Job Opening: Economist to Support Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Position Title:  Economist

The individual will work for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to support NOAA’s Office of National
Marine Sanctuary (ONMS) Socioeconomic Program

Location:  Silver Spring, Maryland in NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Salary:  $70,000 to $75,000 (12-month period) plus benefits.


Funding Mechanisms for Restoring and Maintaining a Healthy Nisqually Watershed

Stanton, T. et al. Earth Economics: Tacoma, Washington. 2014
Primary Country: United States

A Comparison of Salt Marsh Construction Costs with the Value of Exported Shrimp Production

Minello, T. et al. Wetlands 32: 791-799. 2012
Primary Country: United States

Coastal Capital: Economic Valuation of Coral Reefs in Tobago and St. Lucia

Burke, L. et al. World Resources Institute 2008
Primary Country: Trinidad and Tobago

Economic valuation of provisioning and cultural services of a protected mangrove ecosystem:A case study on Sundarbans Reserve Forest,Banglades

Uddin, M. et al. Ecosystem Services 5: e88-e93. 2013
Primary Country: Bangladesh



Hosted by LP

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Our next webinar in the deep-sea series will be on September 16, 2015 at 10am Paris time, 6pm Brisbane time and 4pm Hong Kong time. This webinar will be an all-encompassing look at the "Deep Blue Economy" and will feature Charles GoddardEditorial Director, Asia Pacific, Economist Intelligence Unit, and Maria Damanaki, the current Global Managing Director for Oceans at The Nature Conservancy.


To join the event on September 16, you will need a password. Simply enter lowercase mesp.


The Oil Industry’s Technological Advancements for the Ocean Environment: BP’s DELOS ProjectWednesday, June 17, 2015

Speaker: Rob O’Brien, an Environmental Scientist at BP, is co-chair of the Deep-ocean Environmental Long-term Observing System (DELOS) committee, which brings together industry and academia to undertake long-term studies of the deep-sea floor offshore Angola. The system comprises two sea floor platforms situated in 1400 m water depth in the vicinity of the Greater Plutonio oil production field and will provide sustained (>25 years) environmental monitoring data to both science and the oil industry. DELOS will provide an important contribution to our understanding of this little-studied region.

Rob’s talk will discuss the first 5 years of the DELOS project; the successes, challenges, key findings to date and future opportunities. The 5-year milestone is significant because it presents the first opportunity to begin looking at year-to-year patterns in the data and start to decipher short term variability from long term trends.

Links Mentioned in Webinar: 

Industrial Mining in the Deep Sea: Social and Environmental ConsiderationsThursday, May 14, 2015

Speakers: Dr. Samantha Smith, President of the International Marine Minerals Society, and Charles Roche, Executive Director of the Mineral Policy Institute, discuss the commercial practice of industrial deep-sea mining within the context of environmental and social responsibilities.

Smith: The world’s demand for metals and minerals is rising, as is pressure to meet the demands of the Green Economy. These minerals and metals must come from somewhere and deep-sea mineral production may offer many social and environmental advantages for mineral development over the industry’s land-based counterparts. Nevertheless, a high environmental and social responsibility standard for the emerging industry must be met and this talk will share some examples of what ‘being responsible’ may look like.

Roche: If it were not for the critical issues involved in large scale industrial mining, small island state development and marine conservation, then deep sea mining could well be seen as just another mining project and be allowed to proceed as an extension of the existing oil and gas or terrestrial mining industries. To date, this seems to be the case, with industry promotion outpacing and overshadowing the required public discussion about how or indeed, whether, we should mine the oceans.

Without trying to cover the entire pros and cons of the debate, this presentation will examine why we might mine the seas; including for minerals, for development and as an alternative to the terrestrial mining industry. Critically, this decision requires a multidisciplinary approach, traversing mining, marine science, development, sustainability, politics and the economy. For the decision to mine should not be made lightly without an understanding of potential impacts or without reference to the common good.


The Conservation Economics Initiative is a collaborative partnership between the Conservation Strategy Fund and Duke University. Hosted by LP

MESPlogo    CSFlogo_optimizedcolor

Forgone Revenues from Ngardmau’s 2011 Sea Cucumber Harvest, Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Speaker: Dr. Rhona Barr began working as an economist with the Conservation Strategy Fund in 2012. Her work focuses primarily on the development of CSF’s most recent program, the Oceans Initiative. This initiative is designed to build the economic literacy of marine resource managers and decision-makers in order to promote the recovery of fish stocks and the protection of ocean and coastal areas.

