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PSU launches Institute for Economics and the Environment
Author: Christina Williams
Posted: January 21, 2014

As impacts of climate, population growth and societal demands have drawn more attention to the intersection between the economy and the environment, Portland State University has launched the Institute for Economics and the Environment (IEE) to facilitate investigation, discussion and training around the key issues facing Portland, the region, and the world.

With a strong focus on the economics of climate change and other pressing environmental issues, IEE will work across campus and with partners in the region and around the world on projects and courses that address important topics such as ecosystem services, carbon pricing, and trade-offs associated with genetically modified crops. 

“This Institute allows PSU to convene and collaborate with communities to take on the many thorny environmental economic problems we face today,” said Randall Bluffstone, director of the Institute for Economics and the Environment and an Institute for Sustainable Solutions Fellow.  “Faculty and students working with the institution will be on the cutting edge of issues that span environmental and economic sciences.” 

To kick off its first year, IEE is hosting a series of events on campus that are free and open to the public. The “Environment, Economics and You” speaker series begins January 29 with a presentation by Angus Duncan, president of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and chair of the Oregon Global Warming Commission, who will provide an update on Oregon’s progress on climate change. 

On February 6, IEE will host a panel discussion, “Should Oregon Take the Lead on Carbon Taxes?” that will feature analysts, advocates, and elected officials examining the potential efficacy of a statewide carbon tax.  After the panel concludes, there will be plenty of time for questions.

IEE is developing short courses on environmental economics analytical methods for working professionals and is running climate change-related projects in Nepal and Ethiopia. 

For details on IEE projects and events, visit