Browsing Gund Institute for Ecological Economics by Title

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Browsing Gund Institute for Ecological Economics by Title

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  • Ross, D. S.; Fredriksen, G.; Jamison, A. E.; Wemple, B. C.; Bailey, S. W.; Shanley, J. B.; Lawrence, G. B. (Forest Ecology and Management, 2006
      Measurements of net nitrification rates in forest soils have usually been performed by extended sample incubation (2-8 weeks), either in the field or in the lab. Because of disturbance effects, these measurements are only estimates of nitrification potential and shorter incubations may suffice. In three separate studies of northeastern USA forest soil surface horizons, we found that laboratory nitrification rates measured over 1 day related well to those measured over 4 weeks. Soil samples of Oa or A horizons were mixed by hand and the initial extraction of subsamples, using 2 mol L-1 KCl, occurred in the field as soon as feasible after sampling. Soils were kept near field temperature and subsampled again the following day in the laboratory. Rates measured by this method were about three times higher than the 4-week rates. Variability in measured rates was similar over either incubation period. Because NO3- concentrations were usually quite low in the field, average rates from 10 research watersheds could be estimated with only a single, 1-day extraction. Methodological studies showed that the concentration of NH4+ increased slowly during contact time with the KCl extractant and, thus, this contact time should be kept similar during the procedure. This method allows a large number of samples to be rapidly assessed. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Mazet, J. A. K.; Clifford, D. L.; Coppolillo, P. B.; Deolalikar, A. B.; Erickson, J. D.; Kazwala, R. R. (2009
  • Koliba, C. (Administrative Theory & Praxis, 2007
  • Farley, J.; Baker, D.; Batker, D.; Koliba, C.; Matteson, R.; Mills, R.; Pittman, J. (Ecological Economics, 2007
      Ecological economics and its allied trans-disciplinary fields are well established in academia, but so far have failed to have significant influence on policy makers. Public policy research and theory suggest that three process streams must converge in order to shape the political agenda and change policy [Kingdon, J. 1984. Agenda, Alternatives, and Public Policies. Boston: Little, Brown]. First, the "problem" stream emerges when an existing condition is defined as a problem - a discrepancy between current reality and a desired goal - and critical policy makers accept the definition of the problem. The "policy" stream emerges as consensus grows around policy instruments to solve the problem. The "politics" stream emerges as the "national mood" and leading politicians accept the gravity of the problem and are willing to implement the policies required to address it. When these three streams converge, a policy window is created that can move issues onto the political agenda and into formal policy. A focusing event, like Katrina, can bring these three process streams together. However, different strategic representations of the situation may allow entirely different problem definitions and policies to dominate the political agenda. This paper analyzes the extent to which Katrina has opened a policy window for ecological economics. We find that Katrina has strengthened the three streams necessary to create a policy window for ecological economics, but that the dominant economic paradigm currently on the political agenda - market fundamentalism - is strategically presenting Katrina as supporting its own problem stream and policy stream. Key elements of the ecological economic agenda, such as investing in natural capital, are making it on to the political agenda, but overall market fundamentalist policies appear likely to dominate. We argue that ecological economists have failed to galvanize public acceptance for the policy goals of sustainable scale and just distribution, thus failing to effectively communicate their perspectives on problem definition and/or policy solutions to policy makers and the voting public. We conclude with suggestions for how ecological economists can still take advantage of the Katrina window, and better prepare for future windows opening. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Vermeulen, S. J.; Aggarwal, P. K.; Ainslie, A.; Angelone, C.; Campbell, B. M.; Challinor, A. J.; Hansen, J. W.; Ingram, J. S. I.; Jarvis, A.; Kristjanson, P.; Lau, C.; Nelson, G. C.; Thornton, P. K.; Wollenberg, E. (2012