In 2011, the Palauan Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism lifted a national ban on the commercial export of sea cucumbers. Within six months, Ngardmau’s population of ‘erumrum’ sea cucumbers, known to be one of the most abundant in Palau, had experienced an 88% decline in Ngardmau’s waters. Initially, the opportunity appeared to be a good one, the species were abundant within local waters, easily harvested, and secured financial rewards of $12-45 per 5-gallon bucket. In addition, exporters had promised to repopulate the fishery with juveniles. However, profits were short-lived. The fishery collapsed and no repopulation occurred. The community captured approximately $630,000 for 24,000 buckets. Final market value has been speculated to be closer to $8 million.

La expansión del Program Socio-Bosque en las zonas de manglar del Ecuador: insumos técnicos pra su implementacMay 21, 2015, 11am EDT, 10am CDT, 8am PDT, 5pm CEST

Speakers: Acompañe a Jorge Higinio Maldonado, profesor asociado en la Facultad de Economía de la Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) y director adjunto del Programa Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Economía Ambiental (LACEEP), y a Rocío Moreno-Sánchez, Economista senior de Conservation Strategy Fund – CSF, en su charla acerca de Socio Manglar un programa nacional de incentivos a la conservación que está siendo implementado por el gobierno Ecuatoriano.

El programa consiste en la entrega de incentivos económicos a grupos organizados de usuarios ancestrales, que hayan accedido a acuerdos de custodia y uso del manglar, conocidos como concesiones. El propósito del estudio realizado por Rocío y Jorge es ofrecer, a partir de la aplicación de juegos económicos experimentales y experimentos de elección participativos, insumos técnicos para optimizar la intervención de Socio Manglar en su objetivo de conservación y uso sostenible de este ecosistema. Les esperamos!

Economic comparison of alternatives to building a port on Goat Islands: Does Jamaica need to sacrifice a world class conservation site to build a world class port?, Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Speaker: Aaron Bruner, Senior Economist at Conservation Strategy Fund

Jamaica’s Goat Islands are at the core of the Portland Bight Protected Area, home to at least seven animal species found nowhere else on earth. Since 2013, the islands have also been at the core of plans to build a huge port and adjoining industrial estates. With expansion of the Panama Canal due to be completed in 2015, the proposed port is seen as a major step toward Jamaica establishing itself as a key player in the changing global shipping chain.

Building a port on the Goat Islands requires that Jamaica accept a trade-off: sacrifice environment for development. This talk presents results from a study that assessed whether this trade-off is necessary, focusing on whether there are suitable alternative port sites that could promote development objectives at reduced environmental risk, and without imposing undue financial costs on the developer.

The findings are positive: Building an equivalent facility at a place called Macarry Bay, to the west of Goat Islands, would cost an estimated $200 million less to build and also impose a far smaller environmental cost. The place is not perfect – nowhere is – but it provides evidence that better alternatives likely exist.

The talk will present the basic engineering and economics behind these findings, as well as discuss the broader decision-making process they seek to influence.

The Social Impacts of MPAs in Fishing Communities: Evidence from Observations, Interviews, Surveys and Experiments, Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Speaker: Xavier Basurto is the Assistant Professor of Sustainability Science within the division of Marine Science & Conservation at Duke University. Basurto is a founding member of the Mexican marine conservation organization Comunidad y Biodiversidad, and his practical and academic work is informed by more than twenty years of engagement with fishing and conservation communities in the Gulf of California, Mexico.

Globally, marine protected areas (MPAs) are prominent conservation tools. Yet understanding of their social sustainability remains limited. To determine how MPAs affected individuals’ willingness to cooperate or be spiteful towards each other—two key behaviors associated with social sustainability—we conducted cooperation and spite experiments (n=123) in two communities with MPAs and two control communities in Baja California, Mexico. We found statistically higher levels of cooperation and spite in MPA communities. In addition, a substantial proportion of subjects are ‘spiteful cooperators’, showing high levels of cooperation and spite when given the choice to do so in an anonymous environment. A standardized fishers’ survey (n=549) and key informant interviews (n=84) spanning all MPAs along the Baja California peninsula suggest the absence of selection bias and supports the external validity of results. The processes of MPA’s formation and implementation seem to have triggered ‘spiteful-cooperative’ behavior. Implications for long-lasting conservation are discussed.

