The USSEE Board of Directors is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2016 Board Elections. The following nominees are for 3 available positions: President-Elect (1 nominee) and 2 At-Large Member Positions (6 nominees). Nominees are presented by position in alphabetical order. Elections will open Friday May 20 and run through May 31st. Please note, your ISEE/USSEE membership must be up-to-date to vote!
President Elect (Term June 2016- June 2017)
Jim Kahn is an environmental and ecological economist, and a founding member of USSEE. He received his PhD in environmental economics from the University of Maryland in 1981, studying under one of the leaders of the original ecological economics movement, John Cumberland. He is a past Secretary/Treasurer of USSEE and is currently the John Hendon Professor of Economics and Director of the Environmental Studies Program at Washington and Lee University. He has been a faculty member at the Center for Environmental Science and the Graduate Program in Tropical Fishery Science at the Federal University of Amazonas (Brazil) since 1992. Past positions include SUNY-Binghamton (now Binghamton University) from 1980-1991 and a joint appointment at the University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1991-2000. He has over 150 publications (including 9 in Ecological Economics). Kahn has co-authors from diverse fields including ecology, chemistry, engineering, political science, hydrology, and fishery science. He held a Fulbright Scholarship in Brazil in 2001. Kahn has received numerous teaching awards including a SUNY-system-wide award for teaching excellence, and an Outstanding Faculty award from the Virginia State Council of Higher Education. Research interests focus on global climate change policy, sustainable development in remote regions, Amazonian issues, fishery management, causes of deforestation, economic incentives for preservation, and environmental valuation. Kahn has received research funding from NOAA, USEPA, US Department of Education, NYDEC, Mellon Foundation, CNPq (the Brazilian National Science Foundation) and the State of Amazonas, among other agencies.
Candidacy Statement: I think that the USSEE and ecological economics in general is stuck in a rut. Too much energy is wasted arguing about whether heterodox approaches are better than conventional approaches, and which heterodox approach is best. At times, this debate has become antagonistic and has led many members, especially environmental economists, to end their affiliation with USSEE. I must admit that there have been times that I have been so discouraged by this rancor, that I stopped attending USSEE and ISEE meetings. However, I have always come back. Using the analogy of religion, people choose the religious approach with which they are most comfortable, but all approaches have their own beauty and important insights that should be respected. As ecological economists, we should have this tolerance and respect for diverse approaches. I think we need to be more embracing of alternative viewpoints and methods. Each approach adds important knowledge that can contribute to informing policy positions. I think if we think about how we need to approach policy (both in terms of actual policy steps and the knowledge necessary to support decision-making) we can make a greater contributions to maintaining a planet with healthy ecosystems, thriving human societies, and a future which is bright rather than bleak.
To pursue these general goals, I would work to implement the following actions:
- Broadly recruit academics, students and practitioners who are interested in the relationship between the environment and the economy, including, but not limited to the fields of ecological economics, biophysical economics, environmental economics, regional science, peace (conflict resolution) science, management, political science, environmental ethics, sociology, ecology, physics, indigenous studies, geology and geography. (please excuse me if a left out your field).
- Create a blog where we can discuss potential policy actions to address our most pressing problems.
- Seek funding for training programs to increase scientific capacity and capability in developing countries.
- Develop better connections and joint activities with the ecological economics societies in the Americas.
- Develop specialized workshops for undergrads and grad students to present their research in front of established researchers.
At-Large Member, 2 Positions (Term June 2016 – June 2018)
Tania Briceno received her Ph.D. from Université de Montréal where she specialized in ecosystem service valuation and the integration of ecological epistemology. She was mentored by Dr. Sigrid Stagl in the field of Ecological Economics at University of Leeds where she received her Master’s Degree and worked extensively on the topic of sustainable consumption systems. Her undergraduate degree is in Economics and International Development from McGill University. Tania currently works as lead team economist for a Washington-based non-profit, Earth Economics, leading the organization’s Louisiana projects on coastal restoration and community resilience. She also leads work on the economics of outdoor recreation and the valuation of ecosystem services for international court cases. Prior to joining Earth Economics, she worked with the Canadian federal government on climate change adaptation in the Northern Territories and with the City of Montreal on ecosystem service based land-use planning. She also worked with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology on the use of life-cycle assessment tools and input-output modeling for sustainable transport policy.