      Agriculture and food security are key sectors for intervention under climate change. Agricultural production is highly vulnerable even to 2C (low-end) predictions for global mean temperatures in 2100, with major implications for rural poverty and for both rural and urban food security. Agriculture also presents untapped opportunities for mitigation, given the large land area under crops and rangeland, and the additional mitigation potential of aquaculture. This paper presents a summary of current knowledge on options to support farmers, particularly smallholder farmers, in achieving food security through agriculture under climate change. Actions towards adaptation fall into two broad overlapping areas: (1) accelerated adaptation to progressive climate change over decadal time scales, for example integrated packages of technology, agronomy and policy options for farmers and food systems, and (2) better management of agricultural risks associated with increasing climate variability and extreme events, for example improved climate information services and safety nets. Maximization of agriculture's mitigation potential will require investments in technological innovation and agricultural intensification linked to increased efficiency of inputs, and creation of incentives and monitoring systems that are inclusive of smallholder farmers. Food systems faced with climate change need urgent, broad-based action in spite of uncertainties. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Zencey, E. (University Press of New England, Hanover, NH.Hanover, NH, 2012
      Our planet is finite. Our political and economic systems were designed for an infinite planet. These difficult truths anchor the perceptive analysis offered in The Other Road to Serfdom and the Path to Sustainable Democracy. With wit, energy, and a lucid prose style, Eric Zencey identifies the key elements of "infinite planet" thinking that underlie our economics and our politics--and shows how they must change. Zencey's title evokes F. A. Hayek, who argued that any attempt to set overall limits to free markets--any attempt at centralized planning--is "the road to serfdom." But Hayek's argument works only if the planet is infinite. If Hayek is right that planning and democracy are irreducibly in conflict, Zencey argues, then on a finite planet, "free markets operated on infinite planet principles are just the other road to serfdom." The alternative is ecological economics, an emergent field that accepts limits to what humans can accomplish economically on a finite planet. Zencey explains this new school of thought and applies it to current political and economic concerns: the financial collapse, terrorism, population growth, hunger, the energy and oil industry's social control, and the deeply rooted dissatisfactions felt by conservative "values" voters who have been encouraged to see smaller government and freer markets as the universal antidote. What emerges is a coherent vision, a progressive and hopeful alternative to neoconservative economic and political theory--a foundation for an economy that meets the needs of the 99% and just might help save civilization from ecological and political collapse.
  • Beddoe, R.; Costanza, R.; Farley, J.; Garza, E.; Kent, J.; Kubiszewski, I.; Martinez, L.; McCowen, T.; Murphy, K.; Myers, N.; Ogden, Z.; Stapleton, K.; Woodward, J. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2009
      A high and sustainable quality of life is a central goal for humanity. Our current socio-ecological regime and its set of interconnected worldviews, institutions, and technologies all support the goal of unlimited growth of material production and consumption as a proxy for quality of life. However, abundant evidence shows that, beyond a certain threshold, further material growth no longer significantly contributes to improvement in quality of life. Not only does further material growth not meet humanity's central goal, there is mounting evidence that it creates significant roadblocks to sustainability through increasing resource constraints (i.e., peak oil, water limitations) and sink constraints (i.e., climate disruption). Overcoming these roadblocks and creating a sustainable and desirable future will require an integrated, systems level redesign of our socio-ecological regime focused explicitly and directly on the goal of sustainable quality of life rather than the proxy of unlimited material growth. This transition, like all cultural transitions, will occur through an evolutionary process, but one that we, to a certain extent, can control and direct. We suggest an integrated set of worldviews, institutions, and technologies to stimulate and seed this evolutionary redesign of the current socio-ecological regime to achieve global sustainability.
  • Roman, J.; Darling, J. A. (Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 2007
      There is mounting evidence that reduced genetic diversity in invasive populations is not as commonplace as expected. Recent studies indicate that high propagule vectors, such as ballast water and shellfish transplantations, and multiple introductions contribute to the elimination of founder effects in the majority of successful aquatic invasions. Multiple introductions, in particular, can promote range expansion of introduced populations through both genetic and demographic mechanisms. Closely related to vectors and corridors of introduction, propagule pressure can play an important role in determining the genetic outcome of introduction events. Even low-diversity introductions have numerous means of avoiding the negative impact of diversity loss. The interaction of high propagule vectors and multiple introductions reveal important patterns associated with invasion success and deserve closer scrutiny.
