Category Archives: News & Events

ISEE/DEGROWTH 2020 SYMPOSIUM RECORDINGS

Video recordings are available for the global on-line symposium of the International Degrowth Network and the International Society for Ecological Economics on the theme of “Economy and Livelihoods after Covid-19” held September 1st-5th, 2020. Each day has one video (about 4-5 hours in length) containing all sessions for that day.

Day 1: Tuesday 1st September

Session 1: On the possible alliance between degrowth and ecological economics: Would an alliance between ecological economics and degrowth help both communities achieve their shared goals for a better future, post COVID-19? If yes, how do we strengthen it?

Introduction: Rationale of the roundtable by Joshua Farley and Federico Demaria

Speakers: Ecological economics: Bina Agarwal (Confirmed), Julia Steinberger (Confirmed) and Emanuele Campiglio (TBC). Degrowth (Confirmed): Ekaterina Chertkovskaya, Ksenija Hanacek, Matthias Schmelzer.


Session 2: Gender, livelihood and the impact of Covid: This session is organized by the Feminisms and Degrowth Alliance (FaDA). It contains intersectional feminist reflections on Covid-19 and the politics of social reproduction, the Care Income, and the politics of care and commons in a context of ecological crisis. After a brief introduction to FaDA by Corinna Dengler, who hosts this session alongside Katy Wiese, we are looking forward to mini-inputs (7-10 minutes) by:

  1. Anna Saave on the pandemic as an opening for a care-full radical transformation;
  2. Susan Paulson on Covid-19, care & masculinities;
  3. Selma James and Nina López from the Global Women’s Strike on the Care Income; and
  4. Manuela Zechner on the politics of care and commons in a context of ecological crisis.

Following these inputs, there will be time to discuss the question how care can be organized in a degrowth society that strives for both intersectional gender and environmental justice first amongst the panelists and later on with the audience.


Session 3: Post COVID-19 challenges and options for green recovery in sub Saharan Africa: Rashid Hassan, 2020 Boulding Prize Winner

Day 2: Wednesday September 2nd

Sessions 4 and 5: Indigenous and Black communities and the impact of Covid: This session will be drawn from members of indigenous and black communities. Themes will include: consideration of the impact of Covid, environmental injustices and the new authoritarianism on black and indigenous communities; perspectives on creating and strengthening social and economic alternatives.

Session 4 Confirmed speakers:

  1. Ailton Krenak (Brazil)
  2. Felipe Milanez (Brazil)
  3. Yanet Carhuajulca (Perú)

Translators: Roldan Muradia (Venezuela/USA) and Peter may (USA)

Moderator: Tamara Goddard ( Saulteaux [pronounced Soto] First Nation, western Canada)

Session 5 Confirmed speakers:

  1. Manuel May (Mexico)
  2. Annie Moon (Navajo Nation, USA)
  3. Kevin Williams (Black American, USA)
  4. Josefina Skerk (Sami/Swedish)

Moderator: Tamara Goddard (Saulteaux First Nation, western Canada)

Day 3: Thursday September 3rd

Session 6: Class, livelihoods and alternative production: This session will consider the impact of Covid and an ecological economy after Covid through class and livelihood. It will draw on movements by labour to shift to alternative systems of production. How can production be redirected in more democratic ways to meet human needs? It will draw on the experience of the Lucas Plan, applying the lessons to the present context, and of the occupied factory in Milan, RiMaflow

Confirmed speakers:

  1. Hilary Wainwright (editor of Red Pepper)
  2. Phil Asquith (Lucas Workers Combine)
  3. Mick Cooney (Lucas Workers Combine)
  4. Luca Federici (RiMaflow)
  5. Mario Pansera (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

Moderator: Maeve Cohen (Rethinking Economics, UK


Session 7: Reflections: Making change happen: This session will reflect on the week’s colloquium discussions. The panel will be drawn from authors of recent books on degrowth and ecological economics. Themes might include: strategies and policies; incumbent interests and power; political mobilisation; responding to the new authoritarianism; social movements.


Confirmed speakers:

  1. Vincent Liegey (France/Hungary)
  2. Susan Paulson (USA)
  3. Neera Singh
  4. Bathsheba Demuth (USA)
  5. Rajeswari Raina (India)

Moderators: Mark Burton (UK) and Valeria Andreoni (Italy/UK)


Session 7a: A special intervention: Stuart Scott (USA), introduced by Clóvis Cvalcanti (Brazil)

Criminal Indictment of the Meme of Money & Growth Economics for the Destruction of Humanity & Nature

Day 4: Friday September 4th

Interventions from the Arts
Session 8: Decentralising Political Economies: Decentralizing Political Economies is an open-source research platform launching in September 2020. Set up as a long-term collaboration between The City Lab at Liverpool John Moores University, the Whitworth Art Gallery and The Association of Arte Útil, it explores the idea of usership in art through the implementation of real-world 1:1 scale projects in which artworks are themselves open-ended and functioning projects in the real world.