Candidacy statement: Having been devoted to the field of Ecological Economics since the day I first heard about it, more than 15 years ago, it is my intention to share all the insights and visions that have motivated me so far and to continue searching for ways to make our economies more sustainable and harmonized with biological realities. Although I am always absorbed and engaged by the academic advancement of knowledge, findings, and unifying theories in Ecological Economics, I am especially interested in translating this information into action on the ground. I believe the U.S. (as well as other regional) societies of Ecological Economics are well positioned to bring together actors, ideas, and the latest scientific research to form a valuable hub for all those working in the field. I would be excited to have the opportunity to contribute to this effort.
Dr. Christa Court is currently a Staff Scientist at MRIGlobal and an Industry Liaison with the Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University (WVU). Her research focuses on energy and environmental issues related to economic structure and economic impact assessments. As a Staff Scientist, she primarily performs economic impact analyses for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory but has also worked on contracts involving the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. Her work appears in various peer-reviewed journals, including Ecological Economics, Environment and Planning A, and Papers in Regional Science, among others. She holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Economics from WVU and undergraduate degrees in Economics and Spanish from Middle Tennessee State University. She also spent time as a Visiting Scholar at both the University of Strathclyde and Cardiff University in the United Kingdom and has served as a subject matter expert for the European Commission and the European Materials Modeling Council. Christa will begin a new position as Assistant Scientist and Assistant Director of the program in Economic Impact Analysis within the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida this summer.
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 as I move back into academia. 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 policy arena and will aid in putting the concepts of ecological economics into action.
Mik Carbajales-Dale joined Clemson University in August 2014 as an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences department. Before joining Clemson, Mik was an Energy Systems Analyst with Stanford’s Environmental Assessment & Optimization Lab and with the Global Climate & Energy Project (GCEP). His research focuses on the long-term, large-scale evolution and dynamics of the energy-economy system, especially how development of energy resources affects social development and the effects of a future transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Prior to this Mik undertook his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with the Advanced Energy and Material Systems (AEMS) Laboratory at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. His doctoral thesis was Global Energy Modelling – A Biophysical Approach (GEMBA), which married net energy analysis with systems dynamic modelling to study the interaction of the global economy with the energy sector. Mik also carried out a number of community-based energy-related projects whilst in New Zealand, being especially involved with Transition initiatives: local groups seeking innovative ways to address the twin challenges of Peak Oil and Climate Change.
Candidacy Statement: Mik heads the Energy-Environmental-Economic (E3) Systems Analysis Group, which sits within the Department of Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences (EEES) at Clemson. The group’s research focuses on building tools to reduce the environmental impacts of energy systems. The current group focus is on understanding energy and material requirements for renewable energy systems. Our approach includes building engineering-based bottom-up life cycle assessment (LCA) models to generate rigorous estimates of environmental impacts from energy extraction and conversion technologies. Also, developing techno-economic modeling tools to improve the energetic, environmental and economic performance of energy systems. Our methods are applied primarily to energy systems, in an effort to understand and reduce the environmental impacts of conventional thermoelectric generation and substitutes for conventional technologies (e.g., wind, photovoltaics). We are also currently developing optimization capabilities for combinations of electricity generation and storage technologies. A third area of interest is in the mathematical modeling of material and energy flows and accumulations at the economic sector level using input-output techniques.
Maria Claudia Lopez is Assistant Professor in the department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. She is an economist specializing in natural resources management, environmental economics, experimental economics and collective action. Her research uses multiple methods – including field experiments from behavioral economics, institutional analysis, econometrics, ethnography and participatory research – to understand how rural communities can collaborate successfully in the management of commonly held natural resources and to implement agriculture practices that will benefit a group of farmers. She has done research in Colombia, Spain, Peru, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Uganda and Rwanda. Her work in progress includes studying how payments for environmental services may change the users intrinsic motivations to conserve their natural resources. In addition, she is also is studying the coffee sector in Rwanda and the incentives and disincentives in managing the crop. She is starting work on a project in Brazil looking at the effects of hydroelectric dams on fisher’s communities.
