Dr. Robert Costanza is the Gordon Gund Professor of Ecological Economics and Director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont (www.uvm.edu/giee). Prior to moving to Vermont in August 2002, he was director of the University of Maryland Institute for Ecological Economics, and a professor in the Center for Environmental Science, at Solomons, and in the Biology Department at College Park.
Dr. Costanza received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1979 in systems ecology, with a minor in economics. He also has a Masters degree in Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida.
Dr. Costanza is co-founder and past-president of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) and was chief editor of the society’s journal: Ecological Economics from its inception until 2002. He continues to serve as founding editor of the journal. He currently serves on the editorial board of eight other international academic journals. He is past president of the International Society for Ecosystem Health. In 1982 he was selected as a Kellogg National Fellow, in 1992 he was awarded the Society for Conservation Biology Distinguished Achievement Award and in 1993 he was selected as a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment. In 1998 he was awarded the Kenneth Boulding Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions in Ecological Economics. In 2000 he received an honorary doctorate in natural sciences from Stockholm University. He has served on the Scientific Steering Committee for the LOICZ core project of the IGBP; the US EPA National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT); the National Research Council Board on Sustainable Development, Committee on Global Change Research; the National Research Council, Board on Global Change; the US National Committee for the Man and the Biosphere Program, the National Marine Fisheries Service Committee on Ecosystem Principles, National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Materials Flow Accounting of Natural Resources, Products, and Residuals; and the EPA Science Advisory Board’s Committee on Valuing the Protection of Ecological Systems and Services.
Dr. Costanza's research has focused on the interface between ecological and economic systems, particularly at larger temporal and spatial scales. This includes landscape level spatial simulation modeling; analysis of energy and material flows through economic and ecological systems; valuation of ecosystem services, biodiversity, and natural capital; and analysis of dysfunctional incentive systems and ways to correct them. He is the author or co-author of over 350 scientific papers (including: Costanza, R. Ecological economics: reintegrating the study of humans and nature. Ecological Applications 6:978-990 (1996); Costanza et. al. The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature 387:253-260 (1997) and Costanza et. al. Principles for sustainable governance of the oceans. Science 281:198-199 (1998)) and 19 books (including: Ecological economics: The science and management of sustainability (1991), Ecosystem health: new goals for environmental management (with Bryan Norton and Ben Haskell, 1992), Getting down to earth: practical applications of ecological economics (with Olman Segura, and Juan Martinez-Alier, 1996), An Introduction to Ecological Economics (with John Cumberland, Herman Daly, Robert Goodland and Richard Norgaard, 1997) and The local politics of global sustainability (with Tom Prugh and Herman Daly, 2000). His work has been cited in more than 2700 scientific articles (according to the Science Citation Index) and he has been named as one of ISI’s Highly Cited Researchers in Ecology/Environment. More than 100 interviews and reports on his work have appeared in various media, including Newsweek, US News and World Report, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, the New York Times, Science, Nature, National Geographic, and National Public Radio.
Marjan van den Belt
Marjan van den Belt is an ecological economist and environmental management professional with ten years of research, executive, and managerial experience. Her area of expertise is participatory processes in environmental management and policy making. She specializes in the use of dynamic systems modeling for facilitation and consensus building among stakeholder groups in industrial and community settings and has international experience with leading multi-disciplinary projects, systems analysis and synthesis. Her Masters in Business Economics (1991) is complemented by a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences (2000).
The title of Marjans latest book is ‘Mediated Modeling; a system dynamics approach to environmental consensus building’. Participatory Modeling is a broad approach and involves all forms of qualitative model building. Marjan specializes in quantitative group model building, were model building is the focus or at least an integral part from the very beginning rather then an afterthought or a way to summarize a collaborative learning.
Marjan is also currently engaged in a big project on energy planning for the state of Vermont. The Department of Public Service has dedicated a webpage to document the progress on this project: