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Spotlights: 2008

Photo of Laura Alayon and Michelle Woodford November 2008
Laura Alayon and Michelle Woodford Named Carolyn Harper Fellows for 2008-2009

Laura Alayon and Michelle Woodford are the Carolyn Harper Fellows for 2008-2009. We are very pleased that David Nussbaum was able to join us for the ceremony.

Laura Alayon. Laura grew up in Bogotá, Colombia, where she studied economics at the Universidad de Los Andes. She joined the M.S. program in 2007 with an interest in understanding the economics of resources management and in designing policies that improve decision-making in local contexts. Her MS thesis is on the economic and social factors associated with violation of fishing regulations in Columbia.

Michelle Woodford. Michelle joined the M.S. program in January 2008 following the completion of her undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Michelle qualifies herself as a feminist and environmentalist. Michelle is committed to improving higher opportunities for all women especially those trying to climb out of poverty. In her field essay, she examines factors affecting decisions of low income single mothers’ to further their education, especially impacts that state policies can have on choices.

Making a contribution to the to the Carolyn Harper Memorial Fellowship

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Photo of Dr. Juan-Camilo Cárdenas October 2008
Dr. Juan-Camilo Cárdenas  (Ph.D. 2000, M.S. 1994) was a Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor of Latin American Studies at Harvard University in fall 2008.

Juan-Camilo gave a seminar on  "Dynamics of Rules and Resources: Three New Field Experiments on Water, Forests and Fisheries" in the Resource Economics Department in October. He is currently Professor in the Department of Economics, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia. He is pictured here between the awards plaques for the Carolyn Harper Fellow and Vijay Bhagavan Teaching Assistant of Distinction Awards--both of which Juan-Camilo received as a graduate student.

Photo of Linus Nyiwul and Mr. and Mrs. Bhagavan October 2008
The Resource Economics Department is very pleased to announce the endowment of the Vijay Bhagavan Memorial Award of Distinction Fund by Vijay's parents Mr. Vrittamani and Mrs. Anuradha Bhagavan. This wonderful new endowment will be used by the Department in years to come to award the Vijay Bhagavan Teaching Assistant of Distinction Award, an award that has been supported by the Bhagavans since Vijay's untimely death in 1996. The fund will also create additional awards in Vijay's memory. Our warmest thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Bhagavan for supporting these very important awards.

Making a contribution to the Vijay Bhagavan Memorial Award of Distinction Fund

camera icon View slide show of The 2008 Vijay Bhagavan Teaching Assistant of Distinction Award

Photo of Linus Nyiwul October 28, 2008
Linus Nyiwul Receives Vijay Bhagavan Teaching Assistant of Distinction Award

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The Vijay Bhagavan Teaching Assistant of Distinction Award >>more

Photo of  Tessa Misiaszek and R.E.S. October 16, 2008
Alumna Tessa Misiaszek talks about work and life after college with R.E.S.(the Resource Economics Society)

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For information on R.E.S. please see the R.E.S. Facebook page

Photo of  Bernie Morzuch September 23, 2008
Bernie Morzuch receives the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member Centennial Award from the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts Amherst

This award was made to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Graduate School. One Graduate Faculty Member was selected from each college and school for this special honor. Dr. Morzuch was chosen to represent the College of Natural Resources and the Environment as an exemplar of the faculty who provide guidance and mentorship to graduate students through chairs and membership on student thesis and dissertation committees. The Graduate School notes that his service "leads our students to achieve great scholarship and provides a backbone of the excellence that is the Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Amherst."

Congratulations Bernie!
Photo of Glenn Caffery and Bernie Morzuch September 2008
The Department of Resource Economics was a leader in  advocating for photo rosters on the UMass Amherst campus. As the fall semester started, Glenn Caffery and Bernie Morzuch are featured in a Boston Globe article on the efforts of instructors to know their students. >>More
Photo of Smokestack July 2008
Design of New Environmental Trading Programs to Be Studied Under $1 Million EPA Grant to John Stranlund, John Spraggon, and Research Partners. >>More
Photo of Barry Field and Geoff Allen July 2008
Distinguished Professors Barry Field and Geoff Allen retired in May 2008 and will remain active in the Department of Resource Economics.