Candidacy statement: Ecological economics is a vibrant transdisciplinary field that can serve to overcome the silos that separate much of academic and applied sciences. It bridges natural and social sciences, basic and applied science, theory and practice together. As a member of the board I hope to contribute to continuing to advance this field for the benefit of society by improving our ability to communicate with more publics, engage more stakeholders, and increase support from society for the goals of the community.
Dr. Kirsten L.L. Oleson is an Assistant Professor of Ecological Economics with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa. Her current research program focuses on natural resource accounting as a tool to measure sustainable development, ecological-economic modeling to inform resource management and climate adaptation, developing methods to value ecosystem services, and community-based management institutions. She has academic publications pertaining to wealth accounting, ecosystem service valuation, fisheries bioeconomics, environmental and social impact assessment, input-output modeling, and climate change policy analysis. Prior to joining the University of Hawaiʻi Manoa, Dr. Oleson was an environmental engineer at the World Bank from 1998-2003, a teaching fellow with Stanford’s Public Policy Program from 2007-2009, and an NSF post-doctoral fellow in Madagascar 2009-2011. She received her PhD in 2007 from Stanford University’s Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, an MSc in Applied Environmental Economics from University of London, an MSc in Environmental Engineering from the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, and a BSc in Civil Environmental Engineering from the University of Virginia. Her website is: http://olesonlab.org/
Nejem Raheem is an Associate Professor of Economics at Emerson College, where he teaches in the Marketing Communication department and the Environmental Studies Minor. In the minor he co-teaches a course on the ecology and economics of dams and dam removal with a stream ecologist. Nejem started in his field working with environmental advocacy groups in northern New Mexico, but through academic training and greater exposure to all the different actors in the area came to see the environmentalist perspective as incomplete.
His research addresses traditional and indigenous land use and ecosystem services, looking particularly at traditional irrigation in the state of New Mexico. He has also published research on Inupiat Eskimo hunting and traditional land use practices in Labrador, Canada. He has solo and coauthored articles in the Journal of the Commons, Marine Policy, the Social Science Journal, and elsewhere. Current projects include a working group funded in part by the USGS on ecological drought; and projects on cataloging and valuing ecosystem services in northern New Mexico. Nejem received his MA and Ph.D. in Economics at the University of New Mexico and his BA in theater at Bennington College. For a link to his complete CV, click here.
Candidacy Statement: I’ve been a sporadic member for years, and I’m excited about actually doing something for the Society. I have been teaching and researching how diversity and inclusion fit with ecological economics for years. I’m very interested in working with the Society to improve our own diversity and inclusion practices; to incorporate more practitioners in our ranks; and to continue and expand our dialog with policymakers and students.
The USSEE Board of Directors is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2015 Board Elections. The following nominees are for 4 available positions each with a 2 year term: Secretary-Treasurer, At-Large Member (2 positions), and Student Representative. Nominees are presented by position in alphabetical order. Elections will open Friday May 29 and run through June 5.
Secretary-Treasurer (Term June 2015 – June 2017)
Kyle Gracey is the current Student Representative on the Board of Directors. Kyle has presented at USSEE and ISEE conferences in the areas of ecological footprint and equality in green job creation. He is a chapter author of Building a Green Economy: Perspectives from Ecological Economics and has published in Ecological Indicators. He is the former Student Representative on the Board of Directors of the Working Group for Ecological Economics and Sustainability Science at the Society for Conservation Biology. He formerly worked as a Research Scientist at Global Footprint Network, at Gade Environmental Group consulting, Climate Action Network-International, and for the White House, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Department of the Treasury. Kyle also serves on the boards of directors for Engineers for a Sustainable World (Chair), Student Pugwash USA (Vice President), SustainUS: U.S. Youth for Sustainable Development (Chair), and the Truman Scholars Association (Immediate Past President). Kyle is a Ph.D. candidate in the Engineering and Public Policy Department at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his M.S. from the Geophysical Sciences Department and Harris Public Policy School at The University of Chicago, and earned B.S. degrees from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in Biochemistry & Biophysics and Ecological Economics.
