25-27 June 2018, Mexico City
Ecological Economics and Socio-ecological Movements:
Science, policy, and challenges to global processes in a troubled world
Over the past quarter-century since the ISEE was founded the international community has developed a substantial corpus of law and agreements that recognize our collective responsibility to attend to these serious problems while recognizing the extraordinary diversity of societies in our midst. Our colleagues are engaged in significant efforts to identify and understand the underlying obstacles to implementing effective policies that address the limitations of existing institutions while also searching for new approaches to overcome these problems.
In this vein, we have identified a number of important international issues that Ecological Economists are examining as part of our collective effort. Five problems of particular importance identified by our colleagues are:
- International capital movements to control natural endowments (land, water, and energy grabbing; biopiracy; ecologically unequal trade) and control social groups
- International migration in response extreme differences among regions and peoples.
- Continuing excessive emissions of greenhouse gases at world level in spite of international efforts to reverse the historical trend, combined with remarkable changes in the energy matrix of some countries.
- Concentration of wealth, income and appropriation of environmental endowments that give rise to conflicts over distribution and provoke “resistance” movements.
- Threats to biodiversity and the ability of the planet to sustain its natural processes.
While not exhaustive, a considerable number of members of the ISEE are engaged in research on these matters. The lack of flexibility of existing institutions in most countries and the capture of many international organizations by entrenched interests (selling uncritical notions of ecological modernization, “sustainable development”, the “circular economy”) are generating complex obstacles for people searching for solutions to clearly identified problems; social and political conflict is intensifying around the world. At the same time, we are discovering that people around the world are adopting alternative ways to organize themselves, forging new models of “good living”, oftentimes choosing to live at the margins of their societies rather than open themselves to outside environmental and economic exploitation, and to internal and external colonialism. Ecological economists are discovering that these people have much to teach us about possible alternative paths to addressing the challenges. In the terminology of Karl Polanyi, they refuse to be incorporated into the “generalized market system”. Mexico is one of the countries of the world where such social experiments are influential and widespread.
The 2018 ISEE conference invites colleagues examining the problems facing the international community to explore solutions with others engaged in strengthening the myriad of socio-ecological grassroots organizations. By focusing on such interactions among these different communities, we hope to contribute to our goals advancing our understanding of today’s pressing problems while exploring solutions offered by people outside of the traditional circles of influence. In academic terms, we search at the same time for a cross-fertilization between ecological economics and political ecology, ethnoecology, agroecology, energy systems.
Within this frame of reference, we invite participants to consider organizing their contributions to the discussion within the following general themes:
- Ecological Economies: How does transdisciplinarity respond to diverse socio-ecological contexts?
- Applications of concepts built from the bottom-up: ecological debt and others
- Ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, biophysical measurements, metabolisms
- Valuation languages and tools of measurement: legal and social processes; incentive instruments; multi-criteria evaluation.
- Energy transitions
- Social and environmental conflicts; environmental justice
- The economy of care and eco-feminist economics
- Imaging future societies: What does “Good living” mean?
- Ecological macro-economics: prosperity without growth; degrowth; and other ideas
- Feeding 9 billion humans: Food security or food sovereignty?; rural-urban transitions.
- Measuring and acting in view of globally diverse inequities: gender, indigenous rights, environmental space appropriation, etc.
- Ecological Economics as a paradigm to support grassroots alternatives: agroecology, solidarity economies and markets, alternative currencies, workers’ control.
We are planning to organize an intensive retreat for training in and discussion of basic principles in Ecological Economics and related themes in a nearby rural community during the weekend before the conference.
The formal call for proposals and papers will be distributed in September 2017; the website for proposals for sessions, panels and papers will be opened in January 2018 with a closing date in March 2018. For enquires and support in the organization of the event, please write us at ISEE2018@correo.xoc.uam.mx.
At the 9th biennial conference of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics, held at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, June 25-28, 2017, the Herman Daly and Bernardo Aguilar Awards were presented to Peter G. Brown and Mary Mellor.
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 making visionary contributions to the field of ecological economics and connecting ecological economic thinking to practical applications.
The nomination for Dr. Peter G. Brown, Professor at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, stated that “his intellectual contributions have ranged from environmental ethics to practical proposals for trusteeship institutions. As a teacher he has inspired many students, at University of Maryland, at McGill, and all over the world through his writings. In addition Peter has been an entrepreneur in founding university programs that embrace and encourage ecological economics, most notably and recently the Economics for the Anthropocene program uniting the efforts of McGill, York, and University of Vermont. And in his spare time, in addition to nurturing students and protecting colleagues, he has planted many thousands of trees!”
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.
