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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


Announcing Nominees for USSEE Board of Directors

May 2, 2014

The USSEE Board of Directors is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2014 Board Elections. There are two nominees for each of four positions: President-elect, At-Large Member (2 positions), and Student Representative.  Nominees are presented by position in alphabetical order. Elections will open on Wednesday, May 7 and run through May 21.

President-elect (Term June 2014 – June 2015)

paul-baer-200pxPaul Baer received his BA in economics in 1984, and after learning about ecological economics in 1994 decided to return to school, obtaining his MA in Environmental Planning and Management from LSU in 1999 with Paul Templet and his PhD in 2005 with Richard Norgaard at UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group. He presented his first paper on climate justice at the 1998 meeting of the ISEE in Santiago, Chile, and served as student representative on the founding committee of the USSEE. Together with colleagues at EcoEquity (which he co-founded in 2000) and the Stockholm Environment Institute (US), he helped develop the influential Greenhouse Development Rights climate policy framework, and promote it in the Climate Action Network International, among global justice philosophers, and elsewhere. After a post-doc with Steve Schneider, in 2009 he became an Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy, where he helped found the Climate and Energy Policy Laboratory with Dr. Marilyn Brown; he taught undergraduate courses in statistics, environmental policy, and political economy, and graduate courses in climate policy, microeconomics and ecological economics. In 2013, he returned to the NGO sector as a Climate Economist for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ California office.

Candidacy Statement: I chose my graduate programs to work with people who were helping define ecological economics (EE), because I saw a need for ecologists and others doing interdisciplinary work to have an alternative to neoclassical economics. My work on global climate justice has focused on identifying the appropriate scale for GHGs and an equitable approach to redistributing newly scarce rights in a global commons. My natural science training led me early on to recognize that CO2 concentrations around 350 ppm were necessary to preserve a reasonable probability of climate stability. Given our overshoot, egalitarian ethics makes the need for redistribution – globally and domestically – seem obvious.

I recently left academia to work for UCS, a “science-based advocacy organization.” But there is no coherent body of social science to provide the necessary analysis of the political and ecological economics of climate change. I believe EE and the USSEE can help organize a coherent alternative to neoclassical climate economics, providing enough legitimacy to be useful to organizations like UCS and other scholars, activists and politicians who see the sustainability transition as non-marginal and redistribution as an essential component. I hope as President-elect to work across intellectual communities to help make this possibility a reality.

Jonathan M. HJ_Harrisarris is Director of the Theory and Education Program at the Tufts University Global Development and Environment Institute. His publications include “Green Keynesianism: Beyond Standard Growth Paradigms” in Robert Richardson ed., Building a Green Economy: Perspectives from Ecological Economics (2013); “Reorienting Macroeconomic Theory towards Environmental Sustainability” in Jon Erickson and John Gowdy eds., Frontiers in Ecological Economic Theory and Application (2007); co-editor of Twenty-First Century Macroeconomics: Responding to the Climate Challenge (2009); co-author of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach (3rd ed., 2013); Macroeconomics in Context, Microeconomics in Context, and Principles of Economics in Context (2014); Environmental and Social Issues in Economics (Encyclopedia of Earth, 2006); co-editor of New Thinking in Macroeconomics: Social, Institutional and Environmental Perspectives (2003); A Survey of Sustainable Development (2001); A Survey of Ecological Economics (1995); Human Well-Being and Economic Goals (1997); editor of Rethinking Sustainability: Power, Knowledge, and Institutions (2000). He has taught courses in environmental economics and sustainable development at Tufts University, Brown University, and Boston University.

Candidacy Statement:Large-scale environmental problems, especially global climate change, demand a fundamental re-orientation of economic theory and policy. An ecological perspective has the potential to transform the narrow views of economics and development that currently dominate mainstream economics, and to broaden the understanding of a generation of students who will shape the twenty-first century. In the texts and educational modules on climate change and other environmental issues available at http://www.gdae.orgI and my colleagues attempt to introduce fundamental ecological economics concepts to economics curricula.

I have been active with USSEE its inception, and have served on the boards of USSEE and ISEE. I believe that USSEE has the potential to expand its reach both in trans-disciplinary research and in efforts to reform the teaching of economics and other fields to reflect ecological realities. I would especially like to promote availability of more curricula and teaching materials on the USSEE website’s education page, both for those who are developing programs in ecological economics and those who are teaching in more traditional disciplines but seeking to broaden their course content.