John A. Sorrentino is Associate Professor of Economics at Temple University. He was a co-founder of Temple University’s Environmental Studies Program, and was honored by the University with a 1999 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Most of his publications and consulting work have involved the micro-economics of energy and the environment, and have appeared in journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Environmental Economics & Management, Environmental Management, and Landscape & Urban Planning. His works-in-progress include such topics as sustainable housing placement, environmental information systems, sustainable business practices, urban agriculture, and using environmental and health amenities to offset wealth inequality. John was a charter member of USSEE, is a member of the Scientific Committee organizing the 2015 Biennial Conference, and looks forward to having a direct hand in the Society as Secretary-Treasurer. Carefully documenting the operational and financial activities of any organization is important, and USSEE is no exception. The period of damage-control is over, and the future should bring stability and growth. John received his B.B.A. from Baruch College of the City University of New York and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University, all in economics.
At Large Member, 2 Positions (Term June 2015 – June 2017)
Paul Baer is the Research Director of EcoEquity, a small climate justice think-tank that he co-founded in 2000 with Tom Athanasiou. He is an internationally recognized expert on issues of equity and climate change as well as the economics of climate and energy policy. He holds a PhD from UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group. In 2009-2013, he was an assistant professor in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he taught courses on environmental policy and ecological economics. In 2013-2014, he was the California and Western States Climate Economist at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Berkeley, California. Dr. Baer has written numerous articles, book chapters and policy commentaries on climate change, environmental policies and equitable development. His articles have been published in such peer-reviewed journals as Bioscience, Environmental Research Letters, Climatic Change, Energy Policy, and Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIRES) Climate Change, and in numerous anthologies. He was also a contributing author to Working Group III of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, and was an Associate Editor of Environmental Values from 2009-2012.
Candidacy Statement: I chose my graduate programs specifically to work on ecological economics, because I saw a need for ecologists and others doing interdisciplinary work to have an alternative to neoclassical economics. My work on global climate justice has focused on identifying the appropriate scale for GHGs and an equitable approach to redistributing newly scarce rights in a global commons. My natural science training led me early on to recognize that CO2 concentrations around 350 ppm were necessary to preserve a reasonable probability of climate stability. Given our overshoot, principles of equity make it clear that redistribution, not merely more efficient growth, is essential to the solution. After leaving academia, I spent a year working for the Union of Concerned Scientists, a “science-based advocacy organization.” But there is no coherent body of social science to provide the necessary analysis of the political and ecological economics of climate change. I believe ecological economics and the USSEE can help organize a coherent alternative to neoclassical climate economics, providing enough legitimacy to be useful to organizations like UCS and other scholars, activists and politicians who see the sustainability transition as non-marginal and redistribution as an essential component. I hope as a member of the board to work across intellectual communities to help make this possibility a reality.
Nate Hagens is a well-known speaker on the big picture issues facing human society. Until recently he was lead editor of The Oil Drum, one of the most popular and highly-respected websites for analysis and discussion of global energy supplies and the future implications of energy decline. Nate is currently on the Boards of Post Carbon Institute, Bottleneck Foundation, IIER and Institute for the Study of Energy and the Future. Nate’s presentations address the opportunities and constraints we face after the coming end of economic growth. On the supply side, Nate focuses on the interrelationship between debt-based financial markets and natural resources, particularly energy. On the demand side, Nate addresses the evolutionarily-derived underpinnings to status, addiction, and our aversion to acting about the future and offers suggestions on how individuals and society might better adapt to what’s ahead. Ultimately, Nate’s talks cover the issues relevant to propelling our species (and others) into deep time. Nate has appeared on PBS, BBC, ABC and NPR, and has lectured around the world. He holds a Masters Degree in Finance from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. Previously Nate was President of Sanctuary Asset Management and a Vice President at the investment firms Salomon Brothers and Lehman Brothers.
