Four MSU affiliates elected to Board of U.S. Society for Ecological Economics

MSU faculty and students are hoping to make big contributions to the field of ecological economics.

Faculty and students from the Department of Community Sustainability (CSUS) and the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) have been elected to the United States Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE) Board of Directors.

In June 2018, CSUS professor Robert Richardson was elected as president of the board. Assistant professor Phillip Warsaw was appointed a member at-large.

In June 2019, CSUS PhD candidate Andrew Gerard joined the board as the graduate student representative along with AFRE Environmental Economics and Management major Emma Rice as the undergraduate student representative.

USSEE is “an interdisciplinary group of academics and practitioners who seek to develop solutions to complex and interrelated economic, social, and environmental problems.” The society is just one regional professional organization under the umbrella of the International Society for Ecological Economics.

Ecological economics is not new, but it is an increasingly important interdisciplinary field. By looking at the ways that social and natural systems overlap, researchers can better understand how economic systems interact with the environment. USSEE is uniquely positioned to help researchers in this field by providing resources and networking opportunities for members.

Professor Richardson says, “As President, my vision for the organization involves expanding its membership base in regions of the United States where there is high potential but few clusters of members. At a time when scientific knowledge about global challenges is rapidly expanding, there is an increasing need for ecological economics to have a voice in public discourse and policy dialogue, and I would like to see USSEE play a leading role in that effort.”

Dr. Warsaw hopes to grow USSEE’s membership by calling in academics of color and instructors with varied academic backgrounds.

“I believe now is a crucial time to recruit a diverse set of young and passionate scholars into the field and provide them with the tools to contribute to the field, both in their research and teaching,” Warsaw says.

Andrew will be using his elected position to advocate for the interests and needs of graduate students, in hopes that USSEE will be able to direct more outreach and services toward the graduate audience. Emma will be engaging with undergraduate students to inform them of research and graduate school opportunities in the field of ecological economics.

To learn more about USSEE, visit their website.

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