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Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

AAEC Faculty Kurt Stephenson with oyster grow structures

Faculty in the department's program in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (ENRE) work on a variety of research topics at the forefront of the national and global policy agenda. The group emphasizes undergraduate and graduate student involvement in hands-on projects funded by a variety of national and international, public and private sponsors, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the European Union (EU), and the Kellogg Foundation.

ENRE research areas have included the economic impacts of climate change policies, the role of nonpoint pollution and nutrient trading in water resources management, the health impact of wildfire smoke in urban areas, forest disturbances and real estate markets, the valuation of energy reliability and infrastructure, and incentives and policies in the management of urban water demand. These efforts are publicized in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and broadly accessible technical reports. Faculty and students present research findings at national and international meetings, such as the world congress and annual meetings of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE), the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE), and the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA).

The ENRE team collaborates with regional institutions and organizations, bringing research methods and results to local stakeholders and constituents. The team also has a long tradition of inter-disciplinary and cross-organizational collaboration. ENRE faculty developed the nationally acknowledged Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute (VNRLI), which brings together decision makers from academia, government, and grass roots groups to resolve environmental conflicts and develop policy solutions with strong focus on economic tools and incentives.  Examples of local projects include stream bank erosion, organic agriculture, non-game wildlife management, and water conservation and recycling in horticulture.

Given the breadth of expertise within ENRE faculty, its inter-disciplinary and cross-organizational collaboration, and the opportunities it provides students in the department, the ENRE program is truly a place where students are valued colleagues and research partners.

Selected Recent Publications

Faculty and Graduate Students Title and Publication Name
Kurt Stephenson 2019. "Does Ecosystem Valuation Contribute to Ecosystem Decision-making?: Evidence from Hydropower LicensingEcological Economics.  163: 1-8 
Wei Zhang 2018. The Demand for Inputs and Technical Change in the U.S. Dairy Manufacturing Industry. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 47(3): 533-567.
Kurt Stephenson 2018. “The Role of In lieu Fee Programs in Wetland/Stream Mitigation Credit Trading: Illustrations from Virginia and Georgia" Wetlands DOI: 10.1007/s13157-018-1057-y
Wei Zhang 2018. Effects of a Local Air Quality Regulation on Dairy Farms in the San Joaquin Valley. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 100(3): 762-785.

Everett Peterson, Jason Grant

Assessing the Economic Implications of Reduced Water Availability and Better Management Practices on Representative Farms in Southern Alberta.” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics: 2017.
Darrell Bosch, Jim Pease
“Costs of Capturing and Recycling Irrigation Water in Container Nurseries” HortScience, 2017.
Kurt Stephenson
2017.  “Where Did the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Trades Go? Lessons from Virginia Water Quality Trading Programs” Journal of the American Water Resources Association.  
Kevin Boyle
2016. “The implicit value of tree cover in the U.S.: A meta-analysis of hedonic property value studies.” Ecological Economics, Vol. 128: 68-76.
Kevin Boyle
2016. “Valuing Shifts in the Distribution of Visibility in National Parks and Wilderness Areas in the United States.”  Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 173: 10-22.
Darrell Bosch, Jim Pease, Kevin Boyle, Alyssa Cultice*
Horticultural Growers’ Willingness to Adopt Recycling of Irrigation Water. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics. 48(1)(2016): 99-118.
Klaus Moeltner, Kevin Boyle, Jed Cohen*
Hedonic Valuation with Translating Commodities: Mountain Pine Beetles and Host Trees in the Colorado Front Range. Environmental and Resource Economics, 63(3), 613-642
Darrell Bosch, Kevin Boyle, Elton Mykerezi*, Eftila Tanellari*
On Consumers' Attitudes and Willingness to Pay for Improved Drinking Water Quality and Infrastructure.”, Water Resources Research, (2015) 51, 47–57, doi:10.1002/2013WR014934
Mike Ellerbrock
"Assessing Economic Impacts of Ecotourism in the Virginia Roanoke River Basin: Metrics Program Development Services."
Klaus Moeltner
"Wildfire Smoke and Health Impacts: A Closer Look at Fire Attributes and their Marginal Effects." Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 
66(3), 476-496