Christie Klimas’s research brings together ecology and economics, in urban and tropical settings, to address questions of sustainable resource use. Due to the economic drivers underlying resource use, economic knowledge is an essential component of sustainability. Indeed, economic studies have moved to the forefront of sustainable ecosystem management and recent research has focused on quantifying the monetary benefit of ecosystem services like pollination, water filtration, and carbon storage. A commonality in her research interests is working toward ecologically sustainable resource management that recognizes the role of citizen stakeholders. She is co-leading a collaborative effort with funds from Environmental Protection Agency’s P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) Program to train a network of capable citizen scientists qualified to adaptively manage their part of the urban landscape via soil quality assessment. This grant would also provide educational opportunities for undergraduates to train community members and high school students in soil testing techniques, bioremediation, or appropriate use of polluted landscapes. Indeed, one of her research priorities is working with undergraduate students on projects that will give them the skills to conduct and use science throughout their careers. She is also interested in “excess” consumption, particularly with respect to quantifying the environmental and social cost of deadweight loss from holiday gift purchases.
Candidacy Statement: I am interested in joining a group that adopts a truly interdisciplinary perspective to work toward solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges. I think my interdisciplinary training and work on sustainable resource management and strong collaborative research framework are assets.
Kent Klitgaard is a Professor of Economics at Wells College, a small liberal arts school located in the Central New York Village of Aurora. He is the co-founder of the Environmental Studies and Sustainability programs, and is the recipient of the 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award. Kent teaches a wide array of courses from Microeconomic Theory to Political Economy, Globalization, the History of Economic Thought, and a first-year seminar on Sustainability and the State of the World. His primary focus, however, is on ecological and biophysical economics, teaching courses on mainstream Environmental Economics, Ecological Economics and Energy and the Economy, as well as a course on Technology and the Labor Process. His primary research interests are in degrowth and how the limits to economic growth found in resource quality, climate change, and the institutional structure of society and economy, will impact human and biophysical systems, and what the great transition to sustainability will look like. He is especially interested in issues concerning the impact of deteriorating natural systems upon human labor, and is currently developing an article on the return to meaningful work as a strategy for attaining sustainability. Kent is co-author of Energy and the Wealth of Nations, and has also published in Ecological Economics, Ecological Economic Reviews, and Sustainability, among others
Candidacy Statement: Kent takes the idea of methodological pluralism seriously and believes that ecological economics will be better able to understand how to transform the world if we take the institutional structure of the economy and society into consideration in both our conferences and our publications to a greater degree than at present.
Erin Lennox is a 2014 graduate of the PhD program in Ecological Economics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her doctoral research focused on the impact of climate change and globalization on peasant agriculture in the Mexican Yucatan and Peruvian Andes and has been published in Ecosystem Services and Society and Natural Resources. Her current research is focused on ecosystem conservation and conservation education in the Yucatan. Right now she is postponing the search for a full time academic position to spend time taking care of her one year old son. In the meantime, Erin serves as an adjunct professor of economics at various universities in New York’s Capital Region, and is doing grant writing and consulting work for environmental and education related non-profit organizations in the area. She also works with the organization Engineers for a Sustainable World, helping to incorporate sustainability into engineering education, and serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Developing Sustainable Societies. In addition to her recent ecological economics degree, Erin also holds a bachelors and masters degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is currently involved in a number of K-12 STEM education projects and initiatives.
Candidacy Statement: I am interested in joining the USSEE board of directors because I feel strongly about the importance of incorporating ecological economic concepts into traditional economics education. I believe that the field is often overlooked by both mainstream economists, and practitioners of other disciplines who could benefit from its interdisciplinary methods and theories. I hope that as a board member I could help to promote the field of ecological economics to a broad audience.
Student Representative (Term June 2015 – June 2017)
Kyle Metta is originally from coastal New Hampshire where he first became interested in ecological economics and the work of Herman Daly while seeking alternatives to the growth centric development strategies being pursued in his community. This interest and critique of “smoke-stack chasing” development led Kyle to receive his BS in Environmental Economics from the University of New Hampshire in 2010. In the years since graduating, Kyle has held environmental consulting positions at Cardno-ENTRIX, and with Resource Recycling Systems conducting nonmarket valuations and creating sustainability assessments for a variety of corporate and municipal clients. He most recently served on the Washtenaw Food Policy Council in Ann Arbor, MI as their Policy Coordinator where he worked with stakeholders to identify and model policies that support a viable, just and sustainable local food system. Kyle is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from Michigan State University in the Department of Community Sustainability focusing on ecological economics and socio-ecological systems modeling. He is currently conducting research in the City of Detroit using participatory system dynamics modeling to evaluate barriers to food security, and is interested in developing research around sustainable degrowth and the development of social capital and networks in urban environments.
