Highlights from 2017

Highlights from 2017

This year flew by, and we're already looking ahead to another year of building resilient communities and healthy ecosystems. But we wanted to take a moment to mention a few of our proudest accomplishments from 2017:

My summer internship experience

My summer internship experience

Earth Economics has long managed a robust internship program that provides training and practical experience to undergraduate and post-doc students. Internship experiences have motivated graduate degrees, new career focuses and passions, and long term positions with Earth Economics. The following post was written by Alia Kabir, a 2017 Summer Intern and a current Senior at the University of Puget Sound, in Tacoma, WA.

New Staff Members

New Staff Members

We recently added three new staff members to our team – welcome Matt Van Deren, Jordan Wildish, and Marvin Termin!

2016 Annual Report

2016 Annual Report

We recently published an online version of our 2016 Annual Report. Below is an excerpt, the "Letter from Our Leaders," which opens the report. The letter summarizes Earth Economics' recent accomplishments and lays out a bright vision for the future.    

Cities Unite to Strengthen Global Resilience

Cities Unite to Strengthen Global Resilience

In this time of dysfunctional national and international governance, cities have a unique opportunity to fill a void in leadership. Can a group of U.S. and world cities model the kinds of networked, scalable solutions we need to create a more resilient world? One big-thinking international project is betting that cities can and will.

How Cities Need Forests

How Cities Need Forests

It's easy to take national forests for granted. Many city-dwellers think about them only on weekend excursions – when hiking, biking, or skiing. Besides acting as our playgrounds, what else do national forests do for us? Earth Economics is helping to shed light on the subject by partnering with The Wilderness Society for an economic analysis of the many benefits provided by Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

The Immense Natural Capital Value of the Columbia River Basin

The Immense Natural Capital Value of the Columbia River Basin

The Columbia River Basin is a vast, abundant watershed and the foundation for communities, fish and wildlife, and economic activity. Earth Economics has just released a new report that demonstrates the immense value of the Columbia River Basin’s natural capital - $198 billion in value annually.

Naturally Stronger Report Makes Powerful Case for Green Infrastructure

Naturally Stronger Report Makes Powerful Case for Green Infrastructure

Our nation's water infrastructure needs work. Yet, the question remains - what kind of investments should we make? A recent American Rivers report written in collaboration with Earth Economics makes a compelling case for investing in green infrastructure, or infrastructure that supports natural biological systems. Green infrastructure both improves economies and delivers diverse social benefits.

Bears Ears and the Value of Public Lands

Bears Ears and the Value of Public Lands

On April 26, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order requiring a governmental review of all national monument designations made since 1996. First up for review is Bears Ears National Monument -- over a million acres of mesas, canyons, shrublands, forests, and Native American archaeological sites in Southeastern Utah. We took a quick look at its natural capital value and found its worth to be over $1 billion in ecosystem services benefits. 

Communicating the Value of Urban Biodiversity to Foster City Resilience

Communicating the Value of Urban Biodiversity to Foster City Resilience

In February, Earth Economics participated in the Melbourne Network Exchange, a three-day event hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Program. Chief Resilience Officers from cities around the globe convened with Platform Partners to exchange practices and approaches for strengthening natural assets, especially urban biodiversity. As part of the partnership, we shared our approach to communicating nature's value in support of city resilience.

Considering Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Land Use Planning

Considering Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Land Use Planning

Agricultural lands are an essential part of our economy and quality of life, but they are increasingly pressured by population growth and accelerating urban development. Too often, farmland is divided and developed without a full understanding of the value lost. In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, a 2015 Earth Economics study of the county's natural capital is helping guide ongoing discussions about how to manage the county’s farmlands.

Earth Economics 2016 In Review

Earth Economics 2016 In Review

It’s hard to believe that 2016 is already wrapping up – what a full year this has been!  We have some exciting opportunities ahead, and we’re pleased to share our 2016 successes with you.

Upcoming Conference: ACES 2016

Upcoming Conference: ACES 2016

ACES brings together a global ecosystem services community in an open forum for sharing experiences, methods, and tools for assessing and incorporating ecosystem services in decision making. Project Directors Angela Fletcher and Zachary Christin will both be presenting. We hope to connect with you there!

Eugene's incentive-based approach to protecting water supply

Eugene's incentive-based approach to protecting water supply

A clean, abundant water supply is critical to health and well-being, but many water sources are threatened. In Eugene, Oregon, the Eugene Water and Electric Board is taking big steps to ensure future water quality with an innovative new approach to protecting riparian zones that is setting an important precedent for water utilities.

Meet our staff - new team members and learning opportunities

Meet our staff - new team members and learning opportunities

We’ve been hard at work here at Earth Economics this fall – with new projects and a growing team, we’ve had a lot on our plates! Our critical work putting nature on the balance sheet wouldn’t be possible without our stellar staff, and they’ve certainly been busy with EE projects and educational pursuits.

Alaska’s Mat-Su Borough votes in favor of bond for trails and parks

Alaska’s Mat-Su Borough votes in favor of bond for trails and parks

Trails and parks are valuable assets that provide critical ecosystem services. Far too often, they are left off the balance sheet in spite of their tremendous value. This past week, residents of Alaska’s Mat-Su Borough recognized the value of their public lands and passed a $22 million bond in support of trails, parks, pools, and ice rinks.

 El Paso Builds a More Resilient Future in Partnership with 100RC

El Paso Builds a More Resilient Future in Partnership with 100RC

As worldwide temperatures soar and disasters intensify, urban planners and political leaders are spending more time trying to understand and build local resilience. The Rockefeller Foundation has emerged as a global leader in this effort with the 100 Resilient Cities initiative (100 RC). Under the 100RC program, Earth Economics worked with the City of El Paso to value its natural capital and ecosystem services.

Assessing Marine Resources in Alaska’s Remote Bering Sea

Assessing Marine Resources in Alaska’s Remote Bering Sea

In the remote waters of Alaska's Bering Sea, a tiny community wants to maintain its rich resources. St. George Island is home to about 80 residents - many of whom rely heavily on the island’s natural resources for cultural and subsistence purposes. To help the community plan resource protections, Earth Economics is conducting an economic assessment of St. George Island and its surrounding marine area.

FEMA takes on climate change - by funding restoration

FEMA takes on climate change - by funding restoration

For far too long, nature has either been undervalued or ignored entirely in planning and investment – with profound effects on decision making. But recent policy changes are beginning to reflect the value of ecosystem services. Federal agencies like FEMA and HUD are starting to recognize that nature does indeed hold value for people, and that it should play a role in our decision making.

The Intrinsic Value of the Columbia River Basin

The Intrinsic Value of the Columbia River Basin

The Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River is a powerful force – currently managed primarily to maximize hydropower generation and flood risk management, the Columbia River Treaty is due for an update in 2024. To help inform Treaty negotiations, Earth Economics is partnering with a coalition of tribes and area stakeholders to conduct an economic valuation of the Columbia River Basin’s natural capital.