Dr. Barry Field retired after 35 years of service to the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is a distinguished researcher in the fields of resource and environmental economics; the author of popular textbooks on environmental economics, natural resource economics, and environmental policy; and a teacher who challenges his students to think hard about environmental issues. Barry also served as Chair of the Department. He will continue to be a active author and to teach environmental policy.

Dr. P. Geoffrey Allen retired after 34 years of service to the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is a distinguished researcher who focuses on issues related to agricultural and resource production, economic feasibility, and forecasting. Geoff is a dedicated teacher who has played a key role in supporting the growth of the managerial economics undergraduate option in the Department of Resource Economics. He served as Department Chair from 2000-2006. He will continue to be active in the department through participating in research grants and leading the UMass Tax School.

Photo of Colombian experiment May 2008
John Stranlund, Maria Alejandra Velez (ResEc PhD, 2006), and former faculty member Jim Murphy use field experiments to explore individual motivations in small-scale fishing communities in Colombia.

John Stranlund, along with former ResEc faculty member Jim Murphy, led a team of UMass researchers in exploring the harvesting behavior of individuals in Colombian communities that depend heavily on local small-scale fishing. Maria Alejandra Velez (ResEc PhD, 2006) and Maria Claudia Lopez (ResEc PhD, 2007) conducted common pool experiments in five geographically distinct communities with subjects who are intimately connected to a local fishery. The goals of this research are to better understand the use of local natural resources in poor areas of the developing world, and to examine the potential for effective government interventions in these communities. The first results of this effort will be published this year in two journal articles:

Maria Alejandra Velez, John K. Stranlund and James J. Murphy. 2008. “What Motivates Common Pool Resource Users? Experimental Evidence from the Field.” Forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.

Maria Alejandra Velez, James J. Murphy, and John K. Stranlund. 2008. “Centralized and Decentralized Management of Local Common Pool Resources in the Developing World: Experimental Evidence from Fishing Communities in Colombia.” Forthcoming in Economic Inquiry.

This research is one component of a long-standing relationship with the Pontifica Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, and is part of ResEc’s research and teaching initiative in experimental economics. For more about ResEc’s partnership with Javeriana see Colombia Partnership. For more about the department’s experiment economics program see Experimental Economics.

Julie A. Caswell May 2008
Julie Caswell, Professor and Chair of Resource Economics awarded Fulbright grant to Italy
Edward J. Kern March 2008
Congratulations to our newest ResEc graduate!
Edward J. Kern, B.S. in Resource Economics, 2008

For many years, I had contemplated the idea of going back to school and finally completing the necessary courses to acquire my diploma. My degree pursuit began in September of 1981 and culminated this year on February 1st, 2008. As my daughter Brittany was entering college in September of 2006, it seemed likely that she would be a college graduate before me. This reality truly and literally hit home and after some soul searching, I reached out to several administrators at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I asked for their assistance in devising a clear and direct route for me to follow toward graduation. After a bit of bureaucratic red tape and a Winter Intersession Course, I’m honored to stand before you as a “UMass Grad”. Regardless of the fact that I have been on the 27 year plan, I am elated to share this accomplishment with you. Many thanks should go to Dr. Julie Caswell and Dr. Martha Baker, for without their encouragement, support and direction I would not be a graduate today.
All the best to you with your endeavors,
Edward J. Kern, Class of 1985-2008
RE/MAX Executive Realty
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WalMart January 2008
Nathalie Lavoie and Ricky Volpe analyze the price impact on Wal-Mart Supercenters.
WFCR Streaming Audio News Story
Daily Hampshire Gazette News Article