Candidacy Statement: The opportunity to serve as the Student Member on the USSEE Board of Directors would be a great honor. The USSEE and its members are in a position to use their research to amplify and add direction to the emerging cross-discipline critique of neoclassical economics. The society can offer a pluralistic alternative framework for research and inform policy recommendations that are grounded in biophysical reality and a foundation in justice. As a graduate student not based at an ecological economics hub, I am quite aware of the isolation that may come with being a heterodox economics scholar. I view the Student Member’s role as one that may bring together the diversity of student voices from across the country to share in a collective discussion about the role we, and our research, play in establishing a path forward. I believe my background in strategic listening and stakeholder engagement will aid me in representing the student voice in a productive manner that creates opportunities for students to network and participate more fully in the organization.
Alex Poisson is a Ph.D. student in Ecological Economics at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, in Syracuse (SUNY-ESF). His broad interests include evolution, energy transitions and the history and philosophy of science. Alex completed his Master of Science at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he is from. His thesis was on the “Implications of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics for Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen’s Economics”. Alex has presented his work at two USSEE conferences: first in 2011 (poster), and again in 2013 (presentation) at the joint meeting of the USSEE and Biophysical Economics. He has published on “The Influence of Alfred North Whitehead on the Future of Ecological Economics”, and on the “Time Series Energy Return on Investment of Canadian Oil and Gas”. During his Masters he was a fellow with the Center for Humans and Nature, and soon afterwards he worked as a consultant with the Capital Institute think tank. In addition to his academic work Alex has long been active in the campus sustainability community. While at McGill, he helped co-found McGill’s Office of Sustainability. At SUNY-ESF, Alex works as the College’s part-time Sustainability Coordinator, bringing together students, staff, faculty and administration around exciting projects including recently a multi-purpose local food system, based on perennial ecologies, foraging, biodiversity awareness and land stewardship.
Candidacy Statement: I am interested in being on the Board of Directors of the USSEE to represent students’ perspectives on the Board, to help strengthen the USSEE’s relationship with its Canadian counterpart (CANSEE) and to advocate for better awareness of, and dialogue with, other heterodox schools and associations (not only Biophysical Economics, but also for example Evolutionary, Complexity, and Behavioral Economics).
Is human pressure on Earth driving the Anthropocene over the edge?
Please join WWF discuss the impact human have had on the earth, and what that means for the future relationship we have with each other and with our planet.
Who: Dr. Marina Fischer-Kowalski, Professor of Social Ecology and Coordinator of Sustainability Research, Alpen Adria University and Senior Lecturer at the University of Vienna in Environmental Sociology
When: April 16, 2015 at 4:00 PM
Where: 1250 24th St NW, 2nd floor conference center. Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.
Dr. Fischer-Kowalski takes a long term view of humanity to understand the thresholds at which human impact on the planet has caused us to arrive here – in the Anthropocene. Humanity’s population and level of affluence has increased over time, causing greater and greater resource use. She examines this longer time-series information with an eye toward correlation with historical, social transitions in an effort to understand whether there are major social transformations in our near future.
Abstract: The discussion on the Anthropocene is in search for a valid and quantifiable description of how and when humans acquire the ability to dominate major features of the Earth system. While common approaches seek to quantify the human impact upon the carbon cycle by identifying the area of land cleared by humans, we base our estimate on the social metabolism of the human population. As a starting point, we use Ehrlich‘s classical IPAT formula, and give it a specific interpretation: human impact on Earth equals population size times affluence (interpreted as energy available per person) times technology – differentiated by mode of subsistence. For the past millennia, we estimate the respective population sizes and affluence (energy), and finally technology concerning its impact on the carbon cycle. We see a major historical dividing line around AD 1500: up to then, human population growth and metabolic rates carry about equal weight in increasing human pressure. In the centuries since, fossil fuels allow to raise social energy use to unprecedented levels and introduce a take off in population and technology; technology, because it is based upon a shift from biomass to fossil fuels and other modern energy carriers, does not moderate this impact, but even enhances it. Is there a major transformation ahead?
Saturday October 25th (10am-10pm) and Sunday October 26th (10am-7pm)
45 Leading scholars, authors and activists will convene at The Great Hall of Cooper Union, New York City, for a public “teach-in” on the profound impacts– environmental, economic and social– of runaway technological expansionism, and cyber immersion; the tendency to see technology as the savior for all problems. A change of direction is required, returning the fate of nature to the center of economic and social decision making.
Speakers at this event will include: Bill McKibben, Vandana Shiva, Ralph Nader, Richard Heinberg, Helen Caldicott, Wes Jackson, and many others. For a full list of speakers, visit here.
For further details and ticket information, please visit the event website: http://ifg.org/TECHNO-UTOPIA/
The U.S. Society of Ecological Economics (USSEE) Board of Directors has started planning our 8th biennial conference, and is seeking a conference site and local host partners! We are hoping to find an institutional host and venue that can continue to build on the success of our 2013 conference. Previous conferences have been held in June and attract between 200-300 participants. We are especially interested in bringing the 2015 conference to the West Coast, as the past four conferences have been held on the East Coast:
- 2013 – Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, University of Vermont: “Building Local, Scaling Global: Implementing Solutions for Sustainability”
- 2011 – Michigan State University: “Building a Green Economy”
- 2009 –American University: “Science and Policy for a Sustainable Future”
- 2007 – Pace University : “Creating Sustainability within Our Midst”
Attached to this email please find an overview of the committee structure and general timeline of conference planning tasks. The board will work with you to develop the conference theme and planning strategy and provide a full conference planning guide.
Please contact Executive Director Whitney Lash-Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible if you are interested in this opportunity!
The 7th Conference of the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP): “Local action for the common good”, will be held in Costa Rica 8-12 September 2014.
Every year ESP organizes an international conference on the science and best practice and policies of Ecosystem Services. In addition to several high-level keynotes, and an opening address by the Costa Rican Minister of Environment, the core of the conference is built around 45 workshops and special sessions. It hosts over 270 presentations on a wide range of topics on the science, policy and practice of ecosystem services. In addition, several EU funded projects will present results of 4-5 years of research on the use of Ecosystem Services in Community Based Ecosystem Management in Latin America and there are several free pre-conference trainings on practical tools for ecosystem service assessment.
The local organizer is Fundacion Neotropica in collaboration with CATIE, Universidad Nacional and IUCN-CEM Meso-America and supported by the CGIAR-Water, Land and Ecosystems program.
Deadline for registration for the free trainings is August 15, and the conference registration closes September 1st.
For information on the conference: http://www.espconference.org
For information on ESP: www.es-partnership.org
The Architectural League of New York is hosting a lecture by British Ecological Economist Tim Jackson in New York on April 24.
Tim Jackson will speak about the shifting paths for achieving prosperity in our lives and discuss the changing relationship between economic growth and prosperity stemming from his book, Prosperity without Growth. While economic growth was once essential in reaching our current level of development, perhaps continued growth not only sees diminishing returns, but also detracts from our present happiness and future prosperity. In a world with finite ecological limits, how do we make what we need, get it to the people who need it, and nurture what we already have? A conversation with New York Times journalist Eduardo Porter will follow Jackson’s talk.
Further information and tickets here.
Sustainability Science Congress 2014
Global Challenges: Achieving Sustainability
Copenhagen, Denmark from October 22nd – 24th 2014
The call for abstracts has just opened for the international congress on sustainability science. The congress calls for much more than natural scientists discussing climate change – we are calling on the humanities, social scientists, and experts from various disciplines and businesses to address global challenges together and work toward sustainable solutions.
Visit http://sustainability.ku.dk/iarucongress2014/ for more information and to submit an abstract in sustainability science.
Abstract submission is open until March 31st, 2014