University of Vermont

Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont

Community Development and Applied Economics

Dan Kirk

Dan Kirk, M.S. '10; Certificate of Ecological Economics '10

B.S. 2007 University of Vermont

Areas of interest

public goods, agriculture and food systems, ecology and the environment

Contact Information
Office: 208C Morrill Hall
Phone: 802.656.2606

Thesis Title:

Allocating Vermont's Trust: Dividends or Public investment from Carbon Cap-and-Auction Revenues?

Undergraduate and Professional Background:

BS '07 University of Vermont in Plant and Soil Science and Freelance Rooftop Gardener in NYC 2007-2008.

Graduate Courses:

Fall 2008
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar
CDAE 354 Microeconomics*
NR 385 Ecological Economics*

Spring 2009
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar
CDAE 351 Research Methods*
CDAE 237 Economics of Sustainability
NR 385 Design of Carbon Neutral Economics*

Fall 2009
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar
CDAE 295 Community Design Studio*
NR 385 Simulation Modeling I*

Spring 2010
CDAE 391 Graduate Thesis Research (6 credits)
NR 220 Landscape Ecology* (2 credits)

* = Ecological Economics Certificate Courses

Funding Grad School:

I was a Teaching Assistant for Tom Patterson and Jonathan Leonard in the fall and spring semesters, respectively, of each year. I was an Research Assistant for Joshua Farley for both years as well.

Certificates Completed:

Ecological Economics

On Customizing Grad School to Fit Personal Interests:

By pursuing the professors and classes that both fit into my requirements and electives toward the certificate. It is important to engage with the people teaching the class, and to be able to be face-to-face with them, picking their brains, and seeing how to think. The EE Certificate fits nicely with the requirements for CDAE; you can fit it in by just using your elective credits since some of our core requirements meet about half of the EE requirements.

Words of Wisdom to Inquiring/Incoming MS Students:

Use your fellow students, and use the second-year students. Ideas (about theory, and class choices) work best if used, talked about, and spread. Many classes that interest you may not fall into your lap via the Registrar or the CDAE Grad listserv. Other students are generally the best sources for classes that both fit as a requirement and as an interest.

If you are interested in learning from a person/professor, yet the exact class that has the title that fits your interest isn't offered, take a different class with that person. You will find that professors can be flexible and willing to accommodate graduate students' interests, if their interests are well-founded and apply to the greater picture of the class and world.

Try to take at least 10 credits in your first semester, and have them all count. If you are pursuing a certificate, get on it right away, so you are not stuck filling your last requirement in your final semester. In the Spring of your first year, try to take a class that will allow you to begin working on your thesis paper. If there are undergraduates in the class, and the paper is a group project, you can utilize the extra labor as your own research assistants, while still expanding the body of knowledge and achieving the goals for the class. It gives you a head start as you head into your first summer of RA work.

This program is only 2 years long. It's not a lot of time. Once you are finished your first year you should have a solid idea of where you are going. It may not be where you wanted to go, especially if you have been unclear before you got here. At that point, though, you are committed (for the most part) to the direction that you are in, one way or another.

Use CDAE as a portal or canvas to paint your own picture using the rest of the University's offerings. CDAE emphasizes transdisciplinary studies. To do that, one must utilize the other disciplines. CDAE will supply you with your core group of classes, but it is up to you to find the rest of the classes that fit your interests or work and to bring them back to our department. If you are into Behavioral Economics, it would likely be great to take a Psychological Statistics course, which is something that CDAE will never have. Likewise if you are really into Ecological Design, the NR department (and CDAE, too, sometimes) will have offerings to get you there. Food Systems research might require Nutrition and Food Science courses, and other qualitative research might require different statistics courses. Reach outside the department to acquire new knowledge that make CDAE a richer place with a great number of great ideas from many disciplines that have come to one place to be analyzed and synthesized to help you achieve your goal.

Contact UVM © 2014 The University of Vermont - Burlington, VT 05405 - (802) 656-3131