Category Archives: News & Events

USSEE @ SEA 2019: Call for papers

The United States Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE) will organize sessions in ecological economics at the 89th annual meeting of the Southern Economic Association (SEA), to be held in Fort Lauderdale, FL at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, November 23-25, 2019 (Saturday to Monday) ( We are seeking 8 to 12 papers to organize two to three USSEE@SEA sessions in ecological economics. Proposals for full sessions as well as individual presentations will be considered. Please send the abstracts or complete sessions to Robert Richardson (rbr@msu.eduby April 10, 2019, and we will organize the USSEE sessions and submit directly to the SEA. Please list all authors and full contact information for each author on the abstract page.

Feel free to contact Robert Richardson at with any questions.

Call for Nominations: Herman Daly Award and Bernardo Aguilar Award

The USSEE Board of Directors is soliciting nominees for two awards (the Herman Daly Award and Bernardo Aguilar Award) to be given in conjunction with the 2019 ESA & USSEE Joint Meeting, to be held August 11th-16th in Louisville, Kentucky.

The deadline for nominations is May 1st. Details on award criteria and submissions are below:

  • The Herman Daly Award, was established in 2003 in honor of one of the visionaries and founders of ecological economics, Herman Daly. The award is designed to recognize outstanding contributions to the field, and acknowledges individuals who have connected ecological economic thinking to practical applications and solutions that are sustainable in scale, equitable in distribution, and efficient in allocation. The award criteria include the following:
    • made visionary contributions to the field of ecological economics
    • connected ecological economic thinking to practical applications
    • created conceptual frameworks and practical solutions to sustainability challenges
    • identified policies and processes that  advance social and environmental sustainability
    • advanced the recognition of scale as an essential part of sustainability
    • advanced distributive justice and social consciousness as an essential part of sustainability
    • contributed to conservation and the just allocation of resources

A list of past Daly Award winners can be found at

Please send nominations to by May 1st. Nominations should include the name, affiliation and contact information of your nominee, and a brief statement describing the nominee’s qualifications for the Herman Daly Award. The Board will review all nominations and select the recipient.

  • The Bernardo Aguilar Award, was established in 2007 and is given to a person nominated and selected by students. The award was created to recognize a professional who has inspired students through teaching, research, ideas, and/or mentoring in ecological economics.

Please circulate to students! Students can submit nominations to by May 1st. Nominations should include the name, affiliation and contact information of your nominee, and a brief statement describing the nominee’s qualifications for the Bernardo Aguilar Award. The Board will compile the nominations and call for a student vote to select the award winner.

February webinar: Gross Domestic Welfare: Comprehensively Measuring Income

Wednesday February 27th, 1pm EST.

Gross Domestic Welfare: Comprehensively Measuring Income, with pilot accounts for the U.S. and California.

Presented by Eli Lazarus, PhD student, UC Berkeley Energy and Resources Group 

In order to better understand, track and optimize welfare, we need assessments of comprehensive welfare. Various initiatives attempt this; from GDP and other standard national accounts, to the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), metrics like the U.N. Development Program’s Human Development Index, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Sustainable Development Goals, and Bhutan’s Gross Happiness Index. Gross Domestic Welfare (GDW) attempts to fill a gap in this research and these projects. GDW builds from the Genuine Progress Indicator, and from efforts to assess the full welfare contribution of ecosystem services and other non-market elements such as leisure. Elements that contribute to human welfare are incorporated as comprehensively as possible, valued in currency terms as a common unit, with shadow prices from valuation research where necessary. GDW differs from GPI in removing: historical and regional benchmarks; the boundary of impacts of the industrial economy; and a ‘standard’ and limited set of elements.

Initial pilot accounts are being built assessing California and the United States over the period 1995 to 2016. I will present these initial results, comparing them to GSP/GDP, and GPI accounts for CA and the US recently completed for the same period. I will present the framework, theory, and methods of Gross Domestic Welfare, and look forward to a robust discussion, including limitations, challenges, and priority steps forward.

To Register, email, or visit Evenetbrite at

December 5th Webinar: Advancing the Integration of Ecosystem Services and Livelihood Adaptation

Presented by Dr. Elizabeth G King

Wednesday December 5th, 1pm EST
The concept of ecosystem services has become a cornerstone in dialogues and policymaking in conservation, natural resource management, and sustainable development. Most methods for ascribing values to the benefits provided by ecosystems are based on a conceptual “flow model” in which natural capital yields services, which in turn yield valued benefits to people. However, in sectors such as rural development and urban planning, there are increasingly vocal criticisms of outcomes that arise when decisions based on optimizing ecosystem services are put in to practice. In this talk, I will examine two limitations of mainstream conceptualizations of ecosystem service flows, and some methodological tools and cutting edge research from other disciplines that can help overcome those limitations. The first limitation is a failure to account for the range of capabilities that people need in order to co-create ecosystem services, and the second is a failure to formally consider how the benefits and values are distributed among members and segments of society. Principles from Sustainable Livelihood Analysis and the nascent field of adaptation studies can complement ecosystem service analyses and valuations to give more holistic and realistic understandings of ecosystem service flows and who benefits from them.

To register for this free event, use the eventbrite link here, or email

Gund Institute creates Eric Zencey Prize in Ecological Economics

Prize to celebrate best writing on planet’s environmental limits

The Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont is pleased to announce the creation of the Eric Zencey Prize in Ecological Economics to celebrate the best writing on the environmental limits of our finite planet.

The prize is supported by a growing endowment, established with generous contributions by family, friends and colleagues of Zencey, a pioneering scholar in ecological economics, a field that explores the relationships between economics and our planet’s limited natural resources.

[Friends and colleagues seeking to support the Eric Zencey Prize can make donations and pledges online.]

“My sincere hope is that this Prize will help nudge our civilization onto a better path—one that arrives purposefully at an ecologically sustainable relationship between society and nature,” says Eric Zencey. “It’s important to me that the ideas we foster here in the Academy get to work in the world.  I hope this prize will inspire future generations of environmental writers and ecological economists to communicate real-world solutions beyond ‘the Ivory Tower.’”

Valued at $4,000 USD, the Eric Zencey Prize will be awarded every two years to the best English-language current affairs book or work of long-form journalism that advances public understanding of ecological economics’ principles by using them as an explanatory lens on current affairs. The Gund Institute and the United States Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE) will partner to solicit nominations and select the inaugural recipient by 2020.

“This is an excellent legacy for Eric, and an important new prize for the field of Ecological Economics,” says Taylor Ricketts, Director, Gund Institute for Environment. “We thank the Zencey family for their vision and generosity.”

Learn more or give to the Eric Zencey Prize for Ecological Economics. Share this announcement online. Learn about Gund efforts in Ecological Economics, including funded PhD opportunities.


Born in Delaware, and holding a PhD in political philosophy and the history of science, Zencey is a writer, teacher, and public intellectual. At the University of Vermont and Washington University of St. Louis, Zencey has worked to bring ecological economics outside the academy to understand and address the political, economic, social, and environmental challenges facing society.

Zencey is author of four books, including The Other Road to Serfdom and the Path to Sustainable Democracy and (with Elizabeth Courtney) Greening Vermont: Towards a Sustainable State. His first book was the internationally best-selling novel and New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Panama. His writing has appeared in media outlets ranging from The New York Times and Chronicle of Higher Education to Adbusters. He has been a featured contributor to The Daly News, which honors the work of steady-state economist Herman Daly. Zencey has received Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller-Bellagio Foundation and the Bogliasco Foundation.

In Vermont and Missouri, Zencey has been a pioneer in the compilation of and advocacy for the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), a more comprehensive measure of economic, social and environmental health than GDP. His efforts led to Vermont becoming one of the first states in the nation to adopt GPI measurement.

Zencey’s affiliations at UVM include the Gund Institute, the Political Science Dept., the Honors College, the Center for Research on Vermont, and the Center for Rural Studies. At Washington University, his appointments include teaching and research positions in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Sam Fox School for Design and Visual Art.


