Browsing Gund Institute for Ecological Economics by Title

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Browsing Gund Institute for Ecological Economics by Title

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  • 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.
  • Pearce, Andrea R; Bierman, Paul R; Druschel, Gregory K; Massey, Christine; Rizzo, Donna M; Watzin, Mary C; Wemple, Beverly C (Journal of Geoscience Education, 2010
      At the University of Vermont, an interdisciplinary faculty team developed an introductory watershed science field course. This course honed field skills and catalyzed communication across water-related disciplines without requiring specific prerequisites. Five faculty (geology, engineering, geography, natural resources) taught the four-credit course, highlighting interactions between the hydrosphere, biosphere, and solid Earth. The course, based in the Winooski River watershed, followed the river from its headwaters downstream to its outlet in Lake Champlain focusing on data collection and analysis methods, while exploring threats to this freshwater ecosystem. This course was offered as a summer field course in 2007. Student learning was assessed using weekly summative assignments and final presentations incorporating field data and acquired knowledge. Attitude and knowledge surveys, administered before and after this first year, documented increased self-assessed learning, affinity for the field learning environment, and that the course provided training relevant to various disciplines. The fiscally unsustainable summer model, and course evaluations guided major revisions to the course. The second offering, in 2009, met weekly during spring term to provide students with context before a two-week field component. This field component was held immediately after classes ended to avoid the need to pay faculty summer salaries.
  • Jennings, N.; Swidler, S.; Koliba, C. (American Journal of Education, 2005
      In this article we discuss the relationship between place-based education and standards-based reforms. Using an initiative in Vermont to include place-based standards into the state's curricular frameworks, we examine state policy makers' and practitioners' views of state standards and place-based curriculum. Furthermore, we explore the ways in which the practitioners view the impact of both of these curricular efforts on their classroom practices. We challenge the common view of incompatibility between state standards and locally responsive curriculum and offer instead a view of complementarity.
  • Seguino, S. (Feminist Economics, 2007
      Gender norms and stereotypes that perpetuate inequality are deeply embedded in social and individual consciousness and, as a result, are resistant to change. Gender stratification theories propose that women's control over material resources can increase bargaining power to leverage change in key institutions, prompting a shift to more equitable norms. By extension, policies that promote women's paid employment should serve as a fulcrum for gender equitable change. Is there any evidence to support this hypothesis? Investigating this requires a means to capture gender norms and stereotypes. The World Values Survey provides just such a mechanism because it contains a series of gender questions that span a twenty-year period and includes respondents from more than seventy countries. This paper uses that survey's data to analyze determinants of trends in norms and stereotypes over time and across countries, and finds evidence that increases in women's paid employment promotes gender equitable norms and stereotypes.
  • Vatovec, Christine; Balser, Teri (Journal of microbiology & biology education, 2009
      Technological tools have increasingly become a part of the college classroom, often appealing to teachers because of their potential to increase student engagement with course materials. Podcasts in particular have gained popularity as tools to better inform students by providing access to lectures outside of the classroom. In this paper, we argue that educators should expand course materials to include prepublished podcasts to engage students with both course topics and a broader skill set for evaluating readily available media. We present a pre- and postassignment survey evaluation assessing student preferences for using podcasts and the ability of a podcast assignment to support learning objectives in an introductory environmental studies course. Overall, students reported that the podcasts were useful tools for learning, easy to use, and increased their understanding of course topics. However, students also provided insightful comments on visual versus aural learning styles, leading us to recommend assigning video podcasts or providing text-based transcripts along with audio podcasts. A qualitative analysis of survey data provides evidence that the podcast assignment supported the course learning objective for students to demonstrate critical evaluation of media messages. Finally, we provide recommendations for selecting published podcasts and designing podcast assignments.
  • Posner, S. M.; McKenzie, E.; Ricketts, T. H. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2016
      Research about ecosystem services (ES) often aims to generate knowledge that influences policies and institutions for conservation and human development. However, we have limited understanding of how decision-makers use ES knowledge or what factors facilitate use. Here we address this gap and report on, to our knowledge, the first quantitative analysis of the factors and conditions that explain the policy impact of ES knowledge. We analyze a global sample of cases where similar ES knowledge was generated and applied to decision-making. We first test whether attributes of ES knowledge themselves predict different measures of impact on decisions. We find that legitimacy of knowledge is more often associated with impact than either the credibility or salience of the knowledge. We also examine whether predictor variables related to the science-to-policy process and the contextual conditions of a case are significant in predicting impact. Our findings indicate that, although many factors are important, attributes of the knowledge and aspects of the science-to-policy process that enhance legitimacy best explain the impact of ES science on decision-making. Our results are consistent with both theory and previous qualitative assessments in suggesting that the attributes and perceptions of scientific knowledge and process within which knowledge is coproduced are important determinants of whether that knowledge leads to action.
  • Fischlein, Miriam; Larson, Joel; Hall, Damon M.; Chaudhry, Rumika; Peterson, Tarla Rai; Stephens, Jennie C.; Wilson, Elizabeth J. (Energy Policy, 2010
      As climate change mitigation gains attention in the United States, low-carbon energy technologies such as wind power encounter both opportunities and barriers en route to deployment. This paper provides a state-level context for examining wind power deployment and presents research on how policy stakeholders perceive wind energy in four states: Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, and Texas. Through semi-structured interviews, state-level energy policy stakeholders were asked to explain their perceptions of wind energy technology within their state. Interview texts were coded to assess how various drivers promote or hinder the deployment of wind power in sub-national contexts. Responses were dominated by technical, political, and economic frames in all four states, but were often driven by a very different rationale. Environmental, aesthetic, and health/safety frames appeared less often in the discourse. This analysis demonstrates that each state arrived at its current level of deployment via very different political, economic, and technical paths. In addition to helping explain why and how wind technology was - or was not - deployed in each of these states, these findings provide insight into the diversity of sub-national dialogues on deployment of low-carbon energy technologies. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Chaudhry, Rumika; Fischlein, Miriam; Larson, Joel; Hall, Damon M.; Peterson, Tarla Rai; Wilson, Elizabeth J.; Stephens, Jennie C. (Journal of Cleaner Production, 2013
      Over the past decade, the United States (US) has demonstrated strong and evolving interest in the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS), an emerging set of technologies with potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. Given the many technical, economic, and environmental uncertainties about the future of CCS, the political salience of this technology is high. In the US, states make key decisions about deploying energy technology projects, but variation in state-level energy context (both technical and socio-political) is substantial. This research assesses variation in the state-level energy context for CCS development by exploring energy policy stakeholders' perceptions of CCS in four geographically and demographically diverse states. Policy stakeholders have different degrees of familiarity with CCS, and the goal of this research is to understand and compare the perceptions of CCS among stakeholders who shape state-level energy policy. Semi-structured interviews with 84 energy policy stakeholders across government, industry, academia, and non-governmental organizations active in four different states (Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana and Texas) were analyzed to compare perceptions of CCS risks and benefits. Negative associations of CCS were mentioned more frequently than positive attributes in each state, and technical, political and economic risks are more dominant than environmental or health and safety risks. Content analysis of the interviews provides insight on emerging sub-national discourse regarding CCS, on state-level variation in familiarity with CCS, and on sub-national variation in the socio-political context for energy technologies. The variation in state and stakeholder energy priorities and perceptions revealed in this study highlights challenges in the development and implementation of national-level energy policy and also specific challenges in the deployment of CCS. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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