The nomination for Dr. Mary Mellor, Professor at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, stated that “Mary Mellor’s work is highly influential to me. Over a long career she has done a brilliant job of blending ecological, feminist, and monetary issues into a body of work that is unparalleled in any field. Mary’s work is rare in its ability to speak convincingly across many fields to offer an actionable response to the most pressing issues of our time. It is my pleasure to nominate Mary for the Aguilar award as thanks for writing two books that have inspired me more than any others: Debt or Democracy, and The Future of Money.”
Congratulations to both awardees!
The USSEE Board of Directors is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2017 Board Elections. The following nominees are for 3 available positions: Secretary-Treasurer, 2 At-Large Member Positions, and Student Representative. Nominees are presented by position in alphabetical order. Elections begin June 2 and will run for two weeks. Please note, your ISEE/USSEE membership must be up-to-date to vote! Active members will receive a ballot via email.
Secretary Treasurer (Term 2017-2019)
John A. Sorrentino, Associate Professor of Economics Temple University
Bio: 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 food justice, and using environmental and health amenities to offset wealth inequality. 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.
Candidacy Statement: John was a charter member of USSEE, is a member of the Scientific Committee organizing the 2017 Biennial Conference, and has gotten to know a lot about the Society as the current Secretary-Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee. As the Secretary, he has recorded minutes of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings. As Treasurer, he oversees the USSEE bank and PayPal accounts, and interacts with ISEE concerning dues distribution. As USSEE presently cannot afford to pay an executive director, he has taken over many of the tasks that the energetic, tireless former executive director performed. John hopes that the 2017 conference-related boost in USSEE membership will continue as the Society becomes more active in curriculum sharing, web-based interactive communication with members, and social networking with other like-minded, trans-disciplinary organizations. All of us have a lot to offer; we just need to find the means. John looks forward to working on these initiatives for the next two years as Secretary-Treasurer.
At-Large Member (2) (Term: 2017-2019)
Erin Lennox, Adjunct professor of economics at various universities in New York’s Capital Region
Bio: I am a 2014 graduate of the PhD program in Ecological Economics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. My 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. My current research is focused on ecosystem conservation and conservation education in the Yucatan. Right now I am postponing my search for a full time academic position to spend time taking care of my 3 year old and 9 month old sons. In the meantime, I am serving as an adjunct, and doing grant writing and consulting work for environmental and education related non-profit organizations in the area. In addition to my ecological economics degree, I also hold a bachelors and masters degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and am currently involved in a number of K-12 STEM education projects and initiatives.
Candidacy Statement: I am interested in continuing my position on 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. Over the past two years as a board member I have helped to create a new education component of our website, where professors can find syllabi and resources to help them incorporate concepts from ecological economics into their courses. I hope to continue to develop these resources, while helping to promote the field of ecological economics to a broad audience.
Regina Ostergaard-Klem, Associate Professor of Environmental Science, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Hawaii Pacific University
Bio: Regina Ostergaard-Klem is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science in the College of Natural and Computational Sciences at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) in Honolulu, Hawaii. She holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University, and both an MS in Environmental Engineering and a PhD in Systems Analysis and Economics for Public Decision Making from The Johns Hopkins University. From 1994-1995, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Lodz, Poland. After completing graduate school, Ostergaard-Klem was a Science and Diplomacy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, DC. Prior to coming to HPU, she worked as an environmental policy advisor at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). There she managed urban environmental and energy projects throughout different regions of the world. At HPU, Dr. Ostergaard-Klem teaches in both the undergraduate level Environmental Science/Studies program and the master’s program in Global Leadership and Sustainable Development, for which she is also the Program Director. Her teaching is concentrated in the fields of ecological economics, sustainable human systems, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. Her most recent research efforts are focused on the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), a framework for evaluating social welfare as a supplement to Gross Domestic Product. She is a co-developer of “GPI Island Style,” the application of GPI at the state level in Hawaii. As an extension of that work, Ostergaard-Klem collaborates with partners across the state on several initiatives, including efforts to develop a state sustainability dashboard.
Candidacy Statement: Are we preparing sufficient numbers of well-equipped sustainability professionals to meet the challenges that lie ahead? As an educator and director of a graduate sustainability program, I am constantly asking myself that question. Teaching ecological economics for the last eight years, the nexus between ecological economics and sustainability education is obvious to me. Yet translating ecological economics theory into practical applications to best cultivate the sustainability competencies of my students is challenging. The potential to strengthen the inherent connection between the two fields is tremendous. I have been a member of USSEE/ISEE since 2013, and I regularly attend and participate in USEE and ISEE conferences. During the 2016 ISEE meeting in Washington, DC, I coordinated a session on teaching ecological economics from principles to practice. As a USSEE board member, I would hope to expand this effort, advocating a greater connection between ecological economics and educating the next generation of sustainability professionals. However, education is just one of many important, relevant roles for USSEE. Along with other members of the board, I would hope to similarly build or strengthen other connections, like that between researcher and practitioner communities or between USSEE and other stakeholders, according to the priorities set by USSEE members. Thank you for your consideration.