The Gund Institute for Environment catalyzes environmental research, develops real-world solutions to global issues, and connects with leaders in government, business and beyond. Based at the University of Vermont, the Institute has 150 faculty, global affiliates, graduate students and post-docs who focus on environmental issues at the interface of four pressing themes: climate solutions, health and well-being, sustainable agriculture, and resilient communities.

Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) Graduate Student Research Symposium

Dear colleagues,

Please join me for an Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) Graduate Student Research Symposium this Saturday, October 13, from 9 am to 2 pm eastern standard time.  Our symposium is an outgrowth of the E4A partnership supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, McGill University, York University, the University of Vermont, and over 20 institutional partners and 80 individual collaborators from around the world.  Presentation topics are summarized in the attached symposium agenda, including research on the energy-economy interface, human values in human-Earth bonds, food systems transitions, resilience in watershed communities, and socio-economic reform of economic institutions.

The symposium will be broadcast live via Zoom at:  Short, high-level presentations will be organized into five one-hour sessions, and you can come and go at your leisure.  Written questions can be addressed to our presenters via an online chat window throughout each session.

Thank you for your interest in our work, and we hope to see you virtually this Saturday.

-Jon Erickson

USSEE People @ ISEE-2018

The following was written by the three attendees enclosed in ( ). The conference program may be found at .

In the morning of 10 September 2018, the ISEE folks attended a joint session that began the proceedings and allowed the attendees to hear the voices of representatives of indigenous peoples. In the first set of parallel sessions, Brent Haddad presented on defining the field of ecological economics, Jim Kahn spoke on integrating economic, energy, and environment policy in Tunisia, Robby Richardson discussed ecosystem services and climate change in Mali and Paul Bartlett put forth on emerging chemicals of concern. In another building, Rich Howarth presented on deliberative methodologies for ecosystem service valuation, work which is a collaboration with Georgia Mavrommati. After lunch, ecological footprint efficiency by consumption category was the topic of Eli Lazarus. Josh Farley discussed finance for a just and sustainable future, and ecological economics education for sustainability. (John Sorrentino)

The second day of the ISEE conference consisted of two parallel sessions with multiple tracks, one thematic session on Ecological Economics research (in Spanish), the plenary session on Agroecology, the ISEE assembly in the evening and the banquet with award ceremony. The morning and evening parallel sessions covered wide ranging ecological-economics topics and geographic regions, including bioenergy, carbon credit, species extinction, urban sustainability, sustainable agriculture, etc. USSEE member John Sorrentino presented on behalf of Jonathan Harris a paper on how to respond to ecological and economic deficits in a morning session. The conference featured several sessions in Spanish only so that Spanish speaking audience could fully participate in the conference. The Agroecology plenary session featured thoughtful debate between the academicians and practitioners of agroecology. Remi Cruset of FAO introduced to the audience their ongoing efforts on conducting international and regional stakeholders seminars in agroecology in different parts of the world. These regional seminars provide forums for experts, agencies, farmers and other stakeholders to exchange ideas on emerging concepts and practices of agroecology as a way to build the discipline from bottom up. Other panel members, namely Omar Giraldo (Colombia), Maria Noel Salgao (Uruguay) and Adelita San Vicente (México), who represented various grassroot organizations, challenged researchers and academies to think about creating a level-playing field for agroecology-based production system along with modern agriculture. ISEE President Clóvis Cavalcanti welcomed the participants at the Society’s assembly. President-Elect Joshua Farley presented a number of ideas on the future directions of the Society and how to expand its membership and their participation in Society’s activities, including international and regional conferences. There were a number of suggestions made by the meeting participants in order to increase participation by industries and stakeholders. The President of the the Russian Society for Ecological Economics presented a proposal for hosting the 2020 ISEE International Conference in Moscow, Russia. The ISEE Board will consider the merit of this proposal and will make a decision later. USSEE President James Kahn expressed concerns that he finds it uncomfortable attending the meeting in Russia, a country that has openly criminalized LGBT members. He further commented that being an organization that supports social justice, USSEE should not support a meeting in Russia. The evening banquet featured the presentation of 2018 Kenneth E. Boulding Memorial Award to Dr. Inge Røpke, in recognition of her long-term efforts on behalf of ISEE and European Society for Ecological Economics, as well as her contributions to the field of Ecological Economics. Her work focuses on sustainable transitions with a particular emphasis on the essential role of financial institutions and the banking system. (Mahadev Bhat)

