Multi-Scale Forest Policy

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Award Year: 
2015
Principal Investigator: 
Joseph Maher, SESYNC

This two-part project employs quasi-experimental methods to characterize the heterogeneous benefits of forestry policy in local and global contexts.

Urban Forest Benefits

This project aims to provide empirical evidence as to whether or not shade trees provide direct energy-savings to residential homes in Gainesville, Florida. The three interrelated objectives are to:

  • Synthesize detailed interdisciplinary data, including: (i) multi-temporal household data on energy use, building upgrades, and tree removals; and (ii) multi-temporal aerial imagery and Lidar data.
  • Develop a three-dimensional biophysical model of tree canopy that simulates initial building shade coverage and then shade-loss following tree removals.
  • Use quasi-experimental models, based on the date of tree removal events, to quantify how shade-loss (tree removal) affects energy-consumption.

Protected Area (PA) Impacts

Protected Areas (PAs) are a flexible policy tool used to achieve diverse objectives (environmental, economic, and cultural) that reflect the competing interests of global and local stakeholders. This project examines how the spatial scale of socioenvironmental systems influences the policy objectives of PAs in the Amazon. The objectives are to:

  • Synthesize time-series variables, including: (i) annual carbon loss, derived from data on initial carbon density and annual forest loss, and (ii) PA status in each year.
  • Develop a theoretical model of incentives for local, state, and federal governments to choose PAs objectives based on environmental, economic, or cultural outcomes.
  • Use quasi-experimental models, based on the year of PA designation, to quantify how PA designation affects carbon loss at each level of government.
Associated SESYNC Researcher(s): 
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