Resources Article

Inside RFF: A Look at What's Happening

Sep 24, 2015

RFF Senior Fellow Roger Sedjo has been appointed to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Science Advisory Board on Biogenic Energy and Emissions, whose members provide scientific advice to the administrator and review information for proposed agency regulations.

Leonard Shabman, RFF resident scholar, chaired the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Affordability of National Flood Insurance Premiums and gave presentations on the committee’s report to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. RFF Fellow Carolyn Kousky is also a member of the NRC committee.

Molly Macauley, RFF vice president for research and senior fellow, served on the Presidential External Visiting Committee for the Division of Economics and Business within the College of Earth Resource Sciences and Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines.

RFF Senior Fellow Carolyn Fischer has joined the editorial board of the journal Review of Environmental Economics and Policy. Fischer has also joined the scientific board of Economics for Energy, a private research center.

James Boyd, RFF senior fellow and director of RFF’s Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth, has agreed to serve as a member of the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee’s Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards Review Panel for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur. In this new role, Boyd will advise EPA on the agency’s technical and policy assessments that support decisions on possible revisions to the standards.

RFF Senior Fellow Roberton Williams III has agreed to serve as a member of the Economy-wide Modeling of the Benefits and Costs of Environmental Regulation Panel under EPA’s Science Advisory Board.

RFF Announces 2015–2016 Fellowship Awardees

RFF named the following academic fellowship recipients to conduct environmental and energy research during the 2015–2016 academic year.

Joseph L. Fisher Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

  • Michelle Marcus, a PhD candidate in economics at Brown University, is studying the childhood health effects of local pollution. Her work investigates the effects of gasoline reformulation on childhood asthma and of leaking underground gasoline storage tanks on infant health.
  • Davide Cerruti, a PhD candidate in agricultural and resource economics at the University of Maryland, College Park, is conducting research on air pollution and transportation.
  • Ashley Vissing, a PhD candidate in economics at Duke University, is focusing on competition, matching, and lease terms for shale gas leases.

Gilbert F. White Postdoctoral Fellowships

  • Ujjayant Chakravorty, a professor in the Department of Economics at Tufts University, will conduct work at RFF on a variety of energy topics, including modeling of world gas and coal markets to estimate how US policy affects Chinese emissions, comparisons of quantity versus proportional mandates for renewable energy, and the effects of electrification in the Philippines.
  • E. Somanathan, a professor at the Indian Statistical Institute, will conduct work at RFF on estimating and predicting damages from climate change in the Indian agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

John V. Krutilla Research Stipend

  • Postdoctoral researchers and lecturers Patrick Bayer and Alexander Ovodenko of the Department of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis will use their stipend for work on the local politics and economics of shale gas development and regulation in the United States.

Walter O. Spofford, Jr., Memorial Internship Program

  • Cheng Xu, a PhD student in economics at George Washington University, will spend the summer of 2016 at RFF working with Fellow Zhongmin Wang on Chinese shale gas development and Fellow Jhih-Shyang Shih on collecting energy data in China.

RFF Names New University Fellows

RFF has announced the appointment of three new university fellows: Amy W. Ando from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Catherine L. Kling from Iowa State University; and Catherine Wolfram from the University of California, Berkeley.

Amy W. Ando is a professor, the associate head of academic programs, and the director of graduate studies for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, Urbana. She is on the editorial boards of Land Economics and Conservation Letters, among other academic journals, and has served on the board of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. She has provided expertise to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Agriculture, the City of Chicago Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and other institutions. Her research focuses on species and habitat conservation, both improving conservation practice and understanding conservation behavior and effects.

Catherine L. Kling is the Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a professor of economics at Iowa State University. She was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences and is a former president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. Since July 2013, she has served as the director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State, after having served many years as the division head of its Resource and Environmental Policy Division. In her work at CARD, Kling is undertaking research to examine how agricultural practices affect water quality, wildlife, soil carbon content, and greenhouse gases.

Catherine Wolfram is the Cora Jane Flood Professor of Business Administration at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She also is a faculty director of the Energy Institute at Haas as well as at the E2e Project. The Energy Institute at Haas brings together research and curricular programs on energy business, policy, and technology commercialization with the goal of bridging gaps between economic and scientific energy research and the marketplace. The E2e Project is a joint initiative of Berkeley, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Chicago, made up of economists, engineers, and behavioral scientists focused on understanding the energy efficiency gap. She has served on the board of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

RFF Remembers Sterling Brubaker and Joy Dunkerley

The RFF family was saddened to learn of the death of two of its former researchers, Sterling L. Brubaker, 91, and Joy Dunkerley, 82. Brubaker spent most of his career at RFF, where he made impressive contributions on broad-ranging resource and environmental subjects, as well as more narrowly focused technical topics. His prophetic books about the use and protection of Earth’s resources include In Command of Tomorrow: Resource and Environmental Strategies for Americans and To Live on Earth: Man and His Environment in Perspective, both published by RFF Press.

Dunkerley joined RFF in 1974, after working at the Economist and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. During her time at RFF, she developed an economics-based policy research program on energy in developing countries and coauthored the RFF volume Energy Strategies for Developing Nations. She left RFF in 1986 to serve as a senior analyst at the former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. From 1994 until the late 2000s, she was a consulting economist, working on projects ranging from rural energy supplies in India and Tunisia for the World Bank to global prospects for civilian nuclear power for the Atlantic Council. She received the 2000 US Association for Energy Economics Adelman-Frankel Award for her innovative contributions to the field of energy economics.