This session will introduce notions of ‘usership’ and the ‘constituent-led’ in art and art institutions. In discussion with artist Owen Griffiths, whose recent projects include a community growing garden, the session will consider alternative modes of ownership and rethinking livelihood in the context of civic space and urban landscapes.

Speakers:

  1. Poppy Bowers (The Whitworth, The University of Manchester)
  2. John Byrne (Liverpool John Moores University, School of Art and Design/City Lab)
  3. Owen Griffiths (Owen Griffiths Studio)
  4. Alessandra Saviotti (Liverpool John Moores University/ Asociación de Arte Util)


Session 9: Art and Degrowth. Reflecting on DegrowthFest, a community art exploration
: From 14-16th August, art installations and happenings emerged throughout the Old North End neighbourhood of Burlington, Vermont. Through these art pieces, community members explored what crises reveal, and what we want to bring forward toward desirable futures and leave behind along the way. Many contributions also engaged with degrowth as a concept and movement. They are all available in a virtual gallery, for which we are seeking more contributions.

In this session, some of DegrowthFest’s organizers will reflect on the event and open space to discuss community art projects as a way to learn together about degrowth and other important ideas for transformation.

Participants, all from DegrowBTV, Vermont, USA:

  1. Meg Egler
  2. Sam Bliss
  3. Kristian Brevik
  4. Lindsay Barbieri (to be confirmed)


Session 10: Altamira 2042
: Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha will introduce an on-line showing of Altamira 2042. She will lead a discussion following the showing. Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha is an actress, director and researcher. For the past 5 years, she has developed the ”Riverbank Project”, about rivers, buiúnas and fireflies, an art research dedicated to listening and amplifying the testimony of Brazilian rivers that are living an experience of catastrophe. This project was conceived as a response to the Anthropocene, defined here as “the moment when men cease to fear catastrophe to become the catastrophe themselves”.

Altamira 2042 is a performative installation created from the testimony of the Xingu River about the Belo Monte dam. A polyphony of beings, languages, sounds and noises take over the space to open up the audience’s attention to voices that so many try to silence.

Led Speakers and Flash drives become techno-shamanic devices carrying and amplifying both human and non-human voices, heard on the Xingu banks: riverside people, the Araweté indigenous people, the Juruna indigenous people, the city’s attorney, Altamira’s journalists, ambientalists, rappers, artists, city sounds, and also the Forest, the animals, the rain and the Xingu River itself. The performance contains nudity.

Webinar: Insights on Effective Collaborations between Natural and Social Scientists

The United States Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE) invites you to join our September webinar.


Insights on Effective Collaborations Between Natural and Social Scientists
by Melissa Baustian

Wednesday September 16th, 1pm EDT. 

To register, visit: www.eventbrite.com/e/insights-on-effective-collaborations-between-natural-and-social-scientists-tickets-118914854531

Overview: Solving complex environmental problems requires extensive discussions and studies conducted by researchers from diverse disciplines including the natural and social sciences.  Solutions to these environmental challenges usually depend on conceptual models of how these systems are linked and the essential processes within them, also known as coupled-human natural systems or socio-ecological systems.   As an ecologist with The Water Institute of the Gulf, Dr. Baustian has learned to work with social scientists to study the complex linkages between these systems and to develop modeling tools that represent the essential processes within them.  This webinar will provide insights on how collaborations can be most effective between natural and social scientists, providing examples from the speaker’s past and current research projects.

Speaker Bio: Melissa M. Baustian, Ph.D. is a Coastal Ecologist with The Water Institute of the Gulf. She has more than 15 years of experience in researching the ecological responses of aquatic ecosystems to nutrient enrichment, eutrophication and hypoxia. She has extensive research experience studying the benthic ecology of the low-oxygen area, known as the “Dead Zone”, in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Baustian’s current research is focused on providing technical support in the data collection and development, and application of analyses and ecosystem models to examine nutrient-related dynamics from restoration efforts in Louisiana’s coastal zone. She is also examining climate change related effects on coastal vegetation and ecosystem processes. In addition to being a researcher at the Water Institute, Dr. Baustian is the Director for the RESTORE Act Center of Excellence for Louisiana where she leads the administration of a competitive coastal research grants program. She is also adjunct faculty in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.


For questions, contact Erin Lennox at usseeboard@gmail.com

Register now for the September 2020 ISEE/Degrowth Symposium

The International Society for Ecological Economics 2020 conference had origionally been scheduled for September 1-5, 2020 in Manchester, UK as a joint meeting with Degrowth (Europe). The pandemic led to the decision earlier this year to postpone the in-person meeting to July 2021, and instead to host a virtual symposium to be held on the original conference date in September titled “Economy and Livelihoods After Covid-19”.

There is no cost for participation, but registration is required. You can use the link here to reserve your spot, and to view the schedule of sessions and speakers. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/economy-and-livelihoods-after-covid-19-tickets-116083505891

Please share this announcement with colleagues to help promote this event.

2020 Board Election Results

Thank you to all our members who voted in our recent election! The newly elected board members are (from left to right):

President Elect: Laura Schmitt Olabisi

Member at Large: Leah Bremer

Member at Large: Phillip Warsaw

Graduate Student Representative: Katherine Ingram

Undergraduate Student Representative : Maisie Strawn

Newly elected board member terms will begin immediately, joining current board members Robert Richardson (President), John Sorrentino (Secretary Treasurer), Regina Ostergaard-Klem (Member at Large), and Susan Santone (Member at Large)

The board also extends our thanks and gratitude to outgoing members Jim Kahn (Past-President), Georgia Mavrommati (Member at Large), Andrew Gerard (Graduate Student Representative), and Emma Rice (Undergraduate Student Representative).

USSEE Stands with Protesters

The United States Society for Ecological Economics seeks to advance a just and sustainable society. Recent events have demonstrated once again that structural racism persists in our national economy and throughout our society, and it remains a barrier to the just and sustainable society we seek. Furthermore, longstanding institutional racism and inequality have been exposed and laid bare during the covid-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected communities of color. To that end, USSEE stands in solidarity with protesters in cities and towns across this nation, and we support the Black Lives Matter movement. We choose to align our organization with partners and friends in ways that serve and support humanity, particularly those communities that have been further marginalized or harmed by recent events. As a professional society, we seek to understand our world and better human lives, and we are committed to advancing economic, social, and environmental justice for all communities.

2020 Board of Directors Nominees

The USSEE Board of Directors is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2020 Board Elections. The following nominees are for 5 available positions: President Elect (2 nominees), two At-Large Member Positions (3 nominees), Graduate Student Member (3 nominees), and Undergraduate Student Member (2 nominees). Nominees are presented by position in alphabetical order. Elections will open Thursday May 28th and run through Friday June 6th. Please note, your ISEE/USSEE membership must be up-to-date to vote!

After reading the candidate bios and statements below, use this link to cast your votes: https://forms.gle/adBwhWK98QPERj4T6

President Elect

John Polimeni

John Polimeni is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. He received his B.S. in Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a M.A. in Economics and a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Regulatory Economics from S.U.N.Y. at Albany, and a Ph.D. in Ecological Economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was awarded a Fulbright Senior Fellowship to Romania, where he is a Honorary Member of the Institute of Economic Forecasting in the National Institute of Economic Research in the Scientific Council of the Romanian Academy. His area of research is on the intersection of the environment and economic development, typically focused on energy economics, sustainable agriculture, and technology. He has received several research grants on his work in the area of economic development and the environment. John has published 60 peer-reviewed research articles, published four books, and eleven chapters in edited books. He has presented his research 81 times at international conferences with an additional eleven conference abstracts or posters. In addition, he serves or has served on 14 editorial boards of academic journals. John is a reviewer for the Romanian Fulbright Commission and serves as a reviewer for numerous academic journals. Lastly, John has been elected to two terms of the Schenectady (N.Y.) City Council and is on the Board of Trustees for miSci – the Museum of Innovation and Science.

Candidacy Statement: I am fortunate to have a Ph.D. in Ecological Economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. As a result, I was introduced to ecological economics early on in my academic studies. I was taught, and believe, that at its heart ecological economics is a transdisciplinary field which is necessary to solve the intricate issues and problems that we face as a global community. What I saw and experienced in those early years of the organization’s existence was a broad umbrella that brought together people from varied backgrounds and ideas. The common thread was that each wanted, in their own way, to solve or address an issue related to sustainability and the environment. However, over the years that broad umbrella has narrowed and groups splintered off. The acceptance of different ideas and way of thinking slowly went away and the organization has seen its membership numbers and importance decline.