The first set of parallel sessions on the final morning of the conference saw Mahadev Bhat speak on a solidarity economy for labor supply, technological improvement, and resource management in agriculture. Eli Lazarus presented on a comprehensive measure of income in California. Joshua Farley moderated a thematic session on a research agenda in ecological economics with Inge Røpke, Sabine O’Hara, Katie Kish, Richard Howarth. In the afternoon, Christina Estela Brown presented on valuing recreational ecosystem services under climate risk in the Florida Everglades. Anders Hayden revisited the subject of his webinar, alternative indicator metrics to move beyond GDP. John Sorrentino presented on tradeoffs in residential development in two Philadelphia-area watersheds, and Nicholas Charles presented on water resources in Karnataka, India. In the evening, the final plenary roundtable of the conference was on the topic of a social and solidarity economy of workers. This was followed by the closing ceremony, a demonstration of traditional cultural dance throughout Mexico’s history, from indigenous to colonial to modern times, and finally a closing toast. (Christina Estela Brown)

Maryland’s Experience in Measuring “Genuine Progress”

Anders Hayden

Associate Professor, Dalhousie University


Gross National Product “measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans,” Robert F. Kennedy, 1968.

“I always remembered that quote,” said former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, explaining one reason why he supported introduction of a Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI). His administration began calculating the GPI in 2010 to complement but not replace GDP. By including monetary estimates for a range of environmental, social, and economic costs and benefits ignored in GDP calculations, the GPI provides a more comprehensive picture of wellbeing.

The idea that the state should examine alternative prosperity indicators came from Maryland’s Office for a Sustainable Future and its sustainability policy director, Sean McGuire, who was trained in ecological economics at the University of Maryland (where, years earlier, Herman Daly had developed the GPI’s predecessor, the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare). While moving beyond GDP as the leading prosperity measurement has been, for some supporters, a key part of the project of dethroning economic growth as the dominant societal priority, the idea has also gained ground in recent years in the political mainstream among those who see it as a tool for better policymaking without directly questioning the growth paradigm.

In our recent article on the Maryland GPI, Jeff Wilson and I examine the following questions: What have the impacts been of Maryland’s GPI initiative? Is there any evidence to date that the GPI has shaped policy and public priorities in ways that live up to supporters’ expectations, whether for better policymaking or more radical transformation? What key obstacles exist to fulfilling those expectations? To answer these questions, we draw on semi-structured interviews with elite respondents—including Governor O’Malley, senior public servants, academics, non-governmental organization employees and foundation leaders—involved in producing, advocating and using the GPI, along with analysis of relevant documents and media articles.

We found that Maryland’s GPI initiative revealed promising possibilities for policymaking that gives greater weight to ecological and social considerations—potentially helping to level the playing field that has been tilted toward conventional economic values—although these possibilities are still some way from being fully realized.

The GPI can help to show net societal benefits of policies such as investing in public transit, increasing the minimum wage and reducing GHGs—giving policymakers and advocates additional ammunition for political battles over such issues. In other words, the potential for what some theorists call the “political use” of indicators was evident with Maryland’s GPI.

Less evident so far is any direct impact of the GPI on policy decisions—or “instrumental use.”

Indeed, researchers have often struggled to find evidence of direct policy impacts from other “beyond-GDP” measurement initiatives around the world and from sustainable-development indicators.

To their credit, key players working on the Maryland GPI took steps not only to produce a new indicator, but also explore how to integrate it into policymaking. Some GPI-impact analysis of policy ideas occurred within the state bureaucracy. The non-governmental Center for a Sustainable Economy also produced a prototype “GPI note” on the GPI impacts of a minimum-wage increase (Talberth 2014), providing a more complete picture than a conventional fiscal note outlining a proposed policy’s effect on government finances. One promising offshoot of the GPI initiative was a pilot study of the use of Net Present Value Plus (NPV+) analysis, which goes beyond conventional cost-benefit analysis to include, like the GPI, social and environmental considerations that typically go uncounted. It showed, for example, that when the value of ecosystem services are considered, the state would derive more value from purchasing wetlands and forests and protecting them than by allowing sprawling suburban development (GFN 2015).

