View Full Version : Enviro/Resource Economists?
12-14-2011, 03:36 PM
I took some time off from the professional world and have been looking at a career change. When I was in college I interned with an environmental economics firm and I remember liking the work/issues they were involved in. I did take a fair amount of economics classes in college but I dodged all intensive math since my degree didn't require it. I see that as an obstacle..
Anyways, just seeing if anyone out there is in the field or currently in a Resource Econ. grad program and would field some questions? Fisheries/Forestry related focus double points. This board is wicked fucking smart so I figured I would give it a go. Good luck to all of the jobs seekers.
12-14-2011, 04:05 PM
What are your questions? I don't work directly in environmental econ, but I am in applied microeconomics and am familiar with the grad school scene/process.
12-14-2011, 10:39 PM
I recently resigned from my job and headed back to school, in fisheries, and may be incorporating some bioeconomics modelling into my dissertation. Happy to answer questions if I can.
12-17-2011, 12:11 PM
Thanks for the replies.
Shred, what was the highest college level math you were required to have completed for grad school? It seems like it varies depending on the program but I'm interested just the same. When you completed school were you confident with the job scene afterwards? An advanced economic degree seems to have many avenues but I'm wary of a degree that is a short track to working in academia.
Wen- What fishery does your dissertation focus on and what program are you completing? I completed my undergrad thesis on UNLOS and governance of migratory stocks (ie. yellowfin) and it was the first time I enjoyed writing a long paper. Do you have a working title? Feel free to PM me if you want instead of broadcasting.
12-17-2011, 02:50 PM
I didn't do anything specific for resource economics, but I did do my undergrad in economics. Generally economics, espeically at a grad level is extremely math intensive. When you start getting into econometrics, its pretty intense. With that being said, there may be economic programs or sub-program out there where the math is less intensive, but I would definilty have a good chat with the prfos in the deparment and see the course outlines to figure that out. My buddies who went on to grad school in purse economics, all had really good math backgrounds (including doing minors in math during undergrad). One of the reason I left economics was because the math was getting too crazy.
12-17-2011, 04:37 PM
This board is wicked fucking smart so I figured I would give it a go.
Flattery will get you nowhere!
Actually, I never even knew this particular forum existed until I got bored while our toddler daughter was engaging in the ever-so-fascinating activity of deliberately spilling her formula on the floor then requesting a paper towel to clean up aforementioned spill -- repeat as necessary. So when I idly used my phone to check out the new TGR app, this post happened to come out on top.
My background is as follows -- warning, no gnar, no pow, no nekid pics (although maybe some unexpected lycra-related entertainment at around 0:36 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1qp8dALvYