Wednesday, July 6, 2011

UCB Professor Richard Norgaard

Professor Richard Norgaard is one faculty at UCB whose work I am excited by. He is a founder of ecological economics and an Energy and Resources Group professor.

Among the founders of the field of ecological economics, his recent research addresses how environmental problems challenge scientific understanding and the policy process, how ecologists and economists understand systems differently, and how globalization affects environmental governance. He has field experience in the Alaska, Brazil, California, and Vietnam with minor forays in other parts of the globe.

His research seems to be more focused on the interactions of social systems, science, and governance than on the economic impacts of policies or setting up markets for managing resources. That may just be a more recent focus, though. He has written a lot about a coevolutionary interpretation of ecological civilization. This is the concept that the evolution of a species is the aggregate of the evolution of our values, knowledge, organization, technology, and environment. I am not sure how this line of research can help us evolve towards environmental sustainability or even how to conduct this research in a rigorous way, but it is an interesting concept.

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