One main obstacle in Maryland was that the clock ran out on officials who were working behind the scene on innovative GPI applications before a new Republican governor took office in 2015. (Although there has been, in one interviewee’s words, a “de-emphasis on the use of the GPI” since 2015, the state’s Department of Natural Resources has maintained its GPI web pages and continued some GPI work.) Other obstacles included the commonplace challenge of resistance to new ideas, including some bureaucratic resistance; the need for training to use the GPI and related policy tools; and concerns over cost and time involved in producing the data needed to apply the GPI to policy decisions.

Although both the initiative itself and political opposition to it had a low profile, ideologically driven opposition could be found on the margins of public debate.  For example, former Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich (2015) called the GPI “liberal snake-oil for what ails anti-business states,” while another right-wing critic went further, likening it to the “propaganda” that supported Lenin’s New Economic Policy and Mao’s Great Leap Forward (Pettit 2012). Should the GPI or other beyond-GDP indicators become more prominent and shift policy decisions in a greener and more socially progressive direction, they will likely attract more fire from opponents, suggesting a need for further work to build up the base of political support for alternative prosperity measurements.

The Maryland case also raises some questions about the GPI’s own limits, especially for those who hope that moving beyond GDP can support a post-growth, post-consumerist economic narrative. While GPI is an improvement in important ways on the use—or misuse—of GDP as a wellbeing measurement, it remains dominated by personal consumption expenditures. This can lead to surprising results. In 2015, for example, Maryland saw increased costs from income inequality, crime, and environmental degradation, including a 3 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Yet the GPI rose nearly 4 percent—due mainly to a large increase in household consumption. There remain grounds for debate over how to further refine the GPI (e.g. to reduce the prominence of consumption expenditures and increase estimates of environmental costs), whether the GPI deserves to be the main beyond-GDP alternative, and which other indicators are needed to supplement it.

One final lesson from Maryland is that achieving a significant impact through beyond-GDP measurement is a long-term process. Governor O’Malley referred to the initiative in terms of “planting seeds,” while some theorists have emphasized potential long-term impacts from the “conceptual use” of indicators, i.e. by changing mental models and encouraging new ways of thinking. As a pioneer and host of two national GPI summits, Maryland also contributed to encouraging GPI initiatives of various kinds in other states, including Vermont, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, among others. There may yet be impacts to come in Maryland from increased awareness among non-governmental organizations of the need for efforts to make the policy sphere friendlier to non-economic values and, hopefully, a future revival of efforts to apply beyond-GDP measurement to policymaking in innovative ways.

The full article is available (open access):

Hayden, Anders and Jeffrey Wilson. 2018. “Taking the First Steps beyond GDP: Maryland’s Experience in Measuring ‘Genuine Progress’.” Sustainability 10(2):462.



Ehrlich, Robert. 2015. “Kitzhaber and How the Left Cooks the Books.” National Review, February 17.

GFN. 2015. “Making the Economic Case for Sustainable Investments in Maryland.” Oakland, CA: Global Footprint Network.

Pettit, Jim. 2012. “Redefining American Progress.” National Review, October 25.Talberth, John. 2014. HB 295: Maryland Minimum Wage Act of 2014. Washington, D.C.: Center for Sustainable Economy.

2018 Board of Directors Nominees

The USSEE Board of Directors is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2018 Board Elections. The following nominees are for 3 available positions: President-Elect (1 nominee) and 2 At-Large Member Positions (4 nominees). Nominees are presented by position in alphabetical order. Elections will open Wednesday May 23rd and run through Friday June 8th. Please note, your ISEE/USSEE membership must be up-to-date to vote!

