Great Lakes Summer Fellows Program
The Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research is offering summer fellowships with applications due February 3rd. We are seeking a summer fellowship focused on Great Lakes ecosystem service valuation. See position descriptions including the position for Great Lakes Ecosystem Service Valuation here and included below. See application details here.
The Great Lakes management, policy, leadership, and advocacy communities agree there is a need to improve the collection, analysis, and dissemination of economic data on Great Lakes-dependent industries, also known as the Blue Economy. Blue Economy valuation and development is also a priority at a national scale for NOAA. Over the last couple years, NOAA staff and partners have been collaborating closely with regional leaders and economists to further define aspects of the Blue Economy specific to the Great Lakes, collect associated data, and integrate this information with existing national programs such as NOAA’s Economics National Ocean Watch (ENOW) database using a regional economic accounting methodological framework. This project will involve further exploration of an accounting of existing ecosystems, their ecosystem services, and their associated value, contributing to the broader efforts focused on Great Lakes ecosystem services valuation across the region among NOAA partners. The resulting products will ultimately support a better understanding of the Great Lakes Blue Economy among regional and national stakeholders.
- What is the economic value of “blue carbon” stored in wetlands in the Great Lakes?
- Do the ecological and land cover data exist to make blue carbon estimates that are considered reliable and comprehensive?
- How does the economic value of Great Lakes blue carbon compare to economic contributions from key industries in the region?
Project Activities: The fellow will research the current state of knowledge on accounting of blue carbon stored in wetlands as a key ecosystem service of the Great Lakes and conduct an initial calculation of the value of blue carbon. This exploration of the potential incorporation of a new environmental sector to those tracked by NOAA will help evaluate the feasibility of coupling environmental and economic accounting within the national and regional framework used by NOAA and the Bureau of Economic Analysis for valuation of the marine economy. Specific project tasks would include:
- Conducting a literature review of blue carbon assessment and associated valuation in the Great Lakes
- Conducting a geographic scoping and compiling methodological options for a comprehensive blue carbon assessment
- Identifying existing useful data sources such as NOAA LIDAR land cover data and identifying data gaps
- Conducting an initial, simplified calculation of the estimated value of Great Lakes blue carbon
- Describing potential uses of a blue carbon assessment and valuation
- Compilation of a summary report with links to ecological and economic data sets; a proposed plan of operations; and recommendations for future data collection, analysis, and research
Required & desired skills: Successful candidates must have an understanding of basic macroeconomic theory and ecosystem service valuation, or a soil science background with a focus on carbon storage. They should also have knowledge of or interest in Great Lakes socioeconomics and ecosystem services, and be comfortable reaching out to potential data sources in a professional manner.
Location: NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, MI, or remote.