Madhavi Venkatesan, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Bridgewater State University
Bio: Madhavi Venkatesan’s present academic interests are specific to the integration of sustainability into the economics curriculum and she is currently pursuing scholarly interests in sustainable development. 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, MA, and BA 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 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. She has authored numerous chapters and journal articles, as well as participated in a TEDx and EconEd program. Her work is focused on conscious consumption, the role of economic education in promoting sustainability, and sustainable economic development. In addition to her academic interests, she writes a monthly column, Globally Local, for the Cape Codder, the newspaper of the Cape and Islands (Massachusetts). Madhavi was recently granted the Fulbright-SyCip Distinguished Lecturing Award to the Philippines where she will give lectures in the host country on sustainable economic development in early 2018.
Candidacy Statement: I have a passion for sustainability and specifically view the discipline of economics, in general and ecological economics, in particular as the nexus for facilitating both the understanding of and solution to the problems, issues, and cultural perceptions that presently form the at-large institutional framework of decision-making. My background and experience in the private sector as a senior communications strategist has given me a unique set of skills that include understanding the significance of marketing communications across multi-channels to promote the engagement of diverse, as well as, overlooked stakeholder groups. I would like to serve on the USSEE board as I believe that I, given my background, interests, and focus, can assist in positioning and marketing the organization to increase its visibility along with the significance of the inclusion of ecological economics in education, practice and policy-making. I appreciate your consideration and am happy to answer any questions you may have (email@example.com
Student Member (Term: 2017-2019)
Joe Ament, University of Vermont. Graduated from The Ross School of Business focusing on Economics and Finance, The University of Michigan
Bio: After spending 7 years in corporate strategy in both the for- and non-profit sectors, he spent 3 years writing about the ecological and economic problems we now face. In the Rubenstein School, Joe’s research examines Monetary Theory in the context of socioecological stability. His interests lie in how economic rent and modern monetary systems affect social justice and environmental degradation; and how a socioecologically-resilient society will use money and distribute wealth. Outside of reading and writing, Joe loves to kayak, bike slowly, paint, and listen to Stevie Wonder.
Candidacy Statement: I am very excited at the potential to serve as the student representative on the USSEE Board of Directors. I am a third year PhD Candidate at the University of Vermont and my researche centers on Monetary Policy on a Finite Planet. I am funded through Economics for the Anthropocene, an international PhD training project in Ecological Economics. I have been very fortunate to make great connections in my short time in academia. In this position I hope to make new connections and leverage my current network in order to continue to make Ecological Economics a viable alternative to the destructive systems we currently use. If you have any questions, feel free to view my CV here or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources invites nominations and applications for the full-time, tenure-track annual position of Chairperson of the Department of Community Sustainability, an interdisciplinary department that provides a stimulating intellectual environment for engaged scholarship. Most members of the faculty are social scientists, but the Department also includes individuals with backgrounds in the natural sciences and humanities. Research, teaching, and outreach programs in the Department engage with a broad array of communities to address sustainability challenges and goals. The Department’s commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship, recent growth in student enrollment, a cadre of newly hired faculty, and an identity that emphasizes community engagement provide a rich opportunity for leadership to support and enhance an inclusive departmental vision. Formal review of applications will begin April 17, 2017 and the position is available as early as August 16, 2017.
The Chairperson of the Department of Community Sustainability provides facilitative leadership to the Department in all teaching, research, extension, and outreach programs and is expected to maintain and enhance a creative and productive environment for the faculty, support staff, and students. The Chairperson serves as the chief administrative officer of the Department, and reports directly to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and interacts with senior leadership of the College, Michigan State University Extension and MSU AgBioResearch (formerly Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station) on a regular basis. Specific responsibilities of the Chairperson include:
- Provide facilitative leadership to advance the mission and vision of the Department;
- Advance strategic short- and long-range program planning and development for research, teaching, and extension/outreach programs;
- Support faculty and student achievement throughout the Department, and foster a culture of collaboration, creativity, and mentorship;
- Work cooperatively within the governance structure of the Department, which currently includes an associate chair, coordinators of undergraduate and graduate programs, and a faculty-elected Faculty Advisory Committee;
- Work cooperatively within the larger governance structure of the College and University;
- Foster diversity, equity and inclusion within the Department and its programs;
- Foster a community of Department alumni;
- Recruit excellent faculty and staff, assign responsibilities, evaluate performance, and promote faculty, student, and staff development;
- Manage and administer Department budget and provide oversight in the procurement of financial and other resources; and
- Advance fund development at the Department, College, and University levels.