To vote, use the following link:

Candidate for President Elect

Robert B Richardson, Michigan State University

Dr. Robert Richardson is an ecological economist and Associate Professor at Michigan State University with interests in the study of the environment and development, particularly the contribution of ecosystem services to socioeconomic well-being. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Colorado State University. His research, teaching, and outreach program focuses primarily on sustainable development, and he uses a variety of methods from the behavioral and social sciences to study decision-making about the use of natural resources and the values of ecosystem services. He has conducted research related to agricultural-environmental linkages, household food and energy security, and tradeoffs in decision-making about environmental management in southern and eastern Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia, as well as in various regions of the USA. His work has been published in Ecological Economics, Journal of Environmental Management, and World Development.

Dr. Richardson is a former member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and former chairperson of the subcommittee on Sustainable and Healthy Communities. He is a former officer and board member of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics, and a member of the International Society for Ecological Economics. He is an affiliate faculty member with MSU’s Environmental Science and Policy Program, Center for Advanced Study of International Development, Center for Regional Food Systems, African Studies Center, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Candidacy Statement: My academic career has been informed and inspired by the tenets of ecological economics, and I would be honored to serve on the USSEE Board as President-elect, and later as President. I have been a member of the International Society for Ecological Economics since 2000, after having attended an ISEE conference as a doctoral student, and I have been a member of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics since its founding in 2001. The Society has been my primary scholarly community since the formative years of my academic career until the present. I previously served on the USSEE Board as Secretary-Treasurer from 2009 to 2015, and I served as Chairperson of the Conference Committee for the 2011 biennial conference, and as Chairperson of the Scientific Committee for the 2017 conference. As President, my vision for the organization would involve expanding its membership base in regions of the USA where there is high potential but few clusters of members, through outreach to universities and regional organizations. I would focus on the development of education in ecological economics and on elevating the academic profile of the field through outreach with academic institutions, government agencies, and other organizations. Interdisciplinary departments and degree programs are increasing in number across the USA, and I believe that USSEE can make valuable contributions to the curricula and scholarly foundations of those institutions. At a time when scientific knowledge about global challenges is rapidly expanding, there is an increasing need for ecological economics to have a voice in public discourse and policy dialogue, and I would like to see USSEE play a leading role in that effort.

Candidates for Members at Large

Christa Court, University of Florida

Dr. Christa Court is currently an Assistant Scientist in the Food & Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida (UF), Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). She serves as Assistant Director of the UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program, which conducts regional economic analyses for funded research projects, industry organizations, and government agencies. She also holds affiliate faculty status with the UF Water Institute, the UF/IFAS Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, and the Regional Research Institute at West Virginia University. Her research interests include regional economic modeling, the energy-water nexus, environmental accounting, and connections in human and natural systems. Dr. Court has been involved in numerous funded projects involving regional economic modeling and the integration of environmental data and models within these models over the last decade and has a growing list of related publications. She has undergraduate degrees in Economics and Spanish from Middle Tennessee State University and a Masters and Ph.D. in Economics from West Virginia University. During her time at West Virginia University, Christa held the position of Graduate Research Fellow at the Regional Research Institute after which she spent four years as a contract economist with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Candidacy Statement: I am interested in joining the Board of Directors of the USSEE because I would like to become a more active member of the USSEE.  My personal interests are in the areas of ecological economics, industrial ecology, and integrated modeling of human and physical environment systems. I believe that it is important to integrate otherwise compartmentalized models of individual systems to synthesize and expand research in economics and environmental science simultaneously and to enhance the information available to policymakers as they tackle societal issues including natural resource depletion, climate change, and sustainable development. The USSEE is making strides in all of these areas through its transdisciplinary approach to sustainability science and I would very much like to play a larger role in this group. I believe that my research experience in academia, industry, and government will help the USSEE bridge the gap that often exists between academia and the industry and public policy arenas and will aid the USSEE in putting the concepts of ecological economics into action.

Georgia Mavrommati, University of Massachusetts Boston

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 serving the US Society of Ecological Economics 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 would also be an advocate for programs designed to increase the participation of members of underrepresented groups in the field of Ecological Economics.

