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Environmental Economics Seminar: National and Regional Metrics and Indicators of Final Ecosystem Goods and Services

Date and Time

Thursday 10/20/2016 5:00PM to 6:30PM EDT
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Room 4128, William Jefferson Clinton West Building
1301 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001


Contact: Carl Pasurka, 202-566-2275

Presenter: Paul L. Ringold (Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Description: This presentation concerns research to identify metrics and indicators of final ecosystem goods and services (FEGS). Metrics and indicators of FEGS are biophysical entities that facilitate social interpretation of ecological conditions and change. They are defined as environmental features that relate to those things that directly affect people’s welfare. By definition, FEGS are relatively easily understood by lay audiences and minimize the need for lay audiences and social scientists to speculate as they try to relate ecological outcomes to changes in social welfare. FEGS are used to facilitate communication of ecosystem characteristics to lay audiences, provide more accurate ecosystem valuations, and improve the interpretation of ecosystem valuation studies by decision makers.

We have developed an approach to identify and quantify metrics and indicators of FEGS. The approach starts with the specification of a list of beneficiaries or specific ways in which people benefit from specific ecosystems. We then strive to identify metrics and ultimately indicators for each beneficiary for an initial set of seven ecosystems (streams, lakes, estuaries, wetlands, agroecosystems, forests and coral reefs). We illustrate the approach and the assumptions, questions and challenges involved in identifying and quantifying FEGS metrics and indicators. Our illustration uses a regional data set -- EMAP-W which was a probability sample of over 1000 streams in the western United States. The beneficiaries we use in our illustration are recreational anglers and property owners. We show how information from this probability sample can be interpolated to a map of all streams in the western United States and how empirical models might be constructed to link changes in stressors to changes in FEGS.

Two major groups of scientists are involved in this effort. The first is biophysical scientists at 5 ORD Divisions and at the USDA Forest Service. The champions work with regional and national datasets to represent FEGS for their ecosystems. The second is a steering committee comprised of 5 economists, an epidemiologist and a landscape architect. Members of the steering committee work to ensure the quality of the work, the consistency of the assumptions embedded in it and the usefulness of the work for ecosystem valuation.

This research in funded by the ORD Sustainable and Healthy Communities Program in SHC Task 2.61.2. It also builds on the data and expertise of personnel in SSWR Project 3.01. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Additional information:

For this seminar, an Adobe Connect link will be available at

This link will allow you to view the PowerPoint slides.

The teleconference (audio) connection will be available:  

If you are interested in  a copy of the PowerPoint slides send me an e-mail. If you need to contact me within 30 minutes of the start of the seminar, call me at (202) 566-2275.

  • at the time the seminar is to take place, call dial-in number:866-299-3188
  • the conference code is 0348739696 followed by #
  • this will patch you into the teleconference connection.

EPA's National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE) will host our next Climate Economics seminar on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM in Room 4128 William Jefferson Clinton West (formerly EPA West). The seminar will be 90 minutes in length.  Detailed information is provided below.  Our office is located in William Jefferson Clinton West (1301 Constitution Ave., NW, corner of 14th St. and Constitution Ave.).  If you do not have an EPA ID and wish to attend a seminar please contact Carl Pasurka to obtain access to the building.  Questions?  Contact Carl Pasurka (202-566-2275).  If you have questions the day of the seminar, contact Carl Pasurka at 202-566-2275.

NOTE to non-EPA attendees:  EPA Security requires ALL non-EPA (federal and non-federal) visitors have a contact name and phone number in order to enter EPA West.  As a result, contact me if you plan to attend a seminar.  I recommend non-EPA attendees bring their cell phones and my phone number in case problems arise the day of the seminar.

A teleconference connection (only audio) can be established for this seminar. If you are interested, send me an e-mail message.  If you need to contact me within 30 minutes of the start of the seminar, call me at (202) 566-2275.



    November 1 Climate Economics Seminar
    Topic: “Estimating Path Dependence in Energy Transitions”
    Speaker: Kyle Meng (Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and Department of Economics,
    University of California, Santa Barbara)

    November 17 Environmental Economics Seminar
    Topic: “Does mandatory labeling of outfall points influence pollution and compliance?
        Evidence from a natural experiment in Ohio”
    Speaker: Jay Shimshack (Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, Univ. of Virginia)