Category Archives: USSEE

Best Poster Presentations: USSEE Virtual Conference

USSEE held its first Virtual Conference and Poster Session on April 16, and the theme for the event was “Building Resilient Economies in a Time of Uncertainty”. USSEE is pleased to announce the winners of Best Poster Presentation.

Arden He was selected for the Best Undergraduate Student Poster Presentation, entitled “Beyond the quantitative box: Local food hubs as creative leaders of food justice“. Arden is an undergraduate student of mathematical economics & computer science at the University of Wisconsin, with interests in exploring sociological issues with quantitative and computational methods.

Daniel Pratson was selected for the Best Graduate Student Poster Presentation, which was entitled, “A shift in the weather: Does experience with extreme weather events inform attitudes towards the relationship between the natural environment and the economy?”. Daniel is a doctoral student with the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, with interests in applied interdisciplinary scholarship on the human dimensions of natural resources.

Congratulations to Arden and Daniel!

2021 Board Nominees

The USSEE Board of Directors is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2021 Board Elections. The following nominees are for 4 available positions: Secretary-Treasurer (1 nominee), two At-Large Member Positions (5 nominees), and Undergraduate Student Member (1 nominee). Nominees are presented by position in alphabetical order. Elections are open Tuesday May 25 through Monday May 31.

Please note, your ISEE/USSEE membership must be up-to-date to vote! If you are an active member, you will receive voting instructions via email to the address in your ISEE/USSEE profile. If you believe you are an active member but have not received a ballot, please Contact Us.


John A. Sorrentino 

John was a charter member of ISEE/USSEE. Currently, he is an 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 ReviewJournal of Environmental Economics & ManagementEnvironmental Management, Landscape & Urban Planning, & Sustainability. He also has an essay entitled “Containing Carbon through Cap and Trade or a Per Unit Tax” forthcoming in the Encyclopedia of Environmental Economics edited by James Kahn. 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 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.


I am running again for Secretary-Treasurer because I firmly believe in the transdisciplinary mission & goals of ISEE/USSEE, & I believe that I can continue to promote them in another term. With respect to conferences, I have served on the scientific committees reviewing proposals, and presented my own research at many of them. In 2017, I managed the financial interactions with invited speakers, sponsors, registrants & the host institution. I convinced the latter to accept $2K less than agreed upon, given that there were fewer registrants than expected. My university allowed USSEE to use its WebEx software for meetings & webinars, & this saved USSEE hundreds of dollars per year for a few years. I have chaired or co-chaired the Board’s Membership Committee, seeking to maintain or expand membership as sub-groups of our previous constituency broke away. I hope that you will give me the chance to continue to work with the Executive Committee & the Board of Directors to get more of our general members involved in USSEE activities, & to spread the word about ecological economics.

Member At-Large (2 positions)

Mairi-Jane Fox

Dr. Mairi-Jane Fox is an assistant professor in Economics and Finance at Regis University Anderson School of Business and Computing where she directs the Sustainable Economic Enterprise Development (SEED) Institute. She holds a doctoral degree in Natural Resources from University of Vermont where she worked with her advisor, Dr. Jon Erikson, on research related to Genuine Progress Indicator. She also has a Master of Science in Ecological Economics from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in Humanities from the University of Texas at Austin. Among her many professional roles prior to her current academic role in higher education, Mairi-Jane taught 3rd grade, wrote the environmental justice, public participation, and economics sectors of EIS and EIA for pipelines and mines, consulted on sustainability strategy for publicly traded companies, and research ESG factors for asset managers. Mairi-Jane served on the USSEE board from 2012-2015 as graduate student representative and as one of the team of conference organizers when the conference was held at UBC in 2015. 


I joined USSEE while I was working at an environmental consulting company before I started my PhD studies because I believed in the transformation and innovation available for humanity and earth through the ecological economics paradigm.  If I were to be elected to the position with my background as K-12 educator as well as time working in the private sector, I’d intent to bring an expansive view about whom USSEE can serve and the avenues through which it can have impact. Also, since I work in a business school in the mountain West, I believe I can bring a form of academic and regional diversity to the board. For example, I was the lead author on the only business-focused chapter in the recent book published about the ecological economic research agenda; but I also co-authored the chapter about metrics. I am eager to join the USSEE as a board member at large to build on the devotion and passion of the previous board members to integrate ecological economics into teaching, policy, research, and 21st century business practices. Professional and academic societies must always be dynamic to meet the ever-evolving nature of academic work; but this ability to innovate and adapt in order to have an impact and support change-makers is critically important as higher ed (and the business sector) move through this pandemic-accelerated creative-destruction period.

Headshot of Roland Ofori Roland Ofori

I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Prescott Lab at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I received my PhD in Environmental & Energy Policy from Michigan Technological University, MS in Agricultural, Food & Resource Economics from Michigan State University, and BA in Economics from University of Ghana. I specialize in ecological economics, environmental economics and complex systems science. I also have public sector experience, having served as an Assistant Economist in Ghana’s Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning for five years. My past research projects involved studying the impacts of invasive species on fisheries sustainability and coastal communities, and the environmental cost of petroleum subsidies in West Africa. My current project seeks to develop agent-based computational models and econometric models to identify food waste reduction strategies in the National School Lunch Program, a USDA-sponsored program that supports over 30 million school children across the US.


My interest in serving on the USSEE Board is driven by my academic and professional background, as well as my vision to promote ecological economics as a substantive field in the social sciences. I have had the opportunity to work on environmental and energy policy issues over the years, and have paid particular attention to how complex human behaviors makes balancing environmental protection and economic growth difficult. I have also come to appreciate the potential of ecological economics as the best field capable of integrating both neoclassical and heterodox economics, and accommodating the interdisciplinary perspectives and diversity of scholarship needed to unpack the complexities of environmental problems. Hence, I want to serve on the Board to support the promotion of ecological economics as a major field of scholarship in the social sciences. In order to allow ecological economics to flourish as a substantive field, we need to promote the discipline to the point where it will no longer be othered or considered a “heterodox” field. The Board can achieve this by increasing both the demand and supply of research output in ecological economics. On the demand side, the Board can market the potential of ecological economics to key environmental organizations such as public agencies and interest groups that fund environmental research to increase funding for ecological economics research. Regarding the supply, the Board can organize promotional campaigns to introduce high school and university students to the discipline, facilitate the creation of ecological economics graduate programs, and connect students to opportunities for ecological economics research at universities across the US. I look forward to serving you.

Headshot of John Polimeni John Polimeni

John is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. He received his B.S. in Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a M.A. in Economics and a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Regulatory Economics from S.U.N.Y. at Albany, and a Ph.D. in Ecological Economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was awarded a Fulbright Senior Fellowship to Romania, where he is a Honorary Member of the Institute of Economic Forecasting in the National Institute of Economic Research in the Scientific Council of the Romanian Academy. His area of research is on the intersection of the environment and economic development, typically focused on energy economics, sustainable agriculture, and technology. He has received several research grants on his work in the area of economic development and the environment. John has published 60 peer-reviewed research articles, published four books, and eleven chapters in edited books. He has presented his research 81 times at international conferences with an additional eleven conference abstracts or posters. In addition, he serves or has served on 14 editorial boards of academic journals. John is a reviewer for the Romanian Fulbright Commission and serves as a reviewer for numerous academic journals. Lastly, John has been elected to two terms of the Schenectady (N.Y.) City Council and is on the Board of Trustees for miSci – the Museum of Innovation and Science.

Headshot of Susan Santone Susan Santone

Susan Santone is an internationally recognized educator with twenty-five years of experience in curriculum, policy, and teacher preparation with a focus on sustainability and social justice. At the University of Michigan (and formerly, Eastern Michigan University), she teaches graduate- and undergraduate courses on educational policy, multicultural education, sustainability and ecological economics. Her academic publications include numerous articles, book chapters, and a book, Reframing the Curriculum: Design for Social Justice and Sustainability (Routledge, 2019). [She serves on the board of the US Society for Ecological Economics.]

For twenty years, Susan was Executive Director of Creative Change Educational Solutions, the nonprofit consulting firm she founded in 1999 to support schools and universities to redesign curriculum and courses using the approaches brought together in her book. Through Creative Change, she’s reached thousands of teachers and created innovative content with partners ranging from universities to the United Nations.


I have had the pleasure and honor of serving as a USSEE Board Member at Large for the past two years and now am running for reelection. 

My service on the board has focused on communications, promotions, and outreach. Together with other board members, I’ve expanded our reach on social media (including Twitter and Linked In), and used these platforms to plan and promote USSEE webinars, publications, and members’ achievements. By engaging with other organizations and individuals, these efforts have grown our presence in the global EE community. 

In addition, I’ve been working with the Executive Director (outgoing and incoming) on updating the website with new graphics and more streamlined organization. Goals for this ongoing effort include expanding the resource offerings, creating member-only benefits, and launching a set of K-12 lessons. (The latter were vetted in 2019, then put on the back burner once the pandemic hit.) 

Clear, “on-mission” messaging is the foundation of communications. To support this, I researched lobbying constraints for nonprofits and compiled examples of allowable/prohibited messaging. I’ve also been curating content, creating a spreadsheet of links to our webinars, resources, and more. This one-stop curation enables easy access to shareable content.

Beyond the above, I also served on the subcommittee to select the winner of the Eric Zencey Prize and helped moderate for the recent Virtual Poster Conference.

