The Management and Economics of Resources and the Environment (MERE) group researches topics in environmental and natural resource economics. The group puts specific emphasis on economic uses of the interlinked biosphere and biophysical systems. Applications focus on ecosystem conservation and use; marine resource use and conservation; energy transitions; climate regulation; and intersections of technology, trade and development relating to these issues.
These are all components in the broad societal drive for sustainable development. We use economic tools to untangle the web of interacting, multidimensional environmental and resource risks, needs and impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem services from human activity (incentives, history) and its organization in the forms of its institutions, norms, and regulations.
Analyses of environmental and resource problems involve considerable theoretical challenges and complex causal relationships, including lack of property rights, many conflicting stakeholder interests, and risk and uncertainty. We apply economic theory and tools to policy and analysis to provide guidance for more efficient use of environmental and natural resource goods and services.
In particular, the following economic tools and theoretical bases are widely used by MERE group members: bio-economics, game theory, growth models and other applications of dynamic optimization, models of technical change, theory of market failures, public choice, risk analysis, property rights, spatial models, econometrics, cost-benefit analysis, and uncertainty.
Interdisciplinary research is de rigueur. Bio-economics and spatial models directly require interactions with other disciplines, particularly biology and ecology. Parameterization of environmental and resource models relies on interdisciplinary work from e.g. ecology, biology, history, or law. Further, the public good nature of the environment and natural resources means that most such goods and services are to some extent managed or provided by public managers. These may be at multiple scales, ranging from local to international decision-makers. The development of a back-and-forth with such managers and policy-setters is a key component of simultaneously well-informed and highly-demanded research and effective dissemination.
The MERE group’s efforts for relevance and impact in the broader world include:
- Efforts to establish academic programs and policy meetings that are select and of high quality in the form of a one-week training program with top-level input from SDU and international Experts.
- Development of a select network of experts (policy-makers, analysts, etc.) in natural resource and environmental economics who will contribute to our teaching and public events, with particular focus on Energy (Transition) Economics, Arctic and Baltic Ocean Issues, Marine Resource use and conservation, Ecosystem conservation and use, climate regulation, and technology, trade and development in an environmental and resource context.
- Information outreach for several ongoing research areas:
- Assisting development of an annual alumni-focused event at SDU-Esbjerg and maintaining an active web presence for the research group through the above outreach pages and our twitter accounts, @Mere_SDU and @MERE_ArcticSDU.
- BSc in Environmental and Resource Management (Joint with Aalborg University)
- MSc in Environmental and Resource Management (Joint with Aalborg University)
- MSc in Risk and Safety Management (Joint with Aalborg University)