We face uncertain times ahead and all our futures are in a state of uncertainty. Our climate, our health, and our sustained existence are all open questions. Now, more than ever, we need knowledge, we need solutions, and for those to spread. The real significance of organizations such as the USSEE are the unexpected interactions and the subsequent collaborations that will result in the spread of knowledge and ideas. As a global community, our fates are entangled and the best way to get through these tough times is for all of us to work together. 

The USSEE should be in a leadership role in solving our environmental and climate problems, yet it is not. As President-elect one of my objectives will be to make the USSEE more visible, an important player in the policy debate. To accomplish this task membership must increase. The umbrella for the organization must be opened to allow more diversity of thought. The outcome will be the debate of ideas, the spread of knowledge, and collaboration to solve the tough issues we are facing. I am grateful for the opportunity I have been provided to participate on the USSEE Membership Committee and look forward to expanding the outreach efforts that have already been made. Lastly, we must develop the next generation of ecological economists by cultivating undergraduate and graduate level experiences and educational opportunities. 

To accomplish these objectives we must remember the giants of whose shoulders we stand: Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, Kenneth Boulding, Rachel Carson, Donella Meadows, Herman Daly, John Gowdy, Kozo Mayumi and the list goes on. It will be my privilege and honor to serve the USSEE as President Elect. Together we can, and we must, make a difference.

Laura Schmitt Olabisi

Dr. Laura Schmitt Olabisi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Sustainability and the Environmental Science and Policy Program at Michigan State University. She is an ecologist and a participatory systems modeler, working directly with stakeholders to build models that foster adaptive learning about the dynamics of coupled human-natural systems, and to integrate stakeholder knowledge with academic knowledge. She has worked in communities in Southeast Asia, West Africa, and the United States on a range of issues in agriculture, food and natural resources. Laura holds a doctoral degree in Systems Ecology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and a B.Sc. in Environmental Science from Brown University. She was a AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellow in 2018-19, and is currently a board member of the Academy for Systems Change (formerly the Donella Meadows Institute), a non-profit organization dedicated to training systems leaders for sustainability transformations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors (academyforchange.org). Laura served on the USSEE board from 2012-2016 and as conference chair for the USSEE meeting in 2017.

Candidacy Statement: I am writing this statement in the middle of a pandemic that has disrupted nearly all of our global social systems, while recalibrating the human relationship with the ecological systems on which we depend. If there ever was a time for the world to hear the message of Ecological Economics on promoting human wellbeing within the limits of earth’s living systems, that time is now. In the middle of a global lockdown, we mourn the tens of thousands who have died, and paradoxically celebrate the cleanest air in decades in Los Angeles, Milan and Nairobi. In looking for a way forward, we dread the higher emissions from lower US auto standards, just as we welcome the city of Amsterdam’s proposal to adopt a post-Covid19 development plan based on the ‘doughnut model’ articulated by ecological economist Kate Raworth. These are interesting times that call for big ideas.

The USSEE is a small society with big ideas. If those ideas are to be heard in an increasingly cluttered landscape, the times call on us to focus on solutions and seek partnerships. USSEE has already been working with EE chapters and with the Ecological Society of America to put on conferences. We can seek out new synergies with academic organizations and other nonprofits with complementary missions similar to ours, and we can share ideas with partner organizations that will implement them. Students and junior scholars are attracted to science that impacts the real world, and I believe that USSEE can offer that more than most academic organizations. 

USSEE was the first academic society I joined before completing my Ph.D. As an ecologist concerned with human wellbeing, it was one of the only academic spaces where the issues I studied and cared about were being discussed. In the past, I have served the society as a Board member and conference organizer, and I am looking forward to USSEE’s next chapter. I would be honored to help lead the society in this turbulent, challenging, and promising time.

Board Member at Large (2 positions)

