Synergies Between Ecology and Economics: Cross-Pollination and Gains from Trade

Monday, August 10, 2015: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
307, Baltimore Convention Center
Laura Dee, University of California, Santa Barbara
Matthew Burgess, University of California, Santa Barbara
Laura Dee, University of California, Santa Barbara
There are many ripe opportunities for collaboration between ecologists and economists. This symposium will highlight some of these opportunities, with emphasis on exploring two of their main sources. First, society faces pressing challenges that require insights from both disciplines to find solutions. Such challenges include meeting the food, water, and energy needs of a growing human population without causing severe and irreversible damage to Earth’s ecosystems and the services they provide. Second, there are vast and largely untapped opportunities for methodological and conceptual exchange between ecology and economics. Both disciplines study organisms (humans, other animals, plants, microorganisms, etc.) or organism-constructed entities (businesses, social groups, etc.) and their interactions, behavior, and evolution. Consequently, research questions in each discipline often have strong conceptual parallels, even in research areas that are not seemingly interdisciplinary. Despite these parallels, ecology and economics have divergent academic histories, which have led to the development of different but strongly complementary toolkits. The overarching goal of this symposium will be to identify promising areas for future collaboration between ecologists and economists, in both traditionally disciplinary and already interdisciplinary research areas. Presentations will focus on highlighting: (i) emerging research areas and tools from ecology or economics that would provide high-added value to the other discipline, (ii) emerging research areas of high policy-relevance in which insights from both disciplines are critical, and (iii) strategies for translating key insights from this research into policy and practice. Discussion following the presentations will be aimed at identifying short- and long-term agendas for collaborative research, education, and outreach.
1:30 PM
 Shared questions, divergent histories, and joint importance to pressing challenges drive synergy between ecology and economics
Matthew Burgess, University of California, Santa Barbara; Laura Dee, University of California, Santa Barbara; Christopher Costello, University of California Santa Barbara; Steven D. Gaines, University of California, Santa Barbara
2:00 PM
 Progress and potential pitfalls of economic valuation of natural capital: A path forward
Bonnie Keeler, University of Minnesota; Steve Polasky, University of Minnesota
2:30 PM
 Can we feed the world and preserve biodiversity?
David Tilman, University of California, Santa Barbara; Michael A. Clark, University of Minnesota
3:00 PM
3:10 PM
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