University of Vermont

Gund Institute for Ecological Economics

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Gund Institute Calendar

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Decision Support for Natural Resource Management,Seminar And PhDDissertation Defense By Jonathan W. Cummings

Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Aiken 311
Description: Seminar And PhD Dissertation Defense

Decision Support for Natural Resource Management
By Jonathan W. Cummings

Thursday, August 21, 2014
Seminar: 3:00pm, Aiken 311
Defense: 4:00pm, Aiken 311

Dr. Therese (Terri) Donovan, Associate Professor, RSENR, Advisor
Dr. Ruth Mickey, Professor, CEMS, Chair
Dr. James (Jed) Murdoch, Assistant Professor, RSENR
Dr. Jennifer Pontius, Assistant Professor, RSENR

This research spans a variety of research topics with a common theme, providing decision support through the development and analysis of methods that assist decision making for natural resource and wildlife management. I used components of structured decision making and decision analysis to address natural resources management problems, specifically monitoring and estimating the status of harvested populations, as well as data collection decisions for landscape conservation.
My results have implications for the way populations are monitored and their status is estimated. I find that the inclusion of error in data collection can have a substantial impact of the performance of abundance and growth rate estimates of harvest species and that the selection of estimation methods depends on what management objectives are most important. For example, the Sex-Age-Kill population estimation method best estimates the size of populations, while the Downing population reconstruction method better estimates trends in population growth rates. I provide a framework to support selection of the best estimation method while considering a monitoring program as a whole. Based on this framework the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department will obtain the most benefits from a monitoring program including necropsy analysis that uses the Downing method to track population status. Finally, I demonstrate the use of value of information analysis as a tool to determine the relative expected benefits of addition spatial data collection for use in landscape mapping and conservation. This type of analysis can provide conservation agencies with a planning tool to direct budgets and mapping efforts.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

On the Cusp of a Renewable Energy Transition in Vermont? Seminar and Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal Defense By: Christopher E. Clement

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location: Green Conference Room, Aiken 311
Description: Seminar and Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal Defense
Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis of Transition Policies and Pathways
By: Christopher E. Clement
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Seminar: 1pm, Green Conference Room, Aiken 311
Defense: 2pm, Green Conference Room, Aiken 311
Jon Erickson, Professor, RSENR, Co-Advisor
Asim Zia, Associate Professor, CDAE, Co-Advisor
Paul Hines, Assistant Professor, CEMS, Chair
Brian Voigt, Research Assistant Professor, RSENR
With the 2011 Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP), Vermont articulated an ambitious vision to transform the total energy system to support almost entirely renewable generation. The achievement of 90% renewable energy by 2050 will require a massive cross-scale and crosssector coordinated policy effort. My proposed research describes my plan to analyze this renewable energy transition through modeling and simulation, decision analysis, spatial
analysis, and qualitative methods.
Four studies comprise a multi-pronged approach to modeling, simulating, and analyzing policy scenarios and implementation pathways that are part of achieving this transition. (1) The topdown system dynamics model, Energy Futures Simulation, serves as a synthesis platform in which I will implement in-depth analyses of policy scenarios. (2) Using the quantitative outputs
of this system dynamics model in a multi-criteria decision analysis I will provide a more nuanced understanding of the various factors that will contribute toward the design of the carbon tax. (3) In developing a rationale and approach to regional energy shed planning, I will explore the spatial implications of in-state renewable energy generation. (4) Framing the CEP
implementation as a socio-technical transition, I will expand from the technical focus to analyze social, cultural, and normative factors that are critical to achieving a transition to renewables energy system. These efforts draw from diverse theoretical foundations and methods to make a
novel contribution to cross-scale energy systems analysis. I hope that my research will make significant analytical and rhetorical contributions to planning and policy design for an energy transition in Vermont.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"The World Heritage Program: A Laboratory for Linking Nature and Culture" By Tim Badman

Time: 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Location: Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building
Description: As Director of IUCN’s World Heritage Program, Tim is responsible for the assessment of nominations to the World Heritage List from countries throughout the world as well as periodic review and evaluation of management of World Heritage Sites. He works with a network of universities and scientific institutions to ensure these reviews are undertaken with academic rigor and has authored numerous publications that provide guidance and scholarship. Tim has first-hand knowledge of the implementation of the World Heritage Convention and an understanding of its challenges and potential. Currently, Tim is advancing initiatives to better recognize the inter-connection of natural and cultural values and the bio-social character of the world’s most significant landscapes and seascapes. One of these multi-disciplinary initiatives is defining new, integrated methods and practices to more fully acknowledge human rights and indigenous people and their knowledge in managing World Heritage Sites.

Reception immediately following in Waterman Manor.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Gund Tea - Jennie Stephens: Power Struggles: Social Dimensions ofElectricity System Change

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Johnson House Conference Room
Description: As societal expectations for electricity systems evolve, individuals and organizations have different perspectives, priorities, and visions for change. For some, smart grid represents a revolutionary social and technical energy system transition motivated primarily by the urgent need for climate change mitigation and adaptation, while others view smart grid as incremental technical change that limits the need for social change in how electricity is used. Understanding the complexities of these power struggles offers insights on how to align different interests to move toward more sustainable and resilient energy systems.

Gund Teas are a weekly event at the Gund Institute. Each week there is a presenter(s) that will present on their research for 30 minutes, with the remainder of the time open for discussion amongst the group. Open to the public.

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