Formal review of applications will begin on April 17, 2017, and the search will remain open until the Chairperson position is filled. The position is available as early as August 16, 2017.
Official Job Posting: jobs.msu.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=70076.
The United States Society for Ecological Economics is saddened to learn of the sudden death of USSEE Board member Paul Baer, who passed away on Tuesday, September 6, 2016. Paul has been a long-time member of USSEE since the founding of the organization, when he was a PhD student in the University of California–Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group. At UC Berkeley he studied and worked under the supervision of Richard Norgaard, former President of the International Society for Ecological Economics. As a student member of USSEE, Paul was part of a small group of graduate students who advocated for a student seat on the USSEE Board of Directors.
Paul was a scholar and tireless activist for climate justice, and an internationally recognized expert on issues of equity and climate change. As a graduate student, he co-founded EcoEquity, a think-tank that focuses on political and theoretical contributions to “climate solutions that are fair enough to actually work.” More recently, he served on the faculty of the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he taught courses in ecological economics, climate policy, and environmental policy. He also previously held a position with the Union of Concerned Scientists. He was also co-author of Dead Heat: Global Justice and Global Warming (Seven Stories Press, 2002) with Tom Athanasiou, with whom he co-founded EcoEquity, and he collaborated with colleagues on the development of the Greenhouse Development Rights framework, which later evolved into the Climate Equity Reference Project. Other products of his work have been published in a number of interdisciplinary journals and several published anthologies, including Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change (edited by Adger et al., MIT Press, 2006), Climate Change Science and Policy (edited by Schneider et al., Island Press, 2009) and Climate Ethics: Essential Readings (edited by Gardiner et al., Oxford University Press, 2010).
His contributions to the global discourse on climate policy were notable. Athanasiou wrote, “The tragedy of Paul’s death is underscored by the fact that it occurred just before the Paris Agreement enters into force.” Friend and collaborator, Sivan Kartha of the Stockholm Environment Institute wrote that Paul was “completely unbounded in his thinking. Who else had mixed philosophy, climate science, economics, and energy policy?”
Paul prepared a presentation on Greenhouse Development Rights and Stranded Assets for the International Society for Ecological Economics 2016 conference, and co-authored a recent article in the Ecological Economics journal on employment benefits of cogeneration (February 2015). His contributions to the USSEE Board, and his gentle presence and diligent passion for action toward a just and sustainable future will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace, even while his legacy lives on.
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.
Sustainability Science: The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Furman University, a private liberal arts undergraduate institution, invites applications for a one-year position at the Visiting Assistant Professor or Visiting Instructor level in Sustainability Science beginning in August 2016. Candidates should have a PhD or be ABD in Sustainability Science or a related field with a sustainability science focus and should be a dynamic and engaging individual with a desire to teach at the undergraduate level. Applicants should have demonstrated teaching and research expertise, ideally in the area of ecological economics or environmental health or a related field. Teaching responsibilities consist of four courses with labs, including SUS 120 Principles of Sustainability Science and EES 112 Environmental Science, and an upper level undergraduate seminar course in the candidate’s specialty. Applications should be submitted online at https://jobs.furman.edu/
United Planet Faith and Science Initiative has just launched a website that attempts to win a Nobel Peace Prize for Sustainable Development (NP4SD.org) with a shared nomination of one organization and two individuals. It grew out of an earlier effort to win that prize for Herman Daly alone. It has since been adjusted improving the chance of his sharing the Peace Prize.
This is a strategic effort to give Ecological Economics greater worldwide exposure. Please actively support the effort since the conversations needed to engage Qualified Nominators will create more widespread understanding of the field and its importance for our well-being and our survival.
Please visit NP4SD.org. Anyone can endorse the effort via the Public Endorsement page. You may be a Qualified Nominator, and if not you likely know or can easily contact Qualified Nominators there are so many of them in academia and government. For instance, all university rectors (equivalent to chancellor and president) can nominate, and all professors of social science, history, philosophy, law and theology can also nominate.
This is an achievable prize.
Thank you to all our members who voted in our recent election!
The newly elected board members are:
Secretary-Treasurer: John A. Sorrentino
Members at Large: Erin Lennox and Paul Baer
Student Representative: Alex Poisson
Newly elected board member terms will begin immediately, joining current board members Jonathan M. Harris (President), Valerie A. Luzadis (Past President), Laura Schmitt Olabisi (Member at Large), and Kirsten L.L. Oleson (Member at Large).
The board also extends our thanks and gratitude to outgoing board members Robert Richardson (Secretary-Treasurer), Ken Bagstad (Member at Large), Lisi Krall (Member at Large), and Kyle Gracey (Student Representative).
USSEE Board of Directors