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Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center

In the News

Among the five proposals to be funded by the USGS John Wesley Powell Center in 2017 is Accounting for U.S. Ecosystem Services at National and Subnational Scales, of which GECSC Research Economist Ken Bagstad is a Principal Investigator. This is the first proposal accepted by the Center in the field of economics.

Ken, along with Jane Carter Ingram of Ernst and Young and Carl Shapiro of the Science and Decisions Center, are working to build a foundation for a national natural capital accounting system. Natural capital accounting is a tool used to track changes in ecosystem services (the benefits that nature provides to society and the economy) and directly tie these changes to costs and benefits across different economic sectors. This working group intends to compile the data, modeling, and valuation infrastructure to support natural capital accounting for the United States as well as apply it at the subnational scale, within a landscape managed by multiple Federal agencies.

The John Wesley Powell Center serves as a catalyst for innovative thinking in Earth system science research by providing the time, creative space, and resources to promote synthesis of existing information and emergent knowledge.

Our Mission

Our world is being transformed due to climate variability, population growth, intensive land use, and the increasing demands on water, ecological, agricultural, energy, and mineral resources. To address these issues, the Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center (GECSC) conducts research on (1) climatic, environmental, and landscape changes, (2) the geologic framework of natural resources and hazards, (3) ecological disturbance patterns resulting from natural and anthropogenic changes, and (4) the interactions among geologic, biologic, hydrologic, and human systems. This work supports policy and management decisions, the search for new sources of key materials, and the assessment of the combined environmental impacts of climate variability and human activities.

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