Recent News & Events

Lab seminar: Jellyfish blooms and the value of ecosystem forecasts

Kyumin Kim presented a research project he is developing studying the value of forecasting jellyfish blooms for commercial fisheries. Jellyfish blooms occur when jellyfish populations experience rapid growth, and they occur at high densities. Although jellyfish are natural parts of marine ecosystems, when they occur in these large numbers, they can interfere with commercial fisheries by damaging equipment and changing the behavior of target species.

Lab seminar: The history of resource economics

Prof. Jim Wilen gave a lecture on the history of resource economics as a field and how it has changed over time, along with people’s relationship to their environment. Early thinking presented a dreary view, with scholars like David Ricardo and Thomas Malthus predicting that land and food would be critical factors limiting growth and development.

Lab Seminar - Health Effects from Exposure to Forever Chemicals in Drinking Water

Laura Alcocer Quinones presented plans for a study estimating the health effects of exposure to PFAS (per and polyalyfluoral substances) in drinking water. Exposure to PFAS is associated with kidney disease and complications during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia. However, little is known about the precise relationships between health outcomes and exposure to PFAS through drinking water.

Lab Seminar - Economics of Livestock Farming and Nutrient Pollution

Scott Somerville presented plans for a study estimating the contribution of livestock farms to nitrate water pollution in the Central Valley of California. Nitrates are a significant health risk when present at high concentrations in drinking water. Agriculture and livestock farms can be significant sources of nitrate pollutants. This is a large concern in the Central Valley, where groundwater is used for drinking and other residential purposes.

Lab Seminar - Does the economic value of fisheries stock assessments depend on stock status?

Jack Bucker presented preliminary findings from a research project modeling the economic value of environmental monitoring for fisheries management. Fisheries management agencies, such as the US National Marine Fishers Service, spend a large fraction of their budgets collecting and analyzing data to assess the status of harvested populations. This information is used to determine sustainable and productive harvest rates, a critical component of the management process.