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Libby Lecture

September 19, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Improving Water Quality: Are Economics and the Environment always at Odds?

2019 Libby Lecture by Catherine Kling, Tisch University Professor, Cornell University

Thursday, Sept. 19
3:00-5:00 pm
McIntire Room, Buchanan Alumni House

This event is free and open to the public.

The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 with a primary objective of restoring and maintaining the integrity of the nation’s waters. Comprehensive nation-wide data to assess the performance of the Clean Water Act in achieving this goal is surprisingly lacking. Where data is available, some clear success stories emerge, but progress on water quality goals in the nation’s agriculturally dominated watersheds remains limited. Along with limited data on water quality, there are limited studies of the economic benefits of regulations perpetuated under the Clean Water Act. In this presentation, trends in water quality and the benefits and costs of regulations associated with the CWA are summarized, followed by a discussion of the gaps in knowledge needed for more accurate understanding of the efficiency of water quality regulations. The concept of the social cost of water pollution can help frame the discussion.

Catherine L. Kling is a Tisch University Professor in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and Faculty Director at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. She is past Director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University where she also held the President’s Chair in Environmental Economics. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2015Kling has published nearly 100 refereed journal articles and books chapters which have received over 8000 (google scholar) citations and is the editor of the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy. She specializes in the economic valuation of ecosystem services and integrated assessment modeling for water quality modeling. Her research program has received over $7 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Agriculture, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the US Environmental Protection Agency, among others.Kling chairs the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academy of Sciences and has been a member of six National Research Council studies. She served as president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, has held editorial positions at ten economics journals, and has received seven awards from professional associations for her research. She is an elected Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resources Economists, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association, and a University Fellow at Resources for the Future. She served for ten years on EPA’s Science Advisory Board.

The Libby Lecture in Natural Resource Policy was established at the University of Maine Foundation in 2016 with a gift from Lawrence W. Libby and Lois Murdock Libby. The annual lecture is a collaborative event coordinated by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture. If you have any questions about the lecture or want more information, please contact: libby-lecture-group@maine.edu.


September 19, 2019
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Buchanan Alumni House
One Alumni Pl
Orono, ME 04473 United States
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