At Large Member, 2 positions (Term: June 2014- June 2016)

McGuire-BioPicSean McGuire worked at Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources for 15 years before recently moving to Oregon. For the last seven years, Sean was the Director of Sustainability Policies and focused on statewide systemic policy solutions and initiatives, including those addressing green economy; ecological economics; sustainability indicators; and, ecosystem services, valuation, and markets. In 2009, Sean initiated Maryland’s Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), the first State government to do so. Recently, Sean joined Oregon Government to not only calculate the State’s GPI, but more importantly to institutionalize the GPI into Oregon’s 10-Year Policy & Budget Plan. Sean continues to be an active national leader on the GPI and other alternative, more comprehensive gauges of true prosperity and wealth. His main emphasis centers on making academic research more approachable to the general public, useful for State policy makers and budget analysts, and politically palatable for State government officials. Sean earned his Master of Public Policy degree with a Certificate in Ecological Economics from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in History of Public Policy from U.C. Santa Barbara. He presented at several national events, including the 2012 Strategies for a New Economy Conference and the USSEE 2013 Conference. Sean gets outdoors as much as humanly possible by enjoying backpacking, hiking, and triathlons.

KirstenOlesonDr. 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:

Laura Schmitt OlaLaurabisi is an assistant professor at Michigan State University, jointly appointed in the Environmental Science & Policy Program, and the department of Community Sustainability. Laura served on the scientific committee for USSEE’s 2011 conference, and is currently serving as a USSEE board member at large (elected in 2012). During her tenure on the USSEE board, Laura has taken leadership on conducting a strategic planning exercise for the future of the society and soliciting feedback from members on the intellectual agenda of the society, as well as assisting the board, the president, and the secretary with moving USSEE forward (for example, by hiring an executive director). Laura is a systems ecologist and participatory modeler, working directly with stakeholders to conduct research on topics such as soil erosion, population growth, greenhouse gas emissions, water sustainability, energy use, deforestation, adoption of organic/sustainable agricultural techniques, climate change adaptation, and climate change and human health. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Brown University, and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Prior to her appointment at Michigan State, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher with the Ecosystem Science and Sustainability Initiative, housed at the University of Minnesota.

js_1-09-large_reducedJohn Sorrentino received his Ph.D. from Purdue University and was hired by Temple University in 1973. 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 (forthcoming). His works-in-progress include articles on sustainable housing placement, environmental information systems, sustainable business practices and urban agriculture. He has presented at many USSEE and ISEE conferences, and will be presenting research on “Greenworks Philadelphia” in Iceland. John 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. He has performed service on numerous committees at all levels of the university and in the outside community. He looks forward to having a direct hand in promoting USSEE.

Student Representative (Term: June 2014 – June 2015)

Abigail Dan_Bio Headshot_2013Abigail Dan was raised in a rural community in Northern California and gave up a promising future in the financial services industry to follow her passion for science.  Through work in organic agriculture production and international commodities research, she came to realize the power of markets to shape decisions about how we use land and other natural resources.  With a vocational degree in horticulture, she went on to earn a B.S. in Applied Ecology with a minor in environmental and development economics.  Through her undergraduate career, she was a student delegate to the Property and Environment Research Center’s Free-Market Environmentalism Colloquium; interned with the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University; and is completing her term as the North America Section Representative for the Society for Conservation Biology’s Ecological Economics and Social Science Working Group.  After beginning a Master of Science in Conservation Ecology at California State University, Chico, she joined a local Resource Conservation District as Project Manager, where she is currently overseeing multiple grant-funded habitat restoration sites and working closely with community members towards collaborative environmental improvement.  It would be an honor for her to serve as the Student Member of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics’ Board of Directors as she continues to pursue her graduate studies and develop a deeper understanding of the economic drivers of conservation decisions in the field.

Kyle_2013Kyle Gracey is a Ph.D. candidate in the Engineering and Public Policy Department at Carnegie Mellon University. He is a chapter author of the recently released book Building a Green Economy: Perspectives from Ecological Economics and has published in Ecological Indicators. Kyle has presented at both USSEE and ISEE conferences. He is the former Student Representative on the Board of Directors of the Working Group for Ecological Economics and Sustainability Science at the Society for Conservation Biology. He formerly worked as a Research Scientist at Global Footprint Network, at Gade Environmental Group consulting, Climate Action Network-International, and for the White House, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Department of the Treasury. Kyle also serves on the boards of directors for Engineers for a Sustainable World, Student Pugwash USA (Vice President), SustainUS: U.S. Youth for Sustainable Development (Board Chair), and the Truman Scholars Association (President). He received his M.S. from the Geophysical Sciences Department and Harris Public Policy School at The University of Chicago, and earned B.S. degrees from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in Biochemistry & Biophysics and Ecological Economics.

Search for Gund Institute Research Professor

May 1, 2014

Position: The Gund Institute at The University of Vermont (UVM) seeks a Research Assistant Professor in Economics, Behavior, and Sustainability beginning Fall 2014. We will hire a creative individual with expertise in connecting economics and human behavior to issues of environment and global change.  The institute is an interdisciplinary research center, where more than 50 faculty, post-docs, and graduate students collaborate widely to understand the interactions among ecological, social, and economic systems.  The Research Professor will strengthen our focal areas: ecosystem services; ecological economics; food systems; and sustainable landscapes and seascapes.  Consistent with the mission of the Institute, we seek a scientist interested in both advancing research frontiers and addressing concrete environmental issues.

The position is a nine-month faculty appointment with full salary support for an expected three-year term. It is one of six non-tenure track Research Faculty positions within the Gund Institute, offering early-career scientists an opportunity to develop a research program in productive collaboration with faculty and students at UVM and elsewhere. Extending the appointment is possible based on external funding.

Responsibilities: We expect the successful candidate to develop a widely recognized research program and to forge collaborations with faculty and students associated with the Institute.  Responsibilities also include teaching one course per year, and engaging actively with the Gund Institute community.

Qualifications:  Applicants must have a doctoral degree in economics, natural resources, or a related field. Substantial post-doctoral experience is preferred.  Successful candidates will have strong quantitative skills, experience with economic research in field settings, expertise in behavioral tools and approaches, a strong record of publications and scholarly activities, and a commitment to using research to inform policy and conservation.

Application: Applicants should submit a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, a two-page statement of research interests, and contact information for three references to (posting # 0041225).  Review of applications will begin on June 1, 2014 and we anticipate a start date of September 2014.  Inquiries may be made to Taylor Ricketts, Director, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, at  The University of Vermont is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through their research and teaching.  Applicants must describe in their cover letter how they will further this goal.

Setting: The University of Vermont is located in Burlington, between the Green and Adirondack Mountains and on the shores of Lake Champlain.  The Gund Institute is administered by UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and Research Faculty are appointed officially at the Rubenstein School.  The institute has a new Director and substantial new resources, so the successful candidate will have an opportunity to help shape its future.  UVM also has launched several campus-wide research initiatives, including those focused on complex systems, food systems, climate change, and smartgrids & behavior.

Schumacher College: Economics for Transition

April 7, 2014

Schumacher College is hosting  residential postgraduate and short-course study in radical economic thinking, activism and entrepreneurship through Economics in Transition.

Postgraduate Program

Prepare yourself to be a leader in the low carbon, high well-being, resilient and equitable economy of the future, in a programme that delivers both inner and outer transition. Applications are due April 30th for September 2014.

Short Course Study

Ranging from weekends to six month programmes, short courses bring together leading international thinkers, activists and practitioners, in a unique brand of small-group transformative learning experiences. With a focus on interactive and participatory learning, we offer the practical skills and strategic thinking required to face the ecological, economic and social challenges of the 21st Century.


New York Lecture by Tim Jackson, Ecological Economist

April 7, 2014

The Architectural League of New York is hosting a lecture by British Ecological Economist Tim Jackson in New York on April 24.

Tim Jackson will speak about the shifting paths for achieving prosperity in our lives and discuss the changing relationship between economic growth and prosperity stemming from his book, Prosperity without Growth. While economic growth was once essential in reaching our current level of development, perhaps continued growth not only sees diminishing returns, but also detracts from our present happiness and future prosperity. In a world with finite ecological limits, how do we make what we need, get it to the people who need it, and nurture what we already have? A conversation with New York Times journalist Eduardo Porter will follow Jackson’s talk.

Further information and tickets here.


Earth Economics: Hiring Director of Development and Marketing

April 3, 2014

Background: Founded in 1998, Earth Economics applies new economic tools and principles to meet the challenges of the 21st century: achieving the need for just and equitable communities, healthy ecosystems, and sustainable economies. We are based in Tacoma, WA and have a current staff of 15 supported by a 25-person team of advisors and interns.

For more information about Earth Economics, please visit:

Development and Marketing  Position Announcement:

Earth Economics is excited to be hiring our first Director of Development and Marketing to join our senior team.  Reporting to the Managing Director, the Director of Development and Marketing will be a key leadership team member, actively participating in making strategic decisions for Earth Economics. 

The Development and Marketing Director will be responsible for building effective and efficient fundraising processes, as well as for organizational branding and telling the story of the importance and impact of Earth Economics’ work.   We recently adopted an ambitious Long Range Plan that will require strong growth in capacity in the years ahead.  Our 2014 budget anticipates approximately $2 million in revenues, and the Development and Marketing Director will ensure this target is met, while positioning the organization to ramp up revenues in subsequent years.  The two primary sources of Earth Economics revenue are and will be foundation grants and fee-for-service contracts, primarily with public agencies.   In addition, we anticipate developing smaller but growing revenue centers in major gifts and fee-for-service contracts with private sector entities.  Salary to be commensurate with skills, experience,and ability to be successful.

Could this be you or someone you know?
 For more information or to apply, visit Earth Economic’s Careers page on our website:
Earth Economics Careers

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