Can Deep Sea Mining Benefit Society? Looking at marine industrialization through an economic lens, Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Speaker: LP

Deep-sea mining is about to commence in the waters off of Papua New Guinea. Other South Pacific nations are eager to follow suit. In addition, the International Seabed Authority has awarded 17 leases for minerals exploration in the high seas. Is a new age of deep sea industrialization in the best interest of society or are we poised to repeat the mistakes of decades of land-based mining?This presentation examines the conditions under which deep-sea mining, and other types of deep-sea extraction, may yield a net positive impact on society. As part of the Conservation Economics Initiative, Dr. Pendleton will guide webinar participants through the economic costs and benefits of deep-sea mining. He will explore the role of environmental costs associated with deep-sea mining and alternative sources of minerals – including terrestrial mining and better recycling. Finally, Dr. Pendleton will discuss the role of re-investment, restoration, and the economic justification for dramatically increasing current scientific funding devoted to understanding deep-sea ecosystems.

An Economic Instrument for Coral Reefs, Wednesday, October 22, 2014, Tuesday, October 22, 2014

Speaker: Christopher LaFranchi, Founder & CEO of OneReef Worldwide Stewardship, a US-based non-profit organization

This webinar explores use of an economic instrument designed to enable local communities to protect coral reefs. While some goods and services provided by reefs are paid for, such as fish and tourism experiences, there is no market mechanism that ensures we invest in maintaining the ecological capacity of reefs to continuously provide these benefits (aka, ecosystem services). Because ecosystem services cannot be readily sold to generate revenues, conservation of reefs incurs an opportunity cost from the perspective of local communities (all that must be given up to conserve and manage key functions needed to sustain benefit flows). Local communities who value reefs struggle to reconcile the short-term costs of protecting them, with the long-term benefits they seek, e.g., healthy and productive reefs to pass to their descendants. We will discuss an instrument designed to attract outside groups who also value coral reefs, and who provide resources under long-term agreements that make reef protection an economically viable option for local communities.

Impact evaluation of conservation programs with MESP and CSF, Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Speaker: Jeffery Vincent is the Clarence F. Korstian Professor of Forest Economics and Management in the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University. Vincent’s research focuses on the economics of natural resource management and policy in developing countries.

This talk will discuss the need to embed impact evaluations of conservation programs in a more comprehensive economic framework. Impact evaluations typically pay no attention to heterogeneity in the costs and benefits of conservation programs, but such heterogeneity is fundamental to conservation decisions. On their own, the results of impact evaluations offer little guidance for conservation decisions. They must be combined with information on costs and benefits: evaluation must be combined with valuation.

WRI on Ecosystem Valuation to Inform Decision Making in the Caribbean, Tuesday, March 18, 2014 1:00 pm EST

Speakers: Lauretta Burke is a Senior Associate in the Food, Forest and Water Program of the World Resources Institute. Lauretta has led WRI’s coastal ecosystem team since 2001, which focuses on producing high-quality analyses and tools to improve management and foster resilience in coastal ecosystems., Richard Waite and Erin Gray are Associates in WRI’s Food and Water Programs.

The World Resources Institute will discuss its new guidebook “Coastal Capital: Ecosystem Valuation to Inform Decision Making in the Caribbean.” The guidebook draws on lessons learned from previous coastal ecosystem valuations in the Caribbean that successfully informed decision making. It details the main steps in conducting an economic valuation of coastal ecosystems to inform policy, management, or investment decisions in the Caribbean. The guidebook leads practitioners through the scoping, analysis, and outreach/use of results phases of a valuation effort. In this presentation, the guidebook’s authors Richard Waite, Lauretta Burke, and Erin Gray will give an overview of the guide, including the enabling conditions behind successful studies, lessons learned, and practical advice for practitioners (both economists and non-economists).

Valuing Carbon Sequestration Benefits in Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems, February 10, 2014

Speaker: Brian Murray, director of the Environmental Economics Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, is widely recognized for his work on the economics of climate change policy. This includes the design of cap-and-trade policy elements to address cost containment and inclusion of offsets from traditionally uncapped sectors such as agriculture and forestry.

Terrestrial ecosystems such as forests and coastal and marine ecosystems (MCEs) such as mangroves, salt marshes and sea grasses are a treasure trove, providing a range of ecosystem services that are economically and socially valuable to populations far and wide. Unfortunately many of these ecosystem services are unpriced and therefore underprovided when competing with onsite goods and services that do receive compensation such as agriculture, aquaculture and other developed uses. One ecosystem service provided by these systems is biological carbon sequestration, the process of capturing and retaining carbon in soils and vegetation, which helps mitigate the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that lead to climate risk. MCEs are an incredibly rich pool of carbon, storing as much as three times per hectare more than forest ecosystems, which themselves are quite carbon rich. Global efforts to fight climate change have created financial mechanisms to reward parties for sequestering carbon. This webinar will discuss how these payment programs might apply to forests and MCEs, what kind of economic value this might add to keeping these systems intact and whether this may be sufficient to forestall their loss.


Ecosystem Services Harmonization in Theory and Practice with EBM Tools, February 5, 2014

Speaker: Evangelia Drakou is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Joint Research Centre since March 2011. In JRC she is part of the BIOPAMA project and is working on the Assessment and Mapping of Ecosystem Services provided by protected areas in the Africa, Caribbean and South Pacific (ACP) region. The goal of this task is to use ecosystem service information for the better management of areas of ecological importance, with the aim of safeguarding local livelihoods. Part of her tasks is also the development of a web client on ecosystem service maps and indicators, as part of the collaboration with the Ecosystem Service Partnership.

The scientific community and policy makers recognize marine and coastal ecosystem services (MCES) as extremely important for human survival. Peer reviewed assessments to date, however, have used a variety of terms and classifications for ES which have caused confusion and misinterpretation of the results and hindered communication among involved parties. The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre research group has reviewed the scientific literature to assess the state of the art of existing MCES assessments, identify gaps and limitations, and propose ways forward. A wide variety of methodologies, terminologies, and ES classification systems were identified. Based on the existing approaches, the research group also identified the main research gaps, proposed an integrated ES classification system, and gave clear definitions of ES tailored to the marine environment. This webinar will demonstrate this work and will go beyond the scientific component by exploring potential practical implications. We will discuss the applicability of the integrated MCES classification system for systematically organizing MCES information and enabling interoperability among existing MCES online platforms. Learn more about this project at

NOAA’s Data on the Ocean Economy, Wednesday, March 5, 2014 6:00 pm

Speaker: Jeffery Adkins is an Economist at the NOAA Coastal Services Center.

Find out more about NOAA’s Economics: National Ocean Watch (ENOW) data. ENOW provides time-series data for six economic sectors that depend on the ocean and Great Lakes economies, including employment, wage, and GDP data. NOAA Economist Jeff Adkins will explain the methods used to produce ENOW and the data’s various uses, successes, and resources. A Q&A session will be held at the end of the presentation.

Demonstration of Marine Valuation Databases – NOEP, GecoServ, November 19, 2013

The National Ocean Economics Program (NOEP) and the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Services Valuation Database (GecoServ) will demonstrate their respective databases and discuss their latest work in the field. The NOEP provides a full range of the most current policy-relevant economic and demographic information available on changes and trends along the U.S. coast, Great Lakes, and coastal waters. GecoServ focuses on the distribution and sharing of information concerning ES valuation studies relevant to the Gulf of Mexico region and identifies current gaps in the ES literature.

Demonstration of Marine Valuation Databases, August 14, 2013

This webinar brings together two organizations offering tools and databases to ease access to and the use of valuation information. The Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership (MESP) offers a searchable library of marine valuation data, which currently holds over 800 studies. The MESP is also a community of practice updating its members on the latest news, events, and jobs in the field. Earth Economics recently developed an Ecosystem Valuation Toolkit. Their data repository is the “world’s largest database of published valuation data and literature from natural and social sciences”. They also offer a self-service tool to conduct ecosystem service valuation and natural capital appraisal.

The Role of Natural Resource Management in Mitigating Climate Impacts: Mangrove Restoration in Vietnam

Tri, N. et al. CSERGE Working Paper GEC 96-06 2000
Primary Country: Vietnam

Economic Analysis of Mangrove Forests: A case study in Gazi Bay, Kenya

Primary Country: Kenya

Mangrove Management: An Economic Analysis of Management Options with a Focus on Bintuni Bay, Irian Jaya

Ruitenbeek, J. EMDI Environmental Reports, 8 1992
Primary Country: Philippines

Valuation and Evaluation of Management Alternatives for the Pagbilao Mangrove Forest

Janssen, R. et al. CREED Working Paper Series No. 9. 1996
Primary Country: Philippines