Bigger picture, I’ve been a member of USSEE/ISEE for over ten years, presenting at three US conferences, the International conference (Puebla, 2018), and the Canadian conference (May 2019). I’ve also provided a webinar and written a blog for USSEE. 

USSEE is a visionary organization that offers solutions for a troubled world. I am proud to be on the board, and will continue to advance our work if re-elected. 

Thank you for your consideration.

Photo of Laura Villegas Laura Villegas

Laura is an ecological economist by choice, though trained in the mainstream views of environmental economics. She holds a PhD from North Carolina State University in environmental and development economics, a master’s degree in applied economics from Montana State University, and bachelor degrees in economics and political science, also from Montana State University. By the time this application is reviewed, Laura will be starting a new position at Earth Economics as a Sr. researcher. She’ll also be serving as an associate in the Human-Environment Systems program at Boise State University, where she’ll be teaching a graduate seminar on topics of social-ecological economics. Laura is also part of the Women in Environmental Economics and Development (WinEED) group hosted by the Environment for Development initiative. Her previous position was with the World Resources Institute, where she worked as an economics researcher studying the role of macroeconomic policies and growth pathways in addressing the joint effects of climate change and rampant inequalities in the developing world, and the role of natural infrastructure in improving the provision and management of water-related services.


 My name is Laura Villegas, I am Colombian and American. I grew up with German shepherds in a little town in the Andes. Now, I live in Nampa, Idaho. I love mountains.

Perhaps because of the context I grew up in, a Latin American country with very complex problems rooted in the unequal distribution of wealth, I have always been attracted to the study of poverty, political and social struggle, ecological integrity and its connection with cultural values, and natural resources management—all topics very much related to the concepts of justice and ecological economics.

As a restless immigrant undergraduate student, I studied political science and economics at Montana State University. I continued my studies in economics at Montana State directing my research to issues of development, agriculture, and environmental topics. A turning point in my professional trajectory was the day I learnt about “ecological economics.” Interestingly, I only learned about this after graduating with a PhD in environmental and development economics from North Carolina State University. I was mostly disappointed at the academic institution for not exposing me as a student to this fundamentally different school of thought: a school of thought that, to be completely honest, made a lot more sense with observations I had gathered from studying and experiencing poverty and environmental injustice.

My PhD was mostly funded by the Southeast Climate Science and Adaptation Research Center and the Applied Ecology department at NCSU. With their support and that of outstanding environmental economists (!), I was able to explore the role of alternative land use policies in mitigating flood damages in a less than conventional manner (something that suits me well, given my personality and interests). Reality is very complex. During my research, I was able to learn a few disturbing truths about who gets what and why in 3 coastal counties of South Carolina. I wish during my studies I could have elaborated on the role of history, slavery, and power imbalances in driving property values and property sales in South Carolina, but these ideas were left as a footnote because they were deemed a subject matter of sociology and anthropology, not mainstream economics.

My dissertation was published as a discussion paper by the Environment for Development group, and I presented it in a conference that took place at the midst of the first round of historical riots in my near-home-town Bogota in November of 2019. Of course, I participated in the peaceful demonstration—which was just a few weeks after the war against civilians launched by the Chilean government, and not far in time from protests in Ecuador and Peru. The people of Latin America were loudly manifesting that the economic model of Neoliberalism was not working for them–at the very least, it was not addressing the driving causes of social struggles. Sadly, since then not much has changed in my country (at least not for good), but at least in Chile, through the use of democratic processes, the demonstrations led to a new constitution. You can find the publication here.

As I hope you can tell from this letter, I am passionate about ecology and ethics. Recently, together with some kind and woke scholars we published a commentary where we continue discussing the climate emergency and the technical inadequacies of (Nobel Prize winning!) climate-economic models. Our commentary extends beyond the technical problems and calls for the imperative need to revisit morality and values upon which the international social and economic structure is built upon. We have published a few more commentaries following that original piece. I must continue in this line of work.

I think discussions of economics are always political and I think the civic dialogues we see in the world could be enriched by bringing in the plurality of voices across economic philosophies. There are important concepts and lessons from EE that will be crucial for my and future generations if we are to navigate the Anthropocene. These topics would include planetary boundaries and limits to growth, flaws in current accounting methods, degrowth, climate-economic models and international policy, economics of sustainability, feminist economics, and so on. As part of the USSEE, I would love to continue this mission of bringing the EE voice to the academic and policy spheres.

I have more to say about how much finding ecological economics as an effort to shift the economics paradigm has meant in the development of my personal and professional mission. Alas, there’s only so much ink paper can take. I truly immensely appreciate your time and attention through this very long candidacy statement. I thank you for considering my application and I look forward to hearing from you.

