University of Vermont

Gund Institute for Ecological Economics

Three New Gund Videos

The Gund Institute of Ecological Economics released three new Gund videos that capture the great work done at the Gund and UVM.

Raising Whales: How Cetaceans Engineer the Oceans:

Dr. Joe Roman, Gund Fellow and RSENR Research Assistant Professor, discusses how the restoration of whales is essential in maintaining the integrity and resilience of marine ecosystems. Great whales are the largest animals in the history of life on Earth, playing an essential role in the structure of the ocean. They prey on fish and invertebrates and are preyed upon by killer whales.  After death, their carcasses create unique habitats, upon which hundreds of deep-sea species depend.  Whales enhance the growth of marine life by transporting nutrients in the water column and around the globe. Their depletion has likely altered the structure and function of the oceans, reducing the many ecosystem services provided by these enormous ocean dwellers. 

Climate Change Mitigation on Agriculture-Forest Landscapes:

Dr. Eva “Lini” Wollenberg, Gund Fellow and RSENR Research Assistant Professor,  discusses how agriculture and forestry contribute about one-third of anthropogenic emissions, yet also are one of the most promising sectors for mitigation. She addresses the challenges in managing mitigation in agriculture-forestry landscapes, including a framework for "sustainability governance" of major commodities such as livestock, palm oil and cocoa in forest areas.

The Vermont Genuine Progress Indicator: 

Gund Research Fellow, Eric Zencey, discusses the Vermont GPI Project, which is compiling an updated Genuine Progress Indicator for Vermont for implementation as an alternative policy and budgeting instrument in the state. 

A sustainable economy needs a better basic indicator of progress and well-being than Gross Domestic Product. GDP doesn't deduct costs like ecosystem degradation and it ignores many positive contributions to well-being, like infrastructure or unpaid domestic work. The Genuine Progress Indicator is emerging as one standard methodology for including costs and benefits like these in our basic economic accounts.  The Gund Institute has been authorized by the state of Vermont to compile such an indicator set, and to report it regularly to the governor's office and the legislature for use in their decision making.