  • Buchholz, T. S.; Volk, T. A.; Luzadis, V. A. (Energy Policy, 2007
      Availability of and access to useful energy is a crucial factor for maintaining and improving human well-being. Looming scarcities and increasing awareness of environmental, economic, and social impacts of conventional sources of non-renewable energy have focused attention on renewable energy sources, including biomass. The complex interactions of social, economic, and ecological factors among the bioenergy system components of feedstock supply, conversion technology, and energy allocation have been a major obstacle to the broader development of bioenergy systems. For widespread implementation of bioenergy to occur there is a need for an integrated approach to model the social, economic, and ecological interactions associated with bioenergy. Such models can serve as a planning and evaluation tool to help decide when, where, and how bioenergy systems can contribute to development. One approach to integrated modeling is by assessing the sustainability of a bioenergy system. The evolving nature of sustainability can be described by an adaptive systems approach using general systems principles. Discussing these principles reveals that participation of stakeholders in all components of a bioenergy system is a crucial factor for sustainability. Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) is an effective tool to implement this approach. This approach would enable decision-makers to evaluate bioenergy systems for sustainability in a participatory, transparent, timely, and informed manner. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Farley, J.; Costanza, R. (Ecological Economics, 2010
      Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) is becoming increasingly popular as a way to manage ecosystems using economic incentives. The environmental economics approach to PES tries to force ecosystem services into the market model, with an emphasis on efficiency. The ecological economics approach, in contrast, seeks to adapt economic institutions to the physical characteristics of ecosystem services prioritizing ecological sustainability and just distribution and requiring a transdisciplinary approach. This paper summarizes the results of a participatory "atelier" workshop held in Costa Rica. We developed a set of principles (the Heredia Declaration) for PES systems and report on evolving initiatives in several countries. We discuss how the distinction between ecosystem goods (which are stock-flow resources) and ecosystem services (which are fund-service resources) and the physical characteristics of the fund-services affect the appropriate institutional form for PES. We conclude that PES systems represent an important way to effectively manage fund-service resources as public goods, and that this represents a significant departure from conventional market institutions. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Kubiszewski, I.; Noordewier, T.; Costanza, R. (Computers & Education, 2011
      A vast amount of information is now available online, produced by a variety of sources with a range of editorial oversight procedures. These range from very centralized information with multiple layers of review, to no oversight at all. Determining which information is credible can pose a real challenge. An experiment was designed to determine whether certain webpage characteristics affect academics' and students' perception of the credibility of information presented in an online article. The experiment looked at five peripheral cues: (1) presence or absence of an identifiable author, (2) presence or absence of references. (3) presence or absence of a biased sponsor, (4) presence or absence of an award, and (5) whether the article is designated as appearing in Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia, or Encyclopedia of Earth. The results indicate that compared to Encyclopedia Britannica, article information appearing in both Encyclopedia of Earth and Wikipedia is perceived as significantly less credible. They also show that the presence of a biased sponsor has a significant negative effect on perceived credibility. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Costanza, R.; Batker, D.; Day, J. W.; Feagin, R. A.; Martinez, M. L.; Roman, J. (Solutions, 2010
  • Koliba, C. (Public Performance & Management Review, 2011
  • Koliba, C.; Campbell, E.; Zia, A. (Public Performance & Management Review, 2011
      The central research question in this article asks how performance management systems are employed in interorganizational governance networks designed to mitigate traffic congestion. Congestion management networks (CMNs) adopt performance management systems across regionally bound networks of state, regional, and local actors; and within these networks, performance data are often assumed to be directing policy strategy and tool selection. Drawing on existing frameworks for categorizing performance measures and policy strategies used within congestion management networks, the authors present data from case studies of four regional networks. The CMNs studied here were indelibly shaped by the funded mandates of the U.S. Department of Transportation with guidance from the major transportation reauthorization bills since the early 1990s. No uniform performance management system exists in the regional CMSs that were studied. Rather, the CMNs' performance management systems are a construct of discrete and overlapping performance management subsystems. Making comparisons more difficult, CMN performance measures are tied to multiple policy domains (including economic, environmental health, and quality of life). Left unanswered are questions relating to the collection and analysis of performance data in terms of administrative and political drivers and the extent to which congestion management is ultimately the policy frame that drives action in these networks. Some suggestions are offered that may eventually lead to answering some of these questions through further empirical inquiry and modeling.