Undergraduate Student

Headshot of Brian Gallagher Brian Gallagher

Brian Gallagher is a rising senior at Temple University dual majoring in Mathematical Economics and Film & Media Arts. During his junior year, he won the second-place prize for best essay by an economics student for his research on elephants, economics, and the environment. Through the Temple Economics Society, Brian was able to attend and become a member of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) in February 2020. In May of 2020, he remotely worked with a Temple economics faculty member to help research and write his Economics For Life textbook. Outside of economics, Brian also has an interest in volunteer work and political change. Since December 2020, he has worked as a writer and interviewer with “First Up,” an organization dedicated to promoting Early Childcare Education. Additionally, Brian has attended many protests in the last year, including one related to homelessness in Philadelphia.


Having seen the numerous directions one can travel with an econ degree, ecological economics is the path which speaks loudest to me. I have believed since I was a young child that it is the responsibility of every person to fight climate change, and with my current major, USSEE is a great society of which to be a part. Among similar organizations, USSEE distinguishes itself by its transdisciplinary foundation, incorporating multiple academic fields into its approach. As a dual major in Mathematical Economics and Film & Media Arts, two very distinct subjects, I personally understand how engaging with multiple schools of thought can be tactful in analyzing problems and drafting greater, unique solutions. Additionally, my experience in filmmaking has given me the skills to work with a coordinated team and create promotional media – two assets which would be valuable going forward.

With the skills I have gained, I hope to assist the growth and policy-drafting functions of USSEE; pushing the world closer to long term goals of renewable energy, sustainable environments, and species preservation. I am humbled to be nominated for the position and thank you for your time and consideration.

Nominate by May 23: USSEE Board of Directors

The USSEE Board of Directors invites you to nominate candidate(s) to fill the 4 board positions listed below. The election will be held in late May, and we are seeking nominations by May 23. You are welcome to self-nominate.

Nominations are for the following 4 positions with terms beginning June 1, 2020:

  • Secretary-Treasurer
  • Board Member at-Large (2 members)
  • Undergraduate Student

Board members are expected to attend monthly virtual board meetings, help to recruit and retain members, organize, plan and publicize conferences and events, and help develop and curate information and materials relevant to the discipline. The expected time commitment is 2-4 hours per month. All positions are for two year terms.

Please note that in order to vote in the election, or run for a position, you need to be an active member of USSEE. To join, renew, or check your membership status, visit:  

You can submit nominations (name and contact information) or any questions about the positions to  

2018 Congress of the International Society for Ecological Economics

10-12 September 2018, Puebla, Mexico

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:

  1. Ecological Economies: How does transdisciplinarity respond to diverse socio-ecological contexts?
  2. Applications of concepts built from the bottom-up: ecological debt and others
  3. Ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, biophysical measurements, metabolisms
  4. Valuation languages and tools of measurement: legal and social processes; incentive instruments; multi-criteria evaluation.
  5. Energy transitions
  6. Social and environmental conflicts; environmental justice
  7. The economy of care and eco-feminist economics
  8. Imaging future societies: What does “Good living” mean?
  9. Ecological macro-economics: prosperity without growth; degrowth; and other ideas
  10. Feeding 9 billion humans: Food security or food sovereignty?; rural-urban transitions.
  11. Measuring and acting in view of globally diverse inequities: gender, indigenous rights, environmental space appropriation, etc.
  12. 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

Herman Daly and Bernardo Aguilar Awards

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.

Photo of Peter BrownThe 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.

Photo of Mary MellorThe 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!

2017 Board of Directors Nominees

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 (

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


Position Announcement: Chairperson, Department of Community Sustainability at MSU

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.

Download the full announcement here or visit for details on how to submit a nomination or application.


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:

In Memoriam: Paul Baer, USSEE Board member

Tbod-paul-baerhe 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.

Announcing 2016 Board of Directors Nominees

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)

KahnJim75_092508_015Jim 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)

TaniaBricenoPicTania 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.

Christa D. Court, Ph.D., Staff Scientist at MRIGlobal and a B&E alumna was selected for the class of 2014 for The State Journal’s Generation Next: 40 under 40 award. February 4, 2015.  (J. Alex Wilson - WVU College of Business and Economics)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.

"August 29, 2014 - Michael Carbajales-Dale, Assistant professor at Department of Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences (EEES)."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_2Maria 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.

bod-kirsten-olesonDr. 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:

Candidacy statement: I have served for the past two years as a member-at-large, and would very much like to serve another term. The Board has started many initiatives, based on recent feedback from the USSEE conference and recent member survey. I would like to continue the momentum we have built, for instance, in developing curriculum material available to members, fundraising for scholarships and other USSEE needs, and building our partnerships and membership.

Reheem_SYP_21_0957Nejem 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.