Leah Bremer

Dr. Leah Bremer is an Environmental Science and Policy Specialist with the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization (UHERO) and the Water Resources Research Center (WRRC). She focuses on interdisciplinary, applied, and problem-driven research related to water and watershed policy and management in Hawaiʻi and Latin America.  She views social and environmental challenges and solutions as intricately inter-connected and works with collaborative teams of researchers, community groups, agencies, non-profits, and others to co-produce knowledge with the goal of informing effective and equitable decision making. Her work broadly focuses on three inter-related themes: 1) illuminating the links between people and the environment through various lenses, including ecosystem services, biocultural restoration of agroecological systems, and inclusive valuation; 2) improving land and water management decisions to account for the multiple ways people use and value these resources, including through links to groundwater dependent ecosystems; and 3) critical evaluation of the social and ecological outcomes of ecosystem services policies and programs, including water funds in Latin America, with the goal of improving program effectiveness and equity. In addition to her split appointment with UHERO and WRRC, she is also cooperating faculty with a number of University of Hawaiʻi departments and initiatives including the Department of Geography and Environment, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, and the Biocultural Initiative of the Pacific, as well as a board member for the Hawaiʻi Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology. She is also a Gund Institute of the Environment (University of Vermont) affiliate and a research fellow with Fundación Cordillera Tropical, an NGO in Ecuador that she worked with for many years. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University, her M.S. in Conservation Biology from Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), her Ph.D. in Geography from UC-Santa Barbara and San Diego State University, and was a Post Doctoral Researcher with the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University.

Candidacy Statement: As a Human-Environment Geographer by training, I am fascinated by the interconnections between social and ecological systems and committed to working towards a more sustainable and just world. I am eager to join USSEE as a board member at large in order to learn and contribute to the integration of ecological economics concepts and practices in research, teaching, management, and policy. I believe this is a critical time in history where we need transdisciplinary approaches to transform the world we live in, and that ecological economics offers a powerful lens to do so. As a board member, I would contribute my diverse experience working in the fields of ecosystem services, watershed conservation, social-ecological systems, and political ecology to the table, and help to facilitate discussions of how ecological economics concepts and approaches could be applied in community-based research and management as well as public policy. 

Georgia Mavrommati

Dr. Georgia Mavrommati is an Assistant Professor of Ecological Economics in the School for the Environment at University of Massachusetts Boston. She received her Master in Economic Theory and Policy from University of Crete and her PhD in ecological economics from Panteion University where she served as the Greek contact point of the European Society of Ecological Economics. After completing graduate school, Georgia was a Postdoctoral scholar in the Center for Water Sciences at Michigan State University and afterwards in the Environmental Studies Program at Dartmouth College. Her research focuses on the interface of the economy with the environment. In particular, the dependency of socioeconomic process on ecosystems and the provision to society of ecosystem services attracts her main interest. In her work, she is collaborating with scientists from a variety of disciplines (e.g. decision scientists, aquatic ecologists, forest ecologists, climate scientists) to characterize and value ecosystem services at the watershed level. This research addresses some practical challenges of conventional valuation methods through the development and application of a novel framework based on a deliberative multicriteria method into which sustainability considerations are incorporated and community engagement is ensured. Her teaching is concentrated in the fields of environmental policy and management, sustainable development and coupled social-ecological system dynamics. Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed papers and she recently founded the Ecological Economics and Systems Lab at UMass Boston.

Candidacy Statement: I am excited by the possibility of continuing to serve the US Society of Ecological Economics for a second term as a board member. Reaching out to new potential members is and will continue to be one of the main goals of the society’s board. One of my main aims as a board member of the society is to work hard towards this vital-for the future of the society-goal. I would like to direct my efforts towards scientists from relevant disciplines, undergraduate and K-12 students, where I think there is the greatest opportunity to expand the society’s outreach and relate ecological economics to various transdisciplinary subjects. I will also continue to be an advocate for programs designed to increase the participation of members of underrepresented groups in the field of Ecological Economics.

Phillip Warsaw

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. My research sits at the intersection of environmental justice and racial equity in the food system and in housing markets. As a master’s candidate in Environmental Studies, I first began my engagement in ecological economics through my thesis work, titled “Beyond Distribution: Moving Towards a Power-Structures Approach to Environmental Justice in Ecological Economics.” As a doctoral candidate, I continued my work in environmental justice in developing my dissertation, “Essays on the Economics of Food Access”, which developed a microeconomic approach to investigating food insecurity in Milwaukee. During my tenure as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I was involved in building a broader ecological economics agenda on the UW’s campus, developing and participating in a number of ecological economics reading groups, as well as developing a graduate course in ecological economics in Fall 2017. As a professor, I have continued to develop my research agenda of building an economic paradigm centered around environmental justice, using a variety of traditional and non-traditional economics tools, as well as interdisciplinary approaches to my work.

Candidacy Statement: The current COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the inequities created by the current economic paradigm, while the sharp drop in global emissions and pollutants by the decline of economic activity place into stark relief the necessity (and benefits) of a shift to an environmentally sustainable economic system. As
practitioners of ecological economic research and applications, we are uniquely positioned to address these simultaneous social, economic and ecological imperatives. As such, I believe now is a crucial time to recruit a diverse set of young and passionate scholars into the field and find unique ways to disseminate our vital work to the general public. As a nominee for the USSEE board, I welcome the
opportunity to help contribute to the society on these issues.

