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Newsroom: 2015

CNREP partners with NOAA, CPRA on Diversion Workshop
(October 5-7, 2015)

Representatives of CNREP, along with NOAA, LaCPRA, and Louisiana Sea Grant; have released a joint publication focused on the socioeconomic challenges of diversion project implementation. The 26 page document summarizes the findings of a three-day workshop held on the campus of Louisiana State University in October 2015. The report includes several recommendations, including the call for formation of a socioeconomic working group to identify and prioritize various types of impact assessments related to the use of large scale diversions on the Mississippi River. 

View the full report

Boutwell to Receive ASBPA Student Award
(September 28, 2015)

Luke Boutwell, USDA National Needs Fellow and doctoral Student in CNREP/ DAEA has been awarded the 2015 American Shore and Beach Preservation Association's (ASBPA) Student Award for his paper: "The True Cost of Wetland Loss in Louisiana: Toward the Tipping Point". The ASBPA Student Educational Award is given annually to an undergraduate or graduate student who, through their research, further the state of science of coastal or riverine systems as it relates to the goals and mission of the ASBPA. As recipient of the award, Luke will receive a $500 stipend and present his paper at the 2015 ASBPA National Coastal Conference in New Orleans on October 15, 2015.

CNREP welcomes new LSU graduate students and law interns
(September 21, 2015)

CNREP is excited to welcome their new LSU graduate students and Louisiana Sea Grant law student interns. Not only will these students have the opportunity to conduct research contributing to the knowledge base CNREP represents, but they will get to participate in CNREP 2016 during this academic year, giving them the chance to network, learn from and present to a wealth of experts and academics in their chosen field of Natural Resource economics and policy. CNREP national conferences occur only every 3 years and can have an important impact on graduate students able to participate. Luke Boutwell is a current PhD student with the center and participated in CNREP 2013 and he shared his thoughts on the experience: "The CNREP meeting brings together experts from across the world to participate in presentations and discussions designed to improve our knowledge of how humans interact with their environment. At the last meeting, was able to present my ideas early in the research process, and gain valuable feedback from researchers and professionals who have worked in the field for years. The sessions are timely and address some of the most pressing environmental issues. The format of the meeting also facilitates less formal interactions through the various social events that have grown my professional network and given the opportunity to form relationships with others who are interested in policy and the intersection of the environment and society. CNREP 2016 will offer the same opportunities, and I'm looking forward to participating again."

Check out the student's profiles at:

Water and Financing Sessions to be sponsored by the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy at CNREP 2016
(September 5, 2015)

The Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy has agreed to sponsor two dedicated sessions at CNREP 2016.  The sessions will convene panels of experts to explore the options for financing large scale coastal restoration and resilience efforts including the potential and limitations of looking to water itself as a funding source.  The sessions will focus on coastal Louisiana as the vehicle for analysis and discussion but the scope and value of the sessions will generally applicable to other major undertakings elsewhere.  

CNREP to lead study on Coastal Dredging Economics
(September 1, 2015

Cooperators in the LSU Center for Natural Resource Economics & Policy (CNREP) were recently awarded $422,472 from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for a three year study of dredge-based restoration in coastal Louisiana.  The project, entitled: Economic and Geomorphic Comparison of Outer Continental Shelf Sand vs. Nearshore Sand for Coastal Restoration Projects, aims to provide a better understanding and quantification of the economic, ecologic, and geomorphic long-term benefits and costs of coastal restoration projects.  Dr. Rex H. Caffey of LSU CNREP serves as principle investigator for the project, along with co-principle investigators Dr. Daniel Petrolia of Mississippi State University and Dr. Ioannis Georgiou of the University of New Orleans.

CNREP Researcher authors post-hurricane recovery analysis
(August 26, 2015)

Ten years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast, LSU CNREP researcher Dr. Matthew Fannin has released a report documenting the recovery effort for the state. Due to the unprecedented destruction of the 2005 storm season, recovery efforts traditionally supported by insurance and FEMA were supplemented by a unique set of programs funded through $13.4 billion of Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery, or CDBG-DR funds.

Co-authored with Dr. Stephen Barnes of the E. J. Ourso College of Business, the report focuses on the impact of CDBG-DR funds on three key sectors: housing, infrastructure and economic development. The analysis provides the State of Louisiana with a baseline for future research on the effectiveness and economic impact of federal funds on the long-term recovery in Louisiana. For more information, see:



JOCE to recruit manuscripts at CNREP 2016
(August 1, 2015)

Dr. Charles S. Colgan, of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey has agreed to utilize the CNREP 2016 forum for recruiting content for a special edition of the Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics (JOCE).  Colgan, who serves as editor-in-chief of the new journal, is encouraging manuscripts on the economics of coastal adaption. All abstract submissions will be evaluated for a possible manuscript invitation for the special issue. More information about this opportunity will be forthcoming, but for now you can view the journal website, along with the instructions for authors, at the following URL: http://cbe.miis.edu/joce/

CNREP Announces 2016 Call for Abstracts and Session Proposals
(August 1, 2015)

The Center for Natural Resource Economics and Policy (CNREP) is announcing a Call for Abstracts and Session Proposals for CNREP 2016: Challenges of Natural Resource Economics & Policy, the 5th National Forum on Socioeconomic Research in Coastal Systems.

