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Call for graduate student applications in “Economics for the Anthropocene” program

August 24, 2014

Economics for the Anthropocene: Re-grounding the Human-Earth Relationship

Economics for the Anthropocene offers exceptional graduate students the opportunity to collaborate in rethinking and redirecting the human/Earth relationship.

POSITION: The Gund Institute at the University of Vermont (UVM) in Burlington, Vermont, McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and York University in Toronto, Ontario seek up to nine PhD or MS students to join the international Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) research initiative, in Fall 2015. The Fall 2015 cohort will focus broadly on applying approaches based on ecological economics to issues of energy supply and use in Eastern Canada and Northeastern U.S. Students will have considerable latitude and assistance in developing the direction of their work.

BACKGROUND: Humanity is degrading the Earth’s life support systems. Fresh water is too often contaminated, in short supply, and subject to competing claims. Continued reliance on non-renewable sources of energy is unsustainable and faces increasingly unacceptable trade-offs for both regional and global environments. Irreversible climate changes are raising stark questions of justice. In short, Earth has entered a human-dominated epoch: the Anthropocene. Yet, prevailing norms continue to rely on thought systems that insufficiently account for knowledge of how human society interacts with and affects Earth’s life systems.

The Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) project builds on the strengths of McGill, York and UVM in ecological economics. They form the core of a diverse partnership of 25 academic, government, and NGO partners designed to improve how the social sciences and humanities connect to ecological realities of the Anthropocene. E4A’s overarching goal is to articulate, teach and apply a new understanding of human-Earth relationships grounded in and informed by the insights of contemporary science. The partnership will:

  1. Create a vibrant international research network in ecological economics;
  2. Train students to become change agents capable of analyzing and managing the unique challenges of the Anthropocene;
  3. Actively link academic and non-academic partners in solving transnational problems that exemplify these new challenges; and
  4. Integrate the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities by extending the core vision of ecological economics to other normative disciplines such as finance, law, governance, ethics, and cosmology.

The partnership will train up to 60 graduate students in three cohorts over six years. Students will enroll at any of the three universities, and cohorts will take core courses together through web-enabled classrooms that link our campuses. Joint field courses will engage non-academic partners in providing hands-on experience in transdisciplinary problems and their ecological, social, and economic dimensions. E4A partners and collaborators will help guide research questions, mentor students, and provide internship opportunities. The partnership will focus on three daunting challenges: water security, energy supply and use, and climate justice.

OFFER: PhD and MS students at UVM, McGill, and York may receive a generous 12-month E4A research stipend. The majority of tuition for this program will be covered via scholarships and teaching assistantships. Travel and research funds are also available. Funding is guaranteed for three years.

QUALIFICATIONS: Master’s degree preferred for PhD applicants, but all highly qualified candidates interested in all four dimensions of the program will be considered.

APPLICATION: Applications from women and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are encouraged. Interested students should contact one of the following:

  • McGill University
    Peter Brown:
    Nicolas Kosoy:
    * Applicants must apply to the Department of Natural Resource Sciences by February 15.
  • University of Vermont
    Jon Erickson:
    Joshua Farley:
    Taylor Ricketts:
    Asim Zia: (on Sabbatical FY 14)
    * Applicants must apply to the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources PhD program at UVM by February 1st and meet all of the admissions requirements.
  • York University
    Ellie Perkins:
    Peter Victor:
    Graduate admissions: Gwen Gringhuis:
    * Applicants must apply to the Faculty of Environmental Studies PhD program by January 8, or the Masters in Environmental Studies (MES) program by February 5 (international applicants) or March 12 (Canadian applicants), and must meet all of the admissions requirements.

For more information, visit the E4A website at

Innovations in Collaborative Modeling Conference to be held at Michigan State University

August 22, 2014

Michigan State University is pleased to announce the Innovations in Collaborative Modeling Conference (ICM), to be held June 4-5, 2015 in East Lansing, Michigan.

This conference will focus on the use of systems modeling techniques in managing the complex social and environmental problems related to food systems, natural systems, wildlife management, water, health, transportation, and education.

The conference is jointly organized by the Sustainable Michigan Endowed Project (SMEP), the Environmental Science & Policy Program (ESPP), and University Outreach and Engagement (UOE) at Michigan State University (MSU).

Important Dates
Call for Proposals opens – September 19, 2014
Call for Proposals due – December 19, 2014

For more information about the conference, visit the ICM website.

Colorado College Environmental Program Assistant Professor of Environmental Social Science

August 20, 2014

Colorado College seeks a social scientist with expertise in environmental sustainability for a tenure-track position in our interdisciplinary Environmental Program, to begin fall 2015. We are seeking candidates with expertise in human-environment interactions and socio-ecological systems, and who integrate economic perspectives into their teaching and research. Candidates specializing in ecological economics, natural resource economics, ecosystem services, natural capital, systems dynamics, or the social and economic dimensions of climate change and climate adaptation are encouraged to apply. Teaching areas will include sustainability/sustainable development, ecological economics, environmental management, and courses in the candidate’s area of specialization. Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate a commitment to and potential for excellence in teaching and scholarly research. Colorado College is committed to increasing the diversity of the college community. Candidates who contribute to that goal, including women and minorities, are particularly encouraged to apply, and to identify relevant strengths or experiences. Application materials should be received by October 15. For full job description and application information, see:

Open Call for Hosting the 8th Biennial USSEE Conference in 2015!