As a graduate student and now faculty member working in an interdisciplinary field, I have had the opportunity to interact with scholars from a broad swatch of fields, including sociology, environmental studies, geography, urban planning, and agricultural economics. Among the many insights I gained, two stand out. First, I believe there is a continued need for support in developing course syllabi related to ecological economic principles. As a postdoc at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I developed a course in ecological economics that was to my knowledge the first of its kind. As such, I found myself relying heavily on the resources available through the USSEE to develop my syllabus. That said, given the interdisciplinary nature of the field, I believe the society would benefit from continued efforts to provide support to aspiring instructors of ecological economics from varied academic backgrounds, as well as disseminating relevant content that instructors can leverage in their courses. To that end, I would be interested in working with the curriculum or communications subcommittees to continue providing these vital resources.

The second insight I gained in my teaching is the importance of a justice-centered message in recruiting a diverse group of scholars to the field. As an academic of color who received his Ph.D. training in neoclassical economics, one of central factors which drew me towards ecological economics is its focus on environmental justice. That said, in speaking with students of color at the UW and at other
institutions, all of whom were outside of economics, a common refrain I heard was that they were unaware that a subfield of economics that considered environmental justice even existed! This indicates to me that there may be significant gains in emphasizing these aspects of the field, not only in syllabi, but also in outreach efforts to continue to attract a diverse group of scholars into ecological economics. As such, I would also be committed to working with the membership subcommittee to find avenues to
bring such a messaging approach to efforts to grow the USSEE. The USSEE has provided valuable resources to me as a developing scholar in ecological economics. I am excited about the possibility of
working with the USSEE to continue to maintain its current influence and expand its reach to a rising generation of academics ready to contribute to the field.

Graduate Student Member 

Katherine Ingram

Katherine Ingram is a first-year Master’s student in the Energy, Resources, and Environment Department of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. While at Washington and Lee as a Johnson Scholar, she majored in Environmental Studies and Economics. Her research interests lie at the intersection of finance, corporate sustainability, and international development. For her senior Environmental Studies Capstone, Katherine followed up her research activity as an assistant on a corporate sustainability disclosure project and analyzed the role of imperfect information in climate change risk disclosure behavior of the electric power sector. In 2019, Katherine received the John McKenzie Gunn Scholarship from the Economics Department. During her time at Washington and Lee, Katherine helped to develop the proof of concept for an impact investing practicum within the university’s microfinance organization. She also served as the student-appointed representative of the University Sustainability Committee in 2020, where she assisted in the development of the student Climate Action toolkit to support W&L’s 2050 carbon neutrality goal.

Candidacy Statement: I am interested in becoming a USSEE board member because 1) I would like to advance USSEE’s mission of supporting interdisciplinary learning, which has been the cornerstone of my education and 2) I welcome the opportunity to engage with a community of systems thinkers to enhance my understanding of current issues at the nexus of economics and the environment. I believe I could broaden the reach of ecological economics and connect my peers to USSEE. As future practitioners in the international policy arena taught in the neoclassical tradition, I believe it is important to become acquainted with how concepts outside of this tradition such as those in ecological economics can be incorporated into problem-solving and decision-making. 

Meenakshi Jerath

Meenakshi Jerath is a Ph.D. student in Earth Systems Science (2019–), majoring in Natural Resource Science and Management in the Department of Earth and Environment at Florida International University (FIU), Miami. Her research assesses urban resilience measures to risks posed by rapid and slow onset hazards and climate change. Her current research investigates the effectiveness of a 14-hectare forest established on a steep Andean mountainside bordering a community at the urban periphery of metropolitan Lima in Peru. The study will advance evidence and theory for ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction interventions as cost-effective and sustainable solutions that lead to risk mitigation and social-ecological resilience in informal urban areas. In the next stage of her dissertation she is investigating the current patterns of intra-urban heat islands in Miami and their relation to the distinct socio-economic conditions prevalent in the city.

While pursuing her Ph.D. Meenakshi continues to work full-time at the Disaster Risk and Resilience in the Americas Program at the Extreme Events Institute in FIU. In her role as Research Analyst at the Institute, she conducts economic appraisals of disaster risk reduction interventions in the Latin American and Caribbean region. She uses economic decision- making tools to help communities and donor agencies evaluate the merits of development projects that promote disaster resilience.