Madhavi Venkatesan, Northeastern University

Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan is a faculty member in the Department of Economics at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Her present academic interests are specific to the integration of sustainability into the economics curriculum and she is currently pursuing scholarly interests in sustainable economic development. She serves as the Executive Director of Sustainable Practices, a 501(c)3 non-profit she founded in 2016. Sustainable Practices is focused on increasing financial and economic literacy to facilitate sustainability and thereby promote environmental and social justice as well as economic equity.

Prior to re-entering academics, Madhavi held senior level positions in investor relations for three Fortune 250 companies. In this capacity, she was a principal point of contact for investors and stakeholders and was instrumental in the development of socially responsible investing strategies and corporate social responsibility reporting. Madhavi started her financial services career after completing her post-doctoral fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. She earned a PhD in Economics from Vanderbilt University, a Masters in Environmental Management from Harvard University, and a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. She is the author of numerous peer reviewed articles and book chapters on the subject of sustainability and economics as well as the text Economic Principles: A Primer, A Framework for Sustainable Practices and forthcoming Foundations in Microeconomics, A Framework for Sustainable Practices and Foundations in Macroeconomics, A Framework for Sustainable Practices. In 2017, Madhavi was granted the Fulbright-SyCip Distinguished Lecturing Award to the Philippines where she gave lectures in the host country in February of 2018 on the role of economics in fostering sustainable outcomes and ultimately, a culture of sustainability.

Candidacy Statement: I appreciate your consideration to serve on the board of the USSEE for the 2018-2020 term. My interest in the position is related to my strong belief that ecological economics needs to be integrated into the mainstream discussion and teaching of economics. I have spent the past few years, writing and speaking on this topic. I have written textbooks that assist in the dissemination of this integration within the high school, community college and university systems and I have responded to solicitations and invitations to speak on the subject. Further, I have leveraged my marketing and communication strategy skills, which were developed during my tenure as an equity analyst and investor relations officer, to channel my communications and thereby extend the range of the ecological economics message to a significantly wide audience as represented by age, education, nationality and income among other demographic characteristics.  Specific to organizational skills, policymaking, collegiality and experience as a volunteer, I have developed, created, established and been an active participant, respectively. I have volunteered my time to numerous organizations over the past 20 years and am presently a board member of the ISEE and serve as the Executive Director of my own non-profit, Sustainable Practices ( As a USSEE board member, I would use my skills and the experience I have gained in my own pursuits to further the goals of USSEE, including increasing the transparency and dissemination of the organization’s focus. Additionally, I would seek to strengthen and establish relationships to promote the significance of the focus of the organization. There are many parallel organizations as well as further increasing sensitivities related to the mission of the USSEE, making the present time a significant opportunity for the organization. Finally, and related, I would work with fellow members to promote both membership and governance functions, both of which I have experience with through past affiliations.

Phillip Warsaw, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Phillip Warsaw is a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also completed in Ph.D. in Economics. As a master’s candidate in Environmental Studies, Phillip first began his engagement in ecological economics through his thesis work, titled “Beyond Distribution: Moving Towards a Power-Structures Approach to Environmental Justice in Ecological Economics.” As a doctoral candidate, Phillip continued his work in environmental justice in developing his dissertation, “Essays on the Economics of Food Access”, which developed a microeconomic approach to investigating food insecurity in Milwaukee. As a postdoctoral fellow, he has continued to develop his 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 his work. Phillip has also been 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.

Candidacy Statement: In my time as a graduate student and now postdoctoral fellow, I have seen a growing passion among my colleagues for transdisciplinary work to build a new economic paradigm which recognizes social and ecological truths, which ecological economics is uniquely positioned to address. As such, I believe now is a crucial time to recruit a diverse set of young and passionate scholars into the field and provide them with the tools to contribute to the field, both in their research and teaching. As a nominee for the USSEE board, I welcome the opportunity to help contribute to the society on these issues.

In Fall 2017, I was offered the chance to create and lead a graduate course in ecological economics. The course attracted students from several disciplines, including sociology, environmental studies, and agricultural economics. Among the many insights I gained teaching this course, two stand out. First, I believe there is a continued need for support in developing course syllabi. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the course I developed 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. To that end, I would be interested in working with the syllabi subcommittee to continuing to provide 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, 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.