The conference is scheduled for March 20-22, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana.  This triennial forum focuses on the opportunities and challenges of socioeconomic research and extension in the development and evaluation of coastal resource restoration and management. Potential session topics include, but are not limited to: human dimensions of climate change, risk perception and environmental hazards, valuation and application of ecosystem services, environmental benefit-cost analyses, economic linkage/impact assessment, and comparative assessments of resource management and restoration policy. Basic and applied research, extension-oriented, and policy discussion submissions are all welcome. The deadline for abstract submission is November 20, 2015. The deadline for dedicated session and panels is October 10, 2015. Additional information on the conference is available at: www.cnrep.lsu.edu

Tanger Assesses Economic Impact of Feral Hog Damage
(July 31, 2015)

Feral hogs caused at least $30 million in damage to crops on Louisiana farms in 2013, according to an LSU AgCenter study.  CNREP cooperator Dr. Shaun Tanger has been gathering data for more than a year from Louisiana farmers about hog activity and damage, which ranges from rooting up and eating crops to damaging farm equipment. The hogs can also spread fatal diseases to wildlife and livestock. “Up to this point, we’ve only had anecdotes, so we wanted to quantify how much cost is associated with feral hog activity,” said Tanger, who worked on the survey project with AgCenter forest products specialist Rich Vlosky and wildlife and fisheries specialist Michael Kaller.
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Fannin named LSU Rainmaker
(March 17, 2015)

Matt Fannin has spent much of his career researching the economics behind rural communities. His work has helped improve health access for rural residents and assisted local governments become financially prepared for natural disasters. For this work Fannin, an agricultural economist with the LSU AgCenter and associate professor in the LSU College of Agriculture, was named a Rainmaker by the LSU Office of Research and Economic Development. LSU recognizes Rainmakers as exceptional leaders in their fields who bring national and international prominence to LSU. Five other LSU faculty members were named Rainmakers. Fannin was recognized as a mid-career scholar in in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Fannin said, “It is nice to be part of a great group of scholars working with a variety of interesting topics."
Fannin said the award stems from two of his projects. The first involved understanding health access for rural residents in Louisiana and the nation and developing strategies and best practices for retaining physicians in rural areas. He also looked at ways to evaluate efficiencies of federal programs that fund rural hospitals. The second project focused on helping local governments become financially prepared for natural disasters. Through this research, Fannin said, governmental officials could see the optimal financial preparation they should have and the resources needed for the next hurricane.

Fannin said, “The benefit of these programs is not just research affiliated. Through the LSU AgCenter we’re able to take this research and put it into education programs for local government officials that work with disaster preparation and resiliency and identify gaps between their vulnerability and financial capacity.”

Fannin has been able to extend his research beyond the state’s borders and influence local governments nationwide through his affiliation with the Rural Policy Research Institute. The institute comprises scholars from across the country who provide un-biased research about contemporary rural policy issues and highlight innovate best practice models for rural development in the U.S. and internationally.

Fannin has also helped develop extension manuals to train extension agents and local government officials along with bringing the research into the classroom.
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Group studying rural wealth, development
(April 4, 2015)

Matt Fannin, an LSU AgCenter economist and associate professor in the LSU College of Agriculture, is part of a group that received $500,000 to study rural communities and regional development.

The funds are part of $14 million in grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its Agriculture Food and Research Initiative to support programs aimed at increasing prosperity in rural America.

Fannin said he will focus on measuring and modeling rural wealth for sustained and broad-based rural prosperity.

“In our society, we measure what we value — the number of jobs created, unemployment rate. We want to find more effective ways of measuring wealth, particularly some of these wealth measures that are not traded in the marketplace,” Fannin said.

Fannin leads a team that includes Tom Johnson, of the Rural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri, and John Pender, of the USDA Economic Research Service.

“If we can measure their value, then we have a way to understand how to more effectively invest in those assets and look at how they generate returns,” he said.

Another component of the grant is education. Fannin said the grant will help redevelop curricula around wealth-creation.

Fannin’s work stems from a book he helped write and co-edit, “Rural Wealth Creation.”

“Many rural communities are seeing stagnant or declining populations, and in Louisiana, they often have high poverty, so we need to look at alternative ways to create and sustain wealth,” Fannin said.
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