Meenakshi completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Zoology at the University of Delhi in India. She has a Master’s in Environmental Studies (2012) from FIU. She has presented her research on Alternative approaches to valuing carbon sequestration in mangroves at the Biennial Conference of the International Society of Ecological Economics at Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. Her master’s research evaluated economic, policy, and ecological challenges confronting the valuation of carbon storage in the Florida Everglades mangroves and was published in the journal of Environment Science and Policy in 2016. This research was recognized by the National Science Foundation’s Discovery series, published as a full-length front-page article in the Miami Herald, and telecast in an interview on Yale Climate Connections that was relayed through several radio stations across the country. She has several journal publications listed to her credit since.

Candidacy Statement: My avid research interest in ecological economics fuels my wish to join the USSEE Board of Directors representing graduate students. The position would allow me to further my involvement and contribution to the field and help support the mission.

While working at the Extreme Events Institute, and as a lifelong educator as well, I have experience in training, networking, and communication with professionals across North and Central America, and the Latin American and Caribbean region. This experience in engagement would help me contribute to the USSEE in reaching out to students across the country who would add value to the Society and showcase their research in the USEE conferences. I would be keen to use my skills in managing projects to help support USSEE’s mission. The Society is a great platform for intellectual exchange among scholars across and beyond the country. My curiosity and commitment to finding answers to our deeply interlinked environmental, social, and economic problems through the principles of ecological economics, combined with ability to spur outreach among peers for knowledge coproduction will enable me to bring new ideas and energy to the Board and the Membership.

Diele Lobo

Diele Lobo is a Ph.D. Candidate in Conservation Sciences at the University of Minnesota (UMN). Her doctoral research focuses on institutional and sustainable entrepreneurship for biodiversity conservation. Current research activities include (1) entrepreneurship as a social mechanism for co-production of cultural ecosystem services around protected areas in Brazil, (2) female entrepreneurship as emancipation and as a catalyst of change in conservation attitudes and behaviors, and (3) perceptions of success in venturing for biodiversity conservation. Before coming to UMN, Diele worked with local (Centro de Pesquisas Ambientais do Nordeste – CEPAN) and international NGOs (Conservation International, CI-Brazil) in Brazil coordinating and developing research and executive projects on conservation planning, ecological restoration, and conservation training. During this time, Diele co-authored a book entitled “Implementing reforestation with high species diversity in the Northeastern Atlantic Forest: a practical guide” (title originally in Portuguese). Diele has a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and a master’s in Plant ecology both from Universidade de Pernambuco, Brazil. Made in Brazil and acclimated to Minnesota’s winter, three sources of Diele’s happiness are hiking trails in National Parks, a cozy winter night with a good fictional book and wine & cheese, and Brazilian food shared with family and friends.

Candidacy Statement: I am interested in serving as a USSEE Graduate Student Board Member because I want to support the growth of an academic society whose purposes match my own. I am also motivated to strengthen USSEE’s scholarly diversity with both my background as a tropical ecologist and conservation social scientist in Brazil and my experience as an international graduate student in an ecology-oriented graduate program in the United States.

If elected, I specifically hope to leverage my academic experiences to voice constraints and challenges faced by graduate students regarding professional support and training from others than advisers and programs. I believe that science is a social enterprise and that academic societies play an important role in the career development of graduate students. As a representative of the graduate students within USSEE, I will support USSEE in building a stronger professional development, training, and mentoring community for graduate students. In addition, I plan to continue the work of previous representatives in supporting USSEE’s outreach initiatives. 

Undergraduate Student Member

Evan Beresford

Evan Beresford is a rising senior at Michigan State University with a major in Environmental Studies & Sustainability along with minors in Economics, Forestry, and Sustainable Natural Resource Recreation Management. Beresford is a member of the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE) and is an Undergraduate Learning Assistant for the Environmental Issues Seminar, a position in which he assists with grading and lesson planning. He also has managed the Bailey Greenhouse and Urban farm for the past two years which has entailed planning, harvesting, and selling crops year-round. Last summer Beresford was in Washington, D.C. as a policy intern for the Federal Forest Resource Coalition, a trade association that works with the US Forest Service on timber harvest related issues. Beresford is currently working for the US Forest Service in Grand Lake, Colorado on a timber pre-sale crew. In the future he aims to pursue a career with the Forest Service in policy, field work, or economics.

