Research and Education Projects
Spatial Ecosystem Services Analysis, Modeling, and Evaluation (SESAME)
The Spatial Ecosystem Services Analysis, Modeling, and Evaluation (SESAME) project will improve techniques for estimating the presence and value of ecosystem services in order to better inform targeting of land conservation efforts.
Most previous ecosystem service studies have addressed the effects of either land conversion or climate change on individual ecosystem services, but have not considered both. This research will incorporate the effects of both on numerous ecosystem services, and explore the subject of tradeoffs and complementarities among multiple ecosystem services shifts. Eventually, this will allow for improved spatial targeting for land conservation to sustain ecosystem services in a rapidly growing metropolitan fringe.
The SESAME project research team is comprised of economists, environmental scientists, landscape ecologists, spatial scientists, and hydrologists. Our partners include local experts in water utilities and forestry from nonprofit organizations and academic institutions. The goal of this project is to produce findings that will inform ecosystem service policy development in the Willamette Valley.
Contact name and email: Heejun Chang, Professor of Geography and Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Portland State University, SESAME PI, firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners/funding sources: Willamette Partnership, Earth Economics, Institute for Natural Resources, University of Minnesota, National Science Foundation
Last updated: 7/24/2012
Additional links: http://pdx.edu/ecosystem-services/about-us
Boise River Basin Ecosystem Services Project
This project will identify and measure the ecosystem services associated with the Boise River Basin (BRB) in Idaho, and develop a collection of literature related to the BRB’s ecosystem services.
To date, an initial stakeholder focus group meeting has been conducted with 30 industry, government, citizen, and academic representatives, and the input is currently being compiled into a report. There is also a team of undergraduate and graduate research assistants working to build a compendium of literature related to the BRB’s ecosystem services. The next phase of the project includes the construction of a data and literature repository (Northwest Knowledge Network) and to further identify existing ecosystem service valuation techniques that can be applied to the BRB.
Contact name and email: Scott Lowe, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Boise State University, email@example.com
Partners/funding sources: Boise State University, University of Idaho, Idaho Rivers United, Idaho National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), Idaho Water Resource Research Institute (IWRRI), and the U.S. Geological Survey
Last updated: 7/31/2012
Ecosystem Services for Urbanizing Regions IGERT
The Ecosystem Services for Urbanizing Regions (ESUR) is an Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) award from the National Science Foundation and a program of PSU's Institute for Sustainable Solutions. It is the first IGERT to focus on ecosystem service issues related to rapidly urbanizing areas.
These are problems so complex that even the best solutions lead to new issues. Complex problems such as these require interdisciplinary approaches and the engagement of community partners to collaboratively adapt solutions. The disciplinary and cultural diversity of the trainees and the supporting faculty enriches the learning experience and promotes the development of innovative solutions that can be applied at local, national, and international scales. ESUR trainees benefit from the insights of community partners in the classroom and in the field through internships and research projects with local, state, and national government agencies, international partners, and business and nonprofit organizations. The ESUR program will train 25-30 Ph.D. students in these interdisciplinary approaches with 22 faculty in its inaugural phase.
Contact name and email: David Ervin, Co-Director of ESUR IGERT, firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners/funding sources: U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station and Mt. Hood National Forest, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, City of Portland, Willamette Partnership, Ecotrust, Portland General Electric, National Science Foundation
Last updated: 8/8/2012
Additional links: http://pdx.edu/esur-igert/about-esur-igert
Portland-Vancouver Urban Long-Term Research Area Exploratory (PV ULTRA-Ex)
The Portland-Vancouver Urban Long-Term Research Area project is designed to better understand how differences in local and state levels of governance and policy affect the resilience of both social and ecological landscapes.
Findings from this research could be used both experimentally and institutionally by cities and metropolitan agencies interested in building integrative approaches to management. Additionally, the results should help to productively break down divisions between social and ecological thinking, and point the way toward an improved understanding and application of factors controlling how human governance affects socio-ecological resilience in urban areas.
