Category Archives: News & Events

A Policy Agenda for NAFTA

On Tuesday June 2 one of the 2 p.m. parallel sessions will feature Rethinking trade and environment:  a policy agenda for NAFTA. The session will be chaired by Kevin Gallagher.  Mr. Gallagher is the Director of Graduate Studies and Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University (B.A., Northeastern University; M.A., Ph.D., Tufts University).

This panel will serve as a round table among ecological economists and members of civil society who will discuss the need to reform NAFTA to make it more environmentally sustainable and provide specific proposals for reform.

Panelists will include Tim Wise, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University; Jeffrey Schott, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Margrete Strand, Sierra Club; and Mark Linscott, Office of the United States Trade Representative.

For more information on the 2009 USSEE Conference visit our website at  Online registration ends today at midnight PST.   Avoid long lines at the registration desk by preregistering today!

2009 USSEE Conference Agenda Available

Preparation is in high gear a we finalize plans for the 5th bi-annual conference of the United States Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE).  The conference will be held in Washington DC this Sunday, May 31st to Wednesday, June 3rd 2009. The conference theme is “Science and Policy for a Sustainable Future”. This theme intends to move the debate from scientific discoveries and insights to practical solutions and viable policies. Conference participants will come from academia, the non-profit sector and the public sector with the goal of advancing collaborations between the private, public and non-profit sector to advance sustainability.

For more information you can access a preliminary detailed program/agenda (pdf file) for the 2009 conference.  The last day for online registration will be Midnight PST on Wednesday, May 27th.  Avoid long lines at the registration desk by preregistering by May 27th.

Pavan Sukhdev and Dayna Baumeister: Parallel Keynote Speakers

There will be 2 parallel keynote speeches on Wednesday, June 3 at 9 a.m. in the Lecture Hall.  The keynote speeches will be followed by a question and answer session.

Pavan Sukhdev is a Managing Director in the Global Markets division of Deutsche Bank AG, based in London, having joined this division in India in 1994. His assignments have included building a leading financial markets business for the bank in India, managing the Bank’s money markets trading and liquidity across Asia-Pacific, being COO for the Bank’s Asian Global Markets business from Singapore, and being COO for the Bank’s global Emerging Markets business based in London.   He is the study leader in the TEEB and Project Leader in the Green Economy Initiative (UNEP).

Dr. Dayna Baumeister will be speaking on Taking Stock of Nature’s Value System:  Ecology, Economics, and Life’s Principles.  Dr. Baumeister is the co-founder of the Biomimicry Guild, a world leading innovation company which draws on deep knowledge of biological adaptations to help designers, engineers, architects, and business leaders solve design and engineering challenges sustainably.

      • Lecture Hall

Social and Ecological Sustainability Issues

On June 1st of the conference there will be four parallel sessions offered in the area of social and ecological sustainability issues dealing particularly with economic development and will be given by Maya Kocian, Dr. Marina Vornovytsky, Dr. Sirisha Naidu and Dr. Bernhard Gunter.

Maya Kocian graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a B.A. in Economics and is currently working with Earth Economics.  She has done research in several areas and has studied the impact of various development projects on natural resources, particularly in Ecuadorian oil fields.  Her presentation titled Ecological Economics In Ecuador will cover the topic of Ecuadorian efforts to preserve natural resources and discusses the efforts being made in the OPEC organization to cover the financial costs of preservation.

Dr. Marina Vornovytsky graduated magna cum laude from American University in 4 years with 3 separate degrees in Economics, Mathematics, and International Studies.  She also received her doctorate from University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Economics and currently serves as an Economics instructor at Loyola College in Maryland.  She will be presenting Inter-regional Inequalities and Environmental Degradation: Understanding the Political Economy of Pollution Shifting which will deal with the possible effects of economic inequality on pollution control, taking data from Russian Statistical Agency to prove her assertions.

Dr. Sirisha Naidu serves as an assistant professor of Economics at Wright University and will be presenting Green Is In: The Impact Of ‘green’ Policies On Social And Ecological Sustainability which will primarily focus on the effects and effectiveness of environmental policies on the forest dwellers of India and the forests themselves using Marxist, feminist, and ecological views.

Dr. Bernhard Gunter, currently the president of the Bangladesh Development Research Center, will present The Impact Of Development And Growth On Energy Use And Co2 Emissions: A Case Study For Bangladesh Until 2050 which looks at the environmental impact Bangladesh is expected to have in the near future and how this reflects on global development as a whole.  He will also reflect on the effectiveness of the increased use of alternative energy sources in reducing CO2 emissions.

