Examining methods of ecosystem services valuation to better inform watershed policy

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ecosystem services , watershed , Great Bay watershed , environmental policy , Student Showcase of Excellence 2017
Burford, Klancey M.
Determining use and non-use values of ecosystem services is a task the field of ecological economics has strived to achieve through various methodologies (Adamowicz, et al. 1998; Alpizar, et al. 2003; Carson & Czajkowski, 2012; Garmendia & Gamboa, 2012; Proctor & Drechsler, 2003; Randhir & Shriver 2009). However, there is concern that different methodological approaches result in different values obtained, skewing the results to show either more or less value than the stakeholder actually has toward an ecosystem service (Bateman et al., 2006; Boxall et al. 1996; Stevens et al., 2000). The implication of this is that current use/non-use values may not be accurately reflecting stakeholders' preferences and therefore misguiding ecosystem services policy. Through examining different methodologies of collecting use and non-use values of ecosystem services held by stakeholders in the Great Bay watershed, we intend to test whether different methodologies result in significantly different values obtained (Bateman et al., 2006; Boxall et al, 1996). All work shown is preliminary research as this study will take place in the fall of 2017.