Seminar Series 2017-18 Academic Year

The George Perkins Marsh Institute and Jeanne X. Kasperson Research Library announce the 2017-18 Academic Year Seminar Series. Seminars will present cutting-edge research on human/environment interactions taking place at Clark University and are designed to catalyze discussions regarding future research possibilities. Seminars are open to all in the Clark community. The format is a 40-45 minute presentation followed by 15-20 minutes of questions and discussion. Interaction with the speaker is encouraged. Light refreshments will be provided. Please feel free to bring your own brown-bag lunch if desired. The third seminar of the series is as follows:


Ulf Schrader, Technical University of Berlin

"How Saving Time Leads to Destruction of Time-wealth and Environment"
Thursday, February 1, 2018
12:15 – 1:15 pm
University Center, Lurie Conference Room

View our full listing of Marsh Institute seminars »

NOAA Internship Opportunities for Summer 2018 - Student Information Session


The George Perkins Marsh Institute announces a competitive internship program for Clark University undergraduate students interested in ocean, coastal and atmospheric research. This program is sponsored by the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise and the George Perkins Marsh Institute, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. A student information session will be held on Thursday, January 25th at 4:00 pm in the Fuller Conference Room, 4th floor Goddard Library.

Through this program, scientists and managers with NOAA are partnering with Clark University to offer qualified undergraduate students paid summer field internships for summer 2018. Opportunities will be available in NOAA labs and offices nationwide, working in fields such as applied ocean and atmospheric science, policy, and science communication. Each student's summer activities will be overseen by a NOAA scientist or manager, and advised by a Clark faculty mentor. Internships will be offered in natural and social sciences, and are for a period of approximately 10 weeks. Starting dates are flexible, but most internships will begin in June and end in August. Fellows will be selected on a competitive basis, and will receive a summer stipend of $4500. US citizenship is not required in general, but internships in some federal facilities are only open to those with US citizenship or Green Cards.

Available internship opportunities and full application guidelines are available here. Student applications are due on February 12, 2018. We anticipate placing three interns from Clark during summer 2018. Any questions should be directed to Robert J. Johnston, Director of the George Perkins Marsh Institute.

Rob Goble Honored by Society for Risk Analysis

Goble 12/11/2017

"Today, the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) awarded six prestigious scholarly and service awards and named three new Fellows at its Annual Meeting in Arlington, Virginia. ... Selected for their substantial achievements in science or public policy relating to risk analysis and substantial service to the society, the 2017 class of SRA Fellows includes: Frank J. Hearl, P.E., SMChE, from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Robert L. Goble, Ph.D., from Clark University, and Katherine von Stackelberg, Ph.D., from Harvard University."

Clark Honors Undergraduates Who Served as NOAA Fellows

NOAA Fellows

Clark University's 2017 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fellows returned to campus this fall after a summer of research in Massachusetts and Maryland. Their faculty mentors and other attendees honored the four undergraduates at a luncheon on November 8, 2017 on campus. More »

Chris Williams Selected for Top-level Carbon Research Program's Science Leadership Group

Professor Chris Williams, geography, Clark University

Chris Williams, associate professor of Geography and Marsh Institute researcher, will join the North American Carbon Program's (NACP) Science Leadership Group. The NACP is a multidisciplinary research program established to study how carbon cycles through ecosystems, oceans and the atmosphere and to provide tools for decision makers. Williams will help lead efforts to coordinate research programs within and across agencies, informing the solicitation, review and implementation of research proposals, providing an interface with the scientific community conducting carbon cycle research, updating needs assessments, working to secure resources for new activities, and reporting results and accomplishments. Williams will also serve as co-chair for the development of a high-level science implementation plan for the NACP. More »

Brown to Serve on Newton Municipal Electricity Task Force


Halina Brown, Marsh Institute Researcher and Professor Emerita of Environmental Science and Policy, has been invited by the Mayor of Newton, MA to serve on a task force which is developing a municipal electricity purchasing plan that will allow the city to procure better electricity prices and to increase the mix of locally produced renewable electricity. Currently, Massachusetts requires that public utilities provide 12% of their electricity from such sources. Newton activists within and outside the government are aiming to significantly increase that proportion. The proposal to go above the minimum state-required baseline is controversial because it would entail public acceptance of higher electricity prices and would require special protections for people on low income.

Hattis Appointed to EPA FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel


Marsh Institute Research Professor Dale Hattis was recently appointed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an ad hoc member of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) for a three-year term. The FIFRA SAP is comprised of biologists, statisticians, toxicologists and other experts that provide independent scientific advice to the EPA on health and safety issues related to pesticides. Hattis also recently served on EPA's Science Advisory Board Risk and Technology Review Screening Methods Review Panel.

Researchers Explore Ecological Importance of Small Natural Features


Marsh Institute Assistant Director Dana Marie Bauer is part of an international group of researchers exploring the disproportionate ecological importance of small natural features--unique environmental elements that provide significant ecological and economic impacts. The 37 researchers from 11 countries recently published a Special Issue on Small Natural Features in the journal Biological Conservation. Examples of small natural features include temporary streams, rocky outcrops, desert springs, and single large trees, among others. Sometimes these features provide resources that limit key populations or processes that influence a much larger area. Sometimes they support unusual diversity, abundance, or productivity. While small natural features are often underappreciated, undocumented, and vulnerable to degradation and destruction, they also can involve small-scale, cost-effective protection because they are small enough to efficiently maintain or restore, while traditional land-use activities, such as forestry, fishing and grazing, can continue in close proximity.

Researchers Warn of Wildlife at Risk Due to Expansion of Agriculture

An international team of scientists, including a Clark University geographer, has pinpointed the world regions most vulnerable to species loss due to intensified agricultural development. Their findings were reported in a recent Nature Ecology and Evolution article titled "Biodiversity at Risk Under Future Cropland Expansion and Intensification." More »

HERO Tree-restoration Efforts Take Root in Massachusetts' Gateway Cities

Hannah Cormey looks at a tree

For 18 years, more than 100 undergraduate students have received funding from the John T. O'Connor '78 Endowed Fund for Environmental Studies to participate in Clark University's HERO (Human-Environment Regional Observatory) program. In HERO, students conduct research on local environmental issues, gaining skills and experience to help them achieve their post-college goals. More »

Guidance for Stated Preference Valuation Published

George Perkins Marsh Institute director Robert Johnston is among the lead authors of the new article Contemporary Guidance for Stated Preference Studies, recently published by the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. This article proposes best-practice guidance for stated preference studies used to inform decision-making, grounded in extensive input from the profession and the accumulated body of research in this area. Stated preference (SP) methods such as contingent valuation and discrete choice experiments estimate measures of economic value using responses to survey questions. They are only known means to estimate values for changes in many public goods including environmental services, human health effects, and other outcomes for which observed behavioral (or revealed preference) data are not available. They are the only available means to estimate non-use values, or use values associated with changes that fall outside the range of currently observed conditions. Stated preference methods thus have a unique role in policy analysis. This article provides the most comprehensive set of recommendations for stated preference studies available.

The direct link to the article may be found at The University of Chicago Press Journals.