Professor Stephen Polasky

CFANS Applied Economics
College of Food, Ag & Nat Res Sci
Twin Cities
Project Title: 
Natural Capital Project - The Earth Economy Modelers (NatCap TEEMs)

The Natural Capital Project maps and values ecosystem services (the contributions of nature to human well-being) and works to integrate these values into public and private decision-making. This group is an interdisciplinary team that incorporates methods from ecology, economics, geography, hydrology, and other fields. They developed the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) model that allows for spatially explicit modeling of multiple ecosystem services under a range of different scenarios. They have incorporated an optimization routine that solves for the optimal land-use and land- management pattern given an objective function for the value of various ecosystem services. They have applied InVEST and other spatially explicit models to a range of questions and performed analyses from the local to the global scale. We also have integrated InVEST with a general equilibrium model of the economy to be able to endoneously model how the economy affects ecosystems and the services they provide, and similarly, how change in ecosystem services affect the economy.

Project Investigators

Justin Johnson
Raahil Madhok
Saleh Mamun
Professor Stephen Polasky
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