ARIES Conference

From 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. on June 2 at the 2009 USSEE Conference, Dr. Marta Ceroni, Dr. Ferdinando Villa, and Kenneth Bagstad will be giving parallel sessions on the Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services project, also known as ARIES.  ARIES is a complex, web based program that utilizes artificial intelligence to aid policy makers and researchers by making the complex relationships between a regions various natural resources clearer.  Because of its innovative design, it is able to help fill in missing data by assessing and learning from the patterns that it sees, giving the user the best possible estimate of the actual information.  The project designers have also taken great measures to incorporate local information and sources as well, which gives a perspective overlooked when simply transferring known data to new situations.

ARIES is a government funded project and will not only enhance the ability of policy makers to plan appropriate uses of natural resources, but will also offer interesting insights into the ability of machines to learn and grow as well as link information intelligently.  The program will also bridge the gap between human and machine communication as it helps the user make informed and intelligent decisions while simultaneously compiling the effects of those decisions and communicating them back to the user.

Dr. Marta Ceroni, who is a research assistant professor at University of Vermont, will be chairing the sessions, and will also be presenting Conservation Planning and Management Using ARIES.  Dr. Ceroni has a wide range of experience in ecosystem assessment and environmental services and works with the ARIES project as well as the United Nations, Mexico, Brazil, Madagascar, and Thailand in various consulting capacities.

Dr. Ferdinando Villa, presenting A Demonstration of the ARIES System, is a software designer and engineer at the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics and is one of the project leads for ARIES.  He has extensive skills in both human and machine languages and has done a great deal of research in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), ecology, and ecoinformatics (which is the science of making natural objects understandable to machines and humans and then integrating that information to make it relevant).

Kenneth Bagstad is a graduate student with the Gund Institute and has received a B.A.  in botany and environmental studies as well as an M.S. and his research focused on the effects of groundwater pumping in southeastern Arizona on plants near the San Pedro River.  He has worked as an environmental consultant and has done research on tropical plant taxonomy, as well as participating in environmental restoration in the Midwest.  He will be presenting Linking Spatial Data and Ecological Knowledge to Map Ecosystem Services Provision, Use, and Benefit Flows.

The USSEE Conference starts in just a few days. We don’t want you to miss out on this exceptional opportunity. If you have not registered we are offering a weekend special rate of $325 for USSEE/ISEE members and $425 for non-members. This special is a savings of $30. Register at  The weekend special registration ends at Midnight PST on Monday, May 25.

USSEE Conference Registration Special

The USSEE Conference starts in just a few days. We don’t want you to miss out on this exceptional opportunity. If you have not registered we are offering a weekend special rate of $325 for USSEE/ISEE members and $425 for non-members. This special is a savings of $30. Register at

Of course you won’t want to miss the special lunch event that will feature a presentation by Herman Daly. There are also other featured speakers throughout the event that you won’t want to miss. The weekend special registration will start at 8am EST on Thursday, May 21 and run through Midnight PST on Monday, May 25.

The last day for online registration will be Midnight PST on Wednesday, May 27th. Avoid long lines at the registration desk by preregistering by May 27th.

See you in D.C.

Georgist Economics

Georgist Economics is a theory developed by Henry George, an economic genius born to the United States over one hundred years ago. He lived with little formal education during the beginning industrialization of the US from 1839-1897.  The book, Progress and Poverty, was written with George’s spare time, outlining the problems he saw with the U.S economy.

George had an idea, one that many are trying to incorporate to today’s markets. This was the idea that all taxes should be abolished for one tax on all “common” assets of mankind. His thought was that everything belonged to everyone collectively, especially land. George thought that land belonged to everyone, and that it was the beginning of our economic system in the U.S.  Land was the bottom, then it required labor to work that finite land, and that resulted in capital. His plan was to levy a tax on all land, average it all and have all people pay one tax on that land. This would support the entire U.S budget.  He didn’t have the same publicity that other economists of his day. This resulted in almost no one reading or incorporating his theories except select cities, namely Arden, Delaware in the U.S.

On June 2 at 11 a.m. four panelist will discuss Georgist Economics at the 2009 USSEE Conference:  Science and policy for a sustainable future.   The panel will be led by Jeff Smith, President, Forum on Geonomics.  Here is a sample of their abstracts.

  • Alanna Hartzok from the Earth Rights Institute; Land Rights And Land Value Capture. “Land Value Capture is a public revenue policy recommended for national action by consensus of all UN member states in both the UN Habitat II Agenda in 1996 and The Vancouver Action Plan, the 1976 founding document for UN Habitat.”
  • Bill Batt; Georgist Economics and Ecological Economics.  “Ecological Economics lacks a moral framework….Georgist Economics, which many argue is a very compatible framework, is explicitly moral. By amending Georgist economics to ecological economics, each becomes that much stronger and more cogent. This presentation explains the moral dimension of Georgism and how it fits with Ecological Economics.”
  • Gary Flomenhoft; An Inventory of Potential Economic Rent on Common Assets in Vermont. “Valuation of potential economic rent from minerals, spectrum, land, internet, fish and wildlife, forests, atmosphere, groundwater, surface water, and wind in Vermont was conducted in Spring of 2008. This report will summarize the results as a potential funding source for state government or social dividend as originally proposed by Henry George.”
  • Dr. Joshua Farley from the University of Vermont; Vermont’s Common Asset Trust: A Practical Application of Georgist Ecological Economics. “This paper explains how a CAT policy integrates Georgist and Ecological Economic policy principles. I will explain why certain assets are likely to be managed more sustainable, fairly and efficiently as common property than as private property.”

We look forward to having you join us at the 2009 USSEE Conference in Washington, DC at the American University.  It will be held May 31 – June 3.  The USSEE website is the place to check for regular schedule and speaker updates. If you have any questions, please contact

Advances in Sustainability Indicators

On June 1st at 2 p.m. four panelists will make their oral presentations on Advances in Sustainability Indicators.

  • Alexandra Marques from the Instituto Superior Técnico; Urban Environmental Responsibility, “In 2008 the world population reached a turning point: urban population equaled, for the first time, rural population. According to United Nations (UN), this tendency will continue and in 2050, about 70% of world’s population is expected to live in urban areas.”
  • Alejandra Gonzalez Mejia from the University of Cincinnati; Fisher Information As A Measure Of Sustainability In Metropolitan Statistical Areas, “In 1983, during the United Nations General Conference, the World Commission on Environment and Development introduced the term sustainability…”
  • Brynhildur Davíðsdóttir from the University of Iceland; Measuring Sustainable Energy Development (sed): Linking Sed Indicators To Dynamics Of Change, “In 1999, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in collaboration with the UN Committee on Sustainable Energy, the United Nations Work Programme on Energy Indicators of Sustainable Development, and other organizations, initiated a project to develop energy system indicators that could be used in a composite multidimensional index.”
  • Dr. Deepak Malghan from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore;  A Framework For Consistent Biophysical Metrics, “One of the key areas of ecological economics research concerns the development of biophysical metrics that measure the physical size of economic activity.”

Make sure you register for the May 31 – June 3, 2009 conference today!  The conference will be held at American University in Washington D.C.  The USSEE website is the place to check for regular schedule and speaker updates. If you have any questions, please contact

Conference Exhibitors

The USSEE 2009 Conference features several Conference Exhibitors.

CASSE Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy. Herman Daly says “CASSE is the foremost organization in advancing the precepts of the steady state economy to citizens and policy makers – an indispensable resource!”


ESA Ecological Society of America. The ESA will be hosting their 94th ESA Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, NM in August.


AFS American Fisheries Society.  The AFS has been advancing the science and profession of fisheries since 1870.  It is the world’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to strengthening the fisheries profession, advancing fisheries science, and conserving fisheries resources.


Earth Economics is devoted to advancing and applying the science of ecological economics to promote healthy ecosystems, communities and economies, and to halting the globalization of unsustainable economic policies.


Union of Concerned Scientists Citizens and Scientists for Environmental Solutions.  This is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world.


GDAE Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University. The GDAE was founded in 1993 to combine the research and curricular development activities of two Tufts programs.


Global Footprint Network Advancing the Science of Sustainability.  Global Footprint Network is an international think tank working to advance sustainability through use of the Ecological Footprint, a resource accounting tool that measures how much nature we have, how much we use and who uses what.


Earthscan publishing for a sustainable future.


EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency. EPA leads the nation’s environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts.  Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.


IIE Institute of International Education. IIE, an independent non-profit organization founded in 1919, is a world leader in the exchange of people and ideas.  IIE administers over 200 programs serving more than 20,000 individuals each year.


Please join us for the USSEE 2009 Conference in Washington, DC from May 31st – June 3rd.  Check out our website for an updated calendar of events and exhibitors.

Monday Symposium

Registration continues for the USSEE 2009 Conference: Science and Policy For a Sustainable Future.  The conference will be held in Washington DC from May 31st to June 3rd 2009.   

A symposium will take place on Monday, June 1, 2009 at 11 a.m. on Pathways and Policies Towards Sustainable Fisheries and Marine EcosystemsDr. U. Rashia Sumaila will present Managing Fishery Resources For All Generations.  Dr. Glenn-Marie Lange will present Economic Value Of Marine Ecosystem Services In Zanzibar: Implications For Marine Conservation And Sustainable Development and Dr. Karin Limburg will present Dramatic Declines In Diadromous Fishes: How Socio-economic Pathologies Lead To Lost Ecosystem Services.

If you have any questions, please contact