Tuesday, February 8, 2022

NAREA’s 18th Annual Workshop Ecosystem Services Foundations for Resilient Communities: Agriculture, Land Use, Coasts and Energy for Human Well-Being

 NAREA’s 2022 Workshop Committee from the University of Connecticut seeks creative, scholarly analysis and contributions for our June 14-15, 2022 (postponed from 2020) workshop following the NAREA’s annual meeting in Mystic, CT. Senior, early-career, and creative scholars are sought, and student attendance is also encouraged. This workshop welcomes scholars from any background; we seek diverse perspectives. Initial deadline is February 22, 2022 (see below). To incentivize high-quality contributions, we offer an honorarium (below) for selected speakers. In addition, we will have a finite budget to subsidize travel for early career faculty or graduate students to attend; we will announce guidelines to apply after we have finalized the program toward end of spring semester; we will encourage attendance from HBCUs, 1890 and 1994 Land Grant University faculty and students as well.

Ecosystem services – the benefits that nature provides in support of human well-being – are impacted by decisions made in markets and in government deliberation and action. Unfortunately, the value of ecosystem services is often left outside the consideration of market (commercial economy) participants and is, often, incompletely considered in government decisions, particularly at the state and local levels. The non-excludable character of some ecosystem services (as public goods) or the failure of social institutions to internalize their values challenges society to avoid untended degradation of ecosystems affecting the quality of life of individuals and families, from rich to poor, or across diverse backgrounds.

Losses of valuable ecosystem services have likely been increasing in recent decades as, nationally and globally, we witness an increasing frequency of severe storms, fire, and flooding. Decision makers seek to change policies and land use practices in agriculture, forest management and community development, with the intention to provide a sustainable, resilient foundation for current residents and future generations. These changes can have profound impacts on the quality of rural, coastal, or riverine communities, as well as on urban centers. Decisions made in the near term can establish resilience and protect vulnerable human-built infrastructure, while also impacting, positively or negatively, the extra-market ecosystem services critical to attracting, retaining, and sustaining residents, and natural resource-based tourist business and managed agroecosystems. NAREA’s 18th Annual Workshop intends to identify the frontier and stimulate the creation of new knowledge essential to assisting society. New knowledge can help society to avoid undesirable, unacceptable, or unintended consequences, and to create or seize opportunities to sustain valuable ecosystem services in balance with the benefits of sustaining human-built assets and desirable marketable products.

This Workshop will bring together high-level scholarship directed at multiple dimensions of these challenges, often involving interdisciplinary elements of economic relevance.

We encourage contributions on a wide range of topics, including – but certainly not limited to: (1) insights of sustainability science for valuing and assessing strategic choice in rural community resilience; (2) ecosystem service valuation in the context of multiple policy impacts, such as biodiversity, water quality, landscape aesthetics as well as protection of built infrastructure and provision of energy for human use; (3) the role and value of ecosystem services across a diversity of human subpopulations, including ethnic or income groups, subsistence or recreational roles affecting quality of life; (4) resilience modeling and valuation for community and regional decision-making; (5) innovation beyond benefit-transfer for assessing ecosystem service net values; (6) natural resource based tourism or recreation in coastal and agrarian rural landscapes; (7) ecosystem services as inter-community vectors of value or impact, such as through trans-community water quality or biodiversity impacts. Interdisciplinary papers with an economics component also will be considered.

Contributions are also welcome offering perspectives on: land use change created by or stimulated by resilience planning, such as for flood risk and mitigation strategies; alternative, renewable, wind or solar energy development; managing conflict between sustaining valuable ecosystem structure and function while improving resilience of, for example, energy delivery; implementation of best management practices for agriculture in consideration of the quality (and safety) of surface waters; sustainability, competitiveness, and resilience of rural and coastal tourism based on natural resource assets including biodiversity, land and forest aesthetics, or water resources.

Honoraria for speakers will be provided, payable upon initial submission of a paper to the Agricultural and Resource Economics Review (ARER) special issue on Ecosystem Services Foundations for Resilient Communities (working title). ARER will apply the normal editorial decision criteria. While conference papers will be due May 23, 2022, the version submitted to ARER will be due July 31, 2022. Honoraria will be $1,500 for selected papers; additional travel support for speakers may also be provided. For consideration, authors should submit an extended abstract (1500 words excluding references cited or graphics or tables) through NAREA’s Annual Meeting and Workshops submission portal (or https://www.xcdsystem.com/narea/member/), no later than February 22, 2022 (see additional details in submission form).

In addition, the Workshop Committee encourages submissions from individuals in early-career stages or from women, minorities, or individuals of underprivileged or underrepresented backgrounds within agricultural, resource, or environmental economics and related fields, including interdisciplinary work with economics content, broadly defined. Students from HCBUs, Land-Grant (1862, 1890, or 1994) institutions, or interdisciplinary backgrounds are encouraged both to contribute or attend the workshop and apply for consideration for a limited pool of travel assistance funds.

Questions may be emailed to the NAREA Workshop Committee (Stephen Swallow, Charles Towe, and Sandro Steinbach) at NAREA-Workshop-2022@uconn.edu.

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