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Lab Seminar: Modeling externalities from forest management and fire mitigation

Frederik Strabo presented preliminary work modeling how competition between adjacent landowners can shape their incentives to invest in forest fire prevention. The combination of historical land use practices and climate change have greatly increased the risk and severity of forest fires. Landowners can mitigate these risks by investing in costly interventions like forest thinning. They can also adjust to these risks by changing when (and if) they harvest the trees in their forests.

Lab seminar: evaluating spatially coordinated disease management for marine aquaculture

TJ Anderson discussed ongoing work evaluating the effectiveness of disease management practices in the Chilean salmon aquaculture industry.  In Chile, Atlantic Salmon are raised in large floating cages called net pens located in near-shore waterways. The net pens hold salmon while they are raised, allowing for the free flow of sea water in and out of the cage.

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.

Lab Seminar - A New Field-Level Measure of the Stock of Soil Organic Carbon.

Devin Serfas presented findings from his work developing and applying models of soil carbon dynamics to field-level soil and crop production data from Saskatchewan. Agricultural soil carbon sequestration is considered by many to be an important method for reducing atmospheric carbon. Agricultural practices and production decisions affect the rate at which carbon from the atmosphere enters the soil and the rate at which carbon from the soil mineralizes and leaves the soil as CO2.

Lab Seminar - Strategies for mitigating air pollution around the city of Chengdu

Qian Wang presented some recent work developing a modeling framework to identify effective air pollution control strategies for the city of Chengdu. The current policy framework sets emission limits based on ambient pollution levels, reducing emission limits when the level of air pollution is high. However, this does not account for the dynamics of the system. Emissions are known to accumulate in the basin around the city over time and remain in the area until it is cleared by high winds or rain.

Lab seminar: The effect of fuel subsidies on participation in Chinese fisheries

Last week Kaiwen Wang gave a presentation discussing the joint effects of a vessel by back and fuel subsidy program on the number of vessels participating in fisheries in the East China Sea.  Here fishery managers have used input controls to reduce the risk of overfishing. These measures include a quota system designed to limit the number and size of vessels participating in the fishery and a buyback program designed to reduce the size of the fleet over time.

Lab Seminar - Medicaid expansion reduces the effect of air pollution on birth outcomes

 Anderson Ospino presented a paper analyzing the effectiveness of public health insurance (Medicaid) in mitigating the harmful effects of prenatal air pollution exposure on fetal death and birth outcomes. Air pollution has an extensive range of deleterious impacts on health and has been linked to poor outcomes in pregnancy, including premature birth, low birth weights, and even fetal death.

Lab Seminar - Unpriced flood risk in the US housing market

This week Jesse Gourevitch presented his work estimating the unpriced flood risk in the US housing market. He and his collaborators combined climate models that predict changes in flood risk with housing market data to identify the extent to which information about flooding is incorporated into market prices. Using these data they estimate that residential properties in the United States exposed to flood risk are overvalued by $121-237 billion dollars.