University of Connecticut
Professor of Environmental Economics
I once intended to become a field ecologist, working in wildlife management. However, experience brought me to public policy and human dimensions of conservation, leading me into environmental economics. So I followed a B.S. from Cornell in natural resources with an M.S. and Ph.D. from Duke in resource economics. After 23 years in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at the University of Rhode Island, I moved to the University of Connecticut in 2011. With colleagues at URI and friends at EcoAsset Markets Inc, and with USDA Conservation Innovation Grant funds, we started an enterprise-based project in Jamestown, RI focused on bobolinks. At UCONN, this initiative became a USDA / NIFA funded research endeavor seeking to develop better ways to bring the value of the environment into the decisions of individuals and businesses, particularly farmers, who need to balance sustaining a business with conservation initiatives. The Bobolink Project has used some innovative approaches to gaining public support for a specific good - managing hayfields for grassland nesting birds during the critical summer season.
I now advise The Bobolink Project group on ways to continue improving The Project to maximize the amount of acres that are conserved and the number of Bobolinks that are produced.
I also teach environmental valuation and research better ways to integrate the environment into decisions, markets and the economy. Projects include coastal habitats, valuation and trading of water quality or carbon credits, recognition of co-benefits from environmental farming, watershed management, coastal resilience.