  • Morse, C.; Strong, A. M.; Mendez, V. E.; Lovell, S. T.; Troy, A. R.; Morris, W. B. (Journal of Rural StudiesJ. Rural Stud., 2014
      This research considered how rural landscapes and place identity are produced through private landowners' work. The notion of performance is explored from two perspectives: as a research method and as a powerful conceptual tool that affords a multi-scalar tracing of the connections between belonging, aesthetics, and the legacy of tourism narratives in a contemporary rural place. Interviews with rural Vermont landowners reveal that they conduct a diverse array of activities on their properties, but hold remarkably similar perceptions of the key elements in an ideal Vermont landscape. This vision closely matches the pastoral ideal that was manufactured for tourist consumption beginning in the late 19th century. Landowners engage in land-shaping activities that reproduce an ideal, agrarian view, but not necessarily agricultural livelihoods. Researcher engagement in a land-shaping activity afforded insight into the community and public elements of private landowners' land use practices. This mixed-methods approach revealed how landowners' sense of attachment to place and the doing of land-shaping activities contribute to the performance of a regional New England landscape. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Herendeen, R. A. (2004
      At a four-day energy workshop in Italy in September, 2002, 44 attendees, about half of the total, completed a questionnaire covering their travel (mode, distance) and monetary expenditures. These have been converted to direct and indirect energy requirements. Average total energy per respondent was 2.9 barrels of oil equivalent, of which 91% resulted from round trip travel of 6100 km. For comparison, global average annual per capita energy consumption is 12 barrels of oil equivalent. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Gates, J. E.; Dawe, N. K.; Erickson, J. D.; Farley, J. C.; Geist, V.; Hands, H.; Magee, P.; Trauger, D. L. (2006
      On 18 September 2004, The Wildlife Society (TWS) published an official policy statement on economic growth and wildlife conservation. We believe this policy statement did not adequately address the issues. Thus, TWS missed an opportunity to lead the natural resource profession in refuting the fallacious rhetoric that "there is no conflict between economic growth and wildlife conservation" through the adoption of a strong policy statement on economic growth. Although we commend TWS Council for adopting a policy statement on economic growth, we believe the final wording contains several weaknesses. Here, we take a closer look at the statement and further evaluate how it might be strengthened in the future.
  • Ricketts, T. H.; Dinerstein, E.; Boucher, T.; Brooks, T. M.; Butchart, S. H. M.; Hoffmann, M.; Lamoreux, J. F.; Morrison, J.; Parr, M.; Pilgrim, J. D.; Rodrigues, A. S. L.; Sechrest, W.; Wallace, G. E.; Berlin, K.; Bielby, J.; Burgess, N. D.; Church, D. R.; Cox, N.; Knox, D.; Loucks, C.; Luck, G. W.; Master, L. L.; Moore, R.; Naidoo, R.; Ridgely, R.; Schatz, G. E.; Shire, G.; Strand, H.; Wettengel, W.; Wikramanayake, E. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2005
      Slowing rates of global biodiversity loss requires preventing species extinctions. Here we pinpoint centers of imminent extinction, where highly threatened species are confined to single sites. Within five globally assessed taxa (i.e., mammals, birds, selected reptiles, amphibians, and conifers), we find 794 such species, three times the number recorded as having gone extinct since 1500. These species occur in 595 sites, concentrated in tropical forests, on islands, and in mountainous areas. Their taxonomic and geographical distribution differs significantly from that of historical extinctions, indicating an expansion of the current extinction episode beyond sensitive species and places toward the planet's most biodiverse mainland regions. Only one-third of the sites are legally protected, and most are surrounded by intense human development. These sites represent clear opportunities for urgent conservation action to prevent species loss.

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