August 11, 2014

The U.S. Society of Ecological Economics (USSEE) Board of Directors has started planning our 8th biennial conference, and is seeking a conference site and local host partners! We are hoping to find an institutional host and venue that can continue to build on the success of our 2013 conference. Previous conferences have been held in June and attract between 200-300 participants. We are especially interested in bringing the 2015 conference to the West Coast, as the past four conferences have been held on the East Coast:

  • 2013 – Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, University of Vermont: “Building Local, Scaling Global: Implementing Solutions for Sustainability”
  • 2011 – Michigan State University: “Building a Green Economy”
  • 2009 –American University: “Science and Policy for a Sustainable Future”
  • 2007 – Pace University : “Creating Sustainability within Our Midst”

Attached to this email please find an overview of the committee structure and general timeline of conference planning tasks. The board will work with you to develop the conference theme and planning strategy and provide a full conference planning guide.

Please contact Executive Director Whitney Lash-Marshall at as soon as possible if you are interested in this opportunity!

7th Conference of the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP)

July 29, 2014

The 7th Conference of the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP): “Local action for the common good”, will be held in Costa Rica 8-12 September 2014.

Every year ESP organizes an international conference on the science and best practice and policies of Ecosystem Services. In addition to several high-level keynotes, and an opening address by the Costa Rican Minister of Environment, the core of the conference is built around 45 workshops and special sessions. It hosts over 270 presentations on a wide range of topics on the science, policy and practice of ecosystem services. In addition, several EU funded projects will present results of 4-5 years of research on the use of Ecosystem Services in Community Based Ecosystem Management in Latin America and there are several free pre-conference trainings on practical tools for ecosystem service assessment.

The local organizer is Fundacion Neotropica in collaboration with CATIE, Universidad Nacional and IUCN-CEM Meso-America and supported by the CGIAR-Water, Land and Ecosystems program.

Deadline for registration for the free trainings is August 15, and the conference registration closes September 1st.

For information on the conference:

For information on ESP:


USGS Postdoc – Land transformation and ecosystem service modeling related to energy development and wildfire, Denver, CO

June 11, 2014

The United States Geological Survey is recruiting a postdoctoral scientist in ecosystem service and geospatial modeling.  The post-doc will play a key role in the project “Probabilistic Integrated Resource Assessment Tool for Ecosystem Services (PIRATES).   This effort will integrate forecasts of land transformation and assessments of other biophysical resources to evaluate the interplay between management, landscape change, and environmental/economic costs and benefits.  It endeavors to address the question of how landscape change impacts a suite of resources and how those impacts may be limited by alternative management activities.  The current focus of the project is the development of energy resources and wildfire as drivers of land transformation.

Funding for the fellowship is for 2 years and is subject to renewal for 2 additional years, pending the availability of funding. Remuneration is US $73,848, plus benefits. The post-doc will work with the following project co-leads at the USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, Denver, CO ( Ken Bagstad (Research Economist), Jay Diffendorfer (Research Ecologist), Steve Garman (Research Ecologist), Todd Hawbaker (Research Ecologist), Darius Semmens (Research Physical Scientist).

In addition, strong collaborations exist with geologists and geophysicists working on energy resource assessments and assessments of produced waters, as well as with two postdocs being hired for modeling fire histories and dynamics.

Candidates will support the project by taking lead and collaborative roles in:  1) Developing approaches to link land transformation caused by energy development or wildfire to impact analyses with the ARIES ( modeling platform; 2) Writing computer code to implement the tool; 3) Developing methods and performing analyses to understand and summarize complex geospatial and temporal patterns of ecosystem services;  and 4) Publishing the work as journal articles.  As part of the development, we will investigate the role of energy development and wildfire on ecosystem services in southwest Wyoming, where existing research and geospatial data are extensive ( The candidate will have latitude to pursue novel approaches and work with a broad set of researchers across fields of geology, economics, ecology, and biophysical modeling.

Applicants should have demonstrated advanced skills in computer science, biophysical modeling, statistics, ecosystem services, and experience publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Coding expertise in R, Python, Java and/or C++, and strong geospatial expertise are desirable.  Experience modeling ecosystem services with ARIES or other software is not required, though useful.  The position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

To apply, please prepare a cover letter, curriculum vitae, transcripts, and contact information for three references. Please send your application via email, subject line PIRATES Post-doc to  Applicants must have received their doctoral or equivalent graduate degree within the past five years. The degree must be in hand by the selectee’s starting date.

Any questions should be directed to:
Darius Semmens or Jay Diffendorfer
United States Geological Survey
Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Denver Federal Center, Bldg 25, MS 980
Denver, CO 80225,

May Election Results

May 29, 2014


The newly elected board members are:

President-Elect: Jonathan Harris
Members at Large: Kirsten L.L. Oleson and Laura Schmitt Olabisi
Student Representative: Abigail Dan

Newly elected board member terms will begin June 1st, joining current board members Valerie Luzadis (President), Robert Richardson (Secretary-Treasurer), Ken Bagstad (Member at Large), and Lisi Krall (Member at Large).

The board also extends our thanks and gratitude to outgoing board members Jon Erickson (Past President), Rumi Shammin (Member at Large) and Mairi-Jane Fox (Student Representative).

Thank you to all our members who voted in our May election!

USSEE Board of Directors



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