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Lew D.K.,University of California at Davis | Lew D.K.,University of Washington | Layton D.D.F.,University of Washington | Rowe R.D.,Stratus Consulting
Marine Resource Economics | Year: 2010

This article presents results from a stated preference survey of U.S. households intended to value the public's preferences for enhancements to the protection of the western stock of Steller sea lions, which is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. To account for the uncertainty of future populations under current programs without additional protection efforts, three survey versions were implemented that each present different, yet plausible, baseline futures for Steiler sea lions. Stated preference choice experiment data from each survey are analyzed using repeated, rank ordered random parameters logit models, and welfare estimates are calculated and compared for each baseline for a variety of possible improvements. The willingness to pay (WTP) results reflect positive, but diminishing, marginal utility for improvements in the western stock population, regardless of baseline future: WTP increases for population improvements until the population greatly exceeds the current population, at which point the WTP for additional improvements levels off. Similarly, as would be expected, WTP for improvements to the western stock population decreases as the future baseline population forecast improves. Copyright © 2010 MRE Foundation, Inc. Source

Ebi K.L.,ClimAdapt LLC | Mills D.,Stratus Consulting
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change | Year: 2013

In temperate climates, mortality is higher in the winter than the summer. Most wintertime deaths are attributed to cardiovascular and respiratory disease, with hypothermia from extreme cold accounting for a negligible share of all recorded deaths. International and national assessments of the health risks of climate change often conclude that increased temperatures from climate change will likely reduce winter mortality. This article examines the support for this hypothesis. We find that although there is a physiological basis for increased cardiovascular and respiratory disease mortality during winter months, the limited evidence suggests cardiovascular disease mortality is only weakly associated with temperature. Although respiratory disease mortality shows a stronger seasonal relationship with colder temperatures, cold alone does not explain infection rates. Further, respiratory disease mortality is a relatively small proportion of winter deaths. Therefore, assuming no changes in acclimatization and the degree to which temperature-related deaths are prevented, climate change may alter the balance of deaths between winters and summers, but is unlikely to dramatically reduce overall winter mortality rates. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Morris J.M.,Stratus Consulting | Jin S.,Fort Technologies | Jin S.,University of Wyoming
Journal of Hazardous Materials | Year: 2012

A sediment microbial fuel cell (MFC) was tested to determine if electron transfer from the anaerobic zone of contaminated sediments to the overlying aerobic water could facilitate an enhanced and aerobic equivalent degradation of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH). Results indicate that voltages as high as 190mV (2162mW/m 3) were achieved in a sediment MFC with an anode buried in sediments containing TPH concentrations at approximately 16,000mgkg -1. Additionally, after approximately 66 days, the TPH degradation rates were 2% and 24% in the open-circuit control sediment MFC and active sediment MFC, respectively. Therefore, it appears that applying MFC technology to contaminated sediments enhances natural biodegradation by nearly 12 fold. Additionally, a novel sediment MFC was designed to provide a cost-effective method of passive oxidation or indirect aerobic degradation of contaminants in an otherwise anaerobic environment. In addition, the use of a wicking air cathode in this study maintained dissolved oxygen concentrations 1-2mgl -1 higher than submerged cathodes, demonstrating that this technology can be applied to environments with either aerobic or anaerobic overlying water and an anaerobic matrix, such as shallow lagoon, ponds, and marshes, and groundwater. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Bierbaum R.,University of Michigan | Smith J.B.,Stratus Consulting | Lee A.,Chevron | Blair M.,American Cancer Society | And 8 more authors.
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change | Year: 2013

We reviewed existing and planned adaptation activities of federal, tribal, state, and local governments and the private sector in the United States (U.S.) to understand what types of adaptation activities are underway across different sectors and scales throughout the country. Primary sources of review included material officially submitted for consideration in the upcoming 2013 U.S. National Climate Assessment and supplemental peer-reviewed and grey literature. Although substantial adaptation planning is occurring in various sectors, levels of government, and the private sector, few measures have been implemented and even fewer have been evaluated. Most adaptation actions to date appear to be incremental changes, not the transformational changes that may be needed in certain cases to adapt to significant changes in climate. While there appear to be no one-size-fits-all adaptations, there are similarities in approaches across scales and sectors, including mainstreaming climate considerations into existing policies and plans, and pursuing no- and low-regrets strategies. Despite the positive momentum in recent years, barriers to implementation still impede action in all sectors and across scales. The most significant barriers include lack of funding, policy and institutional constraints, and difficulty in anticipating climate change given the current state of information on change. However, the practice of adaptation can advance through learning by doing, stakeholder engagements (including "listening sessions"), and sharing of best practices. Efforts to advance adaptation across the U.S. and globally will necessitate the reduction or elimination of barriers, the enhancement of information and best practice sharing mechanisms, and the creation of comprehensive adaptation evaluation metrics. © The Author(s) 2012. Source

Morlando S.,Stratus Consulting | Schmidt S.J.,Union College at Schenectady | Logiudice K.,Union College at Schenectady
Restoration Ecology | Year: 2012

Habitat restoration is costly and it is often necessary to justify the costs with evidence of benefits to society. These benefits are difficult to quantify because they are measured in terms of ecosystem services rather than currency. This paper introduces a somewhat novel restoration-related ecosystem service, a reduction in the risk of tick-borne disease, and incorporates it into a cost/benefit analysis of the restoration of a rare habitat. We use a cost-of-illness study to calculate the costs averted by preventing Lyme disease (LD), and a contingent-valuation survey to estimate the benefit of biodiversity protection. The restoration, removal of an invasive tree, reduced the risk of LD by approximately 98%. Cost-of-illness studies show that the restoration would be financially justifiable if it averted 75 cases of LD per year. Given the local LD rate and the visitation rate to the preserve, the habitat restoration can plausibly be justified solely on the benefit of LD cases averted. However, as we do not know how many cases of LD are contracted in the preserve, we also establish the perceived value of protecting biodiversity in a contingent-valuation survey. Results show that residents were willing to pay a significant fraction of the net cost of restoration to protect biodiversity. When these benefits are taken into account, the number of cases of disease that must be averted to justify remediation is reduced. This exercise spotlights an underappreciated ecosystem service that, when appropriate, can help establish the cost effectiveness of restoration. © 2011 Society for Ecological Restoration International. Source

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