Category Archives: News & Events

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 http://ussee.org/conference09/.  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 http://ussee.org/conference09/

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 secretariat@ussee.org.

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 secretariat@ussee.org.

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 secretariat@ussee.org.

Celebrating Herman Daly

Herman DalyOn June 1 at 11 a.m. the 2009 USSEE Conference will be celebrating Herman Daly’s contribution to ecological economics.  Joshua Farley from the University of Vermont will chair the event. 

This symposium celebrates Herman Daly’s contributions on the occasion of his 70th birthday.  This session will invite speakers whose work directly engages with the central themes in Herman’s oeuvre.  Panelist will include Robert Costanza, Deepak Malghan and Robert Goodland.

Herman Daly is a professor at the School of Public Policy of University of Maryland, College Park in the United States.

He was Senior Economist in the Environment Department of the World Bank, where he helped to develop policy guidelines related to sustainable development. While there, he was engaged in environmental operations work in Latin America.

Before joining the World Bank, Daly was Alumni Professor of Economics at Louisiana State University. He is a co-founder and associate editor of the journal, Ecological Economics.

He is also a recipient of, an Honorary Right Livelihood Award (the alternative Nobel Prize), the Heineken Prize for Environmental Science from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Sophie Prize (Norway), the Kenneth E. Boulding Award (1994) and the Leontief Prize from the Global Development and Environment Institute.

Herman Daly will give a lunch speech at 12:30 p.m. at the Mary Gray Center.  For more information on the conference visit their website at http://www.ussee.org/conference09/.  You will find registration information and schedule updates for the conference.

Parallel Keynote Speeches

On day three of the USSEE 2009 Conference, June 1st, there will be two parallel keynote speeches.

One speech, The Global Carbon Market:  Good for Climate Change, Great for Development, will be given by Martina Bosi.  Ms. Bosi joined the World Bank Carbon Finance Unit in Washington in 2005. She is the fund manager for the World Bank Prototype Carbon Fund (the world’s first global carbon fund) and the World Bank Danish Carbon Fund. She is also actively engaged in the area of policy and methodology for energy efficiency carbon finance-related activities.

Another speech, Gender and ‘Scientific’ Culture in Ecological Economics will be given by Julie Nelson.  Julie Nelson is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston, USA, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University, USA. Nelson is best known for her work in feminist economics, in which she investigates gender-laden biases in the definition and methodology of economics, and the implications of these biases for the economics of caring labor.

The speeches will be followed by a question and answer session.  For more information visit the conference website.  The conference is being held in Washington DC, May 30 – June 3, 2009.  Registration is still open.

Dr. Paul Anastas Keynote Speech

02The opening keynote speech for the USSEE 2009 Conference: Science and Policy For a Sustainable Future will be Green Chemistry: From Here to SustainabilityDr. Paul Anastas will deliver the keynote address.

Dr. Anastas is the director at the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering Teresa and H. John Heinz III.  He is Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and has been a member of the Yale faculty since 2007.

The 5th bi-annual conference of the United States Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE) will be held in Washington DC from May 31st to 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.

USSEE 5th Bi-Annual Conference Opening Panel

On May 31 at 2 p.m. the United States Society for Ecological Economics will commence the 5th Bi-Annual Conference with an opening panel.  The discussion will be “Ecological Economics – Then and Now”.  The chair will be Karin Limburg.  Karin is an associate professor on the faculty of Environmental Forest Biology SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  Panelists include Robert Costanza, John Gowdy, Beth Sawin and Rashid Sumaila

Dr. Robert Costanza is the Gund Professor of Ecological Economics and Director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont.  Dr. Costanza is co-founder and past-president of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) and was chief editor of the Society’s journal: Ecological Economics from its inception until September, 2002.  He currently serves on the editorial board of eight other international academic journals.

Professor John M. Gowdy has been with the Economics Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute since 1982.  He is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Ecological Economics, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Environmental Ethics, Government and Policy: Environment and Planning C, International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology and the International Journal of Global Environmental Issues.

Beth Sawin is a scientist, writer, teacher, and public speaker who brings systems analysis together with an attention to vision, values, and human purpose.  She is a biologist with a degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and learned much of what she knows about systems dynamics and sustainability from her mentor and SI’s founder, Donella Meadows.

Dr. Ussif Rashid Sumaila is Associate Professor and Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at UBC Fisheries Centre.  He specializes in bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, IUU fishing and the economics of high and deep seas fisheries.  Sumaila has experience working in fisheries and natural resource projects in Norway, Canada and the North Atlantic region, Namibia and the Southern African region, Ghana and the West African region and Hong Kong and the South China Sea. He has published articles in several journals including, Journal of Environmental Economicsand Management, Journal of Bioeconomics, Land Economics, ICES Journal of Marine Science, Environmental and Resource Economics and Ecological Economics.  Sumaila’s work has generated a great deal of interest, and has been cited by, among others, the Economist, the Boston Globe, the International Herald Tribune and the Vancouver Sun.

Make sure you register for the conference today!  The USSEE website is the place to check for regular schedule and speaker updates.