Candidate Statement: I would like to be part of the United States Society for Ecological Economics because I would like to gain more experience in the academic world of ecological economics. I believe undergraduate involvement in this group is important because we are the future of this field, and it is critical that myself and my peers get involved as early as possible. My education in systems thinking through my Environmental Studies & Sustainability major has given me a holistic model to think about the ways economic and environmental institutions function. My minors in Economics and Forestry, along with my prior work experience, have supplemented my major giving me a wide view of sustainability and economics. I hope to grow my network and learn from the leaders in the ecological economics field. I am honored to have been nominated for the Undergraduate Student Member on the board and appreciate your consideration for the position.

Maisie Strawn

Maisie Strawn is an undergraduate student at Washington and Lee University majoring in environmental economics and minoring in entrepreneurship. At school, she is involved with the General Development Initiative, a student-run non-profit focused on sustainable and socially conscious micro-finance, the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, a nonpartisan advocacy organization focused on climate change, and the varsity field hockey team. Growing up in rural, coastal Virginia, an area disproportionately bearing the weight of climate change and sea-level rise, Maisie is passionate about USSEE’s goal of advancing practical solutions toward an ecologically sustainable and economically viable future. This summer, she will serve as an intern with Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission working on several projects aiming to develop the local economy while protecting the natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding area. Maisie has also worked for the USGS, writing educational materials on the geology and ecology of National Parks for their website and will volunteer this summer with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to develop educational and outreach materials related to the ecological and economic importance of the Chesapeake Bay. Maisie hopes to pursue a career working to address sustainability challenges while facilitating economic growth within planetary boundaries.

Candidate Statement: I am passionate about the work USSEE does to bring together academics and practitioners to address issues of sustainability in an integrative way that considers economic, social, and ecological systems. I would highly value the opportunity to better understand and increase my exposure to these issues. Serving as the Undergraduate Student Member on the USSEE Board, I believe I could effectively recruit and engage other undergraduate students as members of USSEE and be useful in planning and publicizing conferences and events, as well as in helping to develop and curate relevant materials and information. I am excited by the prospect of being involved with USSEE, and I thank you for consideration.

Upcoming Panel Discussion: Beyond GDP: Measuring Genuine PRogress

Wednesday June 3rd, 3pm EDT

Registration via eventbrite at :

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/panel-discussion-beyond-gdp-measuring-genuine-progress-tickets-106123881386

Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) is a metric designed to take fuller account of the well-being of a nation, only a part of which pertains to the health of the nation’s economy, by incorporating environmental and social factors which are not measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GPI has been suggested to replace, or supplement, GDP as a measure of economic growth. This roundtable will comprise of researchers from across the United States who have calculated the GPI for their local regions. The focus of this panel will be on the GPI methodology and to what extent it can be used to guide policy discussions at the state and local level. Topics will include application of GPI at the subnational level, tradeoffs faced when deciding whether to use regional data or scaled national data, practical challenges faced during GPI calculation, and opportunities for making GPI gender inclusive. The presentation will include 40 minutes of panel discussion, followed by 20 minutes for open discussion and Q&A.

Speaker List:

Rob Moore, Scioto Analysis, Ohio

Mairi-Jane Fox, Regis University, Colorado

Eli Lazarus, University of California, Berkeley

Gunseli Berik, University of Utah

Regina Ostergaard-Klem, Hawaii Pacific University

Call for Nominations: Board of Directors

The USSEE Board of Directors invites you to nominate candidate(s) to fill the 5 board positions listed below. The election will be held in mid-May, and we are seeking nominations by May 8th. You are welcome to self-nominate.

Nominations are for the following 5 positions with terms beginning June 1, 2020:

  • President Elect
  • Board Members at Large (2 members)
  • Graduate Student Board Member
  • Undergraduate Student Board Member

Board members are expected to attend monthly virtual board meetings, help to recruit and retain members, organize, plan and publicize conferences and events, and help develop and curate information and materials relevant to the discipline. The expected time commitment is 2-4 hours per month. All positions are for two year terms, except for the president elect, who will serve a total of four years (one year as president elect, two years as president, and one year as immediate past president). 

Please note that in order to vote in the May elections, or run for a position, you need to be an active member of USSEE. To join, renew, or check your membership status, visit: thttp://theisee.wildapricot.org/.  

You can submit nominations (name and contact information) or any questions about the positions to usseeboard@gmail.com  

Webinar Published: Ostrom, Commons, and Voluntary Environmental Programs by erik Nordman

The webinar recording is now available for the April 15th webinar, titled Ostrom, Commons, and Voluntary Environmental Programs presented by Erik Nordman.

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.

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 Registerhttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/ussee-webinar-series-ostrom-commons-and-voluntary-environmental-programs-tickets-101819123740

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