to showcasing bold and innovative ideas for solving the world’s environmental, ecological, and socio-economic problems.

Launching in January 2010, Solutions is a unique hybrid between a glossy, coffee-table style magazine and an authoritative peer-reviewed journal.  The website, featuring our exclusive archive of peer-reviewed articles and online community of fellow problem solvers, can be found at: http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com.

Published bimonthly, and distributed internationally, Solutions will synthesize the best of our knowledge and creativity, driven by a vision of a sustainable and desirable future. Founded by the world-renowned scholars Robert Costanza, Paul Hawken, David Orr, and John Todd, the publication brings cutting edge ideas of academics and professionals to an audience of policy makers, business leaders, and engaged public.

To keep up-to-date with the latest solutions coming out, join us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Become part of the Solution. Submit an article or subscribe online.

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

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

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

A Critique of Ecological Economics

While I praise ecological economics for its environmental strengths, I point to several areas that I believe are weak or erroneous. Specifically, I critically examine the fields historical vision, its perspective on capitalism, its use of the term natural capital, its interpretations of value and cost, and its definition of optimal scale.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFryZrsMtQY&hl=en&fs=1&]

Comments on my views by USSEE members – either publicly on YouTube or privately by email – are welcome.

Frank Rotering [Independent Economic Thinker]
Vancouver, Canada

Fulbright International Exchange Program

Applications for U.S. Fulbright Scholar Awards and a Distinguished Chair Award in Brazil (pdf)

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. governmentu2019s flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 286,000 participants from over 155 countries with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. For more information, visit us online.