Category Archives: Education & Publications

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.

Fulbright Scholar Program for US Faculty and Professionals for 2010-2011 is open

The Fulbright Scholar Program offers 105 awards in lecturing, research or combined lecturing/research in economics, including seven Fulbright Distinguished Chairs and the Middle East and North Africa Regional Research Program.  Even better, faculty and professionals in economics also can apply for one of the 144 “All Discipline” awards open to all fields.

What does Fulbright offer in economics?  Here are a few of the awards for 2010-2011:

Western Hemisphere: Award #0542 – Business Administration and Economics in Jamaica; Award #0548 – Economics in Nicaragua; Award #0552 – Business Administration in Panama.

Middle East and Northern Africa: Award #0458 – Business Administration and Management in Oman; Award #0417 – Middle East/North Africa Regional Research; Postdoctoral research awards in Egypt and Israel.

Southern and Western Europe: Award #0222 – Business and Finance in Bulgaria; Award #0258 – Economics in Ireland; Award #0394 – Business Administration and Economics in Turkey; Award #0199 – Austrian Hungarian Joint Research Award; multiple awards pertaining to U.S. economics in the Czech and Slovak Republics.

Northern and Eastern Europe: This region offers unique opportunities for specialists to conduct research on post-communist economic transitions or assist in the development of new economics and MBA programs. Opportunities exist in a broad range of specializations including finance, micro or macroeconomics (such as Award #0277 in Iceland), and econometrics.

Distinguished Chairs: Award #0032 – Fulbright-UCP Chair in International Commercial Trade and Business Law in Portugal; Award #0012 – Fulbright-Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration Distinguished Chair in Austria.

The application deadline is August 1, 2009.  U.S. citizenship is required.  For a full, detailed listing of all Fulbright programs and other eligibility requirements, please visit our website at www.cies.org or send a request for materials to scholars@cies.iie.org.