Contact name and email: Alan Yeakley, Professor of Environmental Sciences and Management, Portland State University, Lead PI for Portland-Vancouver ULTRA, email@example.com
Partners/funding sources: Institute for Natural Resources, Portland State University, Oregon State University, Washington State University, Reed College, Oregon Metro, and the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last updated: 9/4/2012
Additional links: http://www.fsl.orst.edu/eco-p/ultra/index.html
Regional Open Space Strategy
The Regional Open Space Strategy is an effort to connect the many activities underway to conserve and enhance open spaces that contribute to the ecological, economic, social, health, recreational, and aesthetic vitality of the Central Puget Sound.
This project also aims to develop a methodology for determining the value of ecosystem services performed by open space systems. A toolkit will be developed to analyze the economic and social benefits of open space investments, ranging from improved water quality and climate mitigation/adaptation to increased recreation access and economic development.
Contact name and email: Jeff Raker, Project Lead, firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners/funding sources: Bullitt Foundation, the University of Washington Green Futures Lab (GFL), and the Northwest Center for Livable Communities (NWCLC) of the UW College of Built Environments
Last updated: 9/10/2012
Additional links: http://greenfutures.washington.edu/pro-regional-open-space-strategy.php
Puyallup River Watershed Management and Restoration Initiative
Stormwater and other sources of nonpoint runoff are a threat to Puget Sound water quality, transporting large quantities of nutrients, pathogens, and toxic chemicals into the Sound and its tributaries. This project aims to use improve the ability of cities, counties, and other jurisdictions to effectively participate in the cleanup and ongoing management of Puget Sound through the use of low-impact development (LID).
There are three project steps that will be conducted through the Initiative over the next year: 1) obtain preliminary datasets and establish a relative risk assessment model; 2) incorporate LID research and requirements from the ongoing research at WSU-P and UW-T, and 3) update models/complete risk analysis to construct LID scenarios. The initial result will be a model that examines risk of pre-spawn salmon mortality in the Puyallup watershed and the potential utility of LID.
The result of this program will be a model for stormwater management that can be applied to the Puget Sound region and a comprehensive approach to the use of LID to reduce stormwater and nonpoint source impacts. This methodology is being widely presented to the scientific community and will be presented to numerous management groups in the region, from the Puget Sound Partnership to local municipal governments.
Contact name and email: Wayne G. Landis, Huxley College, WWU, email@example.com
Partners/funding sources: Bullitt Foundation, Washington State University – Puyallup, University of Washington – Tacoma, Western Washington University, Puyallup Tribe, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the cities of Puyallup and Tacoma.
Last updated: 9/28/2012
Additional links: http://www.wwu.edu/toxicology/Puyallupwatershed.shtml
Utilities and Corporations as Ecosystem Services Buyers: Innovative Opportunities for Small and Medium Sized Farms and Rural Communities
This project will investigate and compare how corporations and public utilities can provide funding and incentives to help make payments for ecosystem services (PES) a viable additional source of revenue and employment to support the long-term sustainability of small and medium sized farms in rural communities.
Research objectives will be achieved through a variety of methods, including data inventories, surveys, case studies, interviews, focus groups, GIS analysis, and choice experiments. Project deliverables will provide new knowledge regarding innovative ways in which private and public partnerships could help generate revenue sources for small and medium sized agricultural producers. Potential results on the ground include enhancing ecosystem restoration and stewardship and contributing to rural community resilience. The project began in May 2011 and is expected to end in June 2014.
Contact name and email: Sally Duncan, Project PI and Director of Oregon Policy Analysis Laboratory in the School of Public Policy at Oregon State University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners/funding sources: Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Eugene Water and Electric Board, National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Last updated: 11/13/2012
Additional links: http://www.reeis.usda.gov/web/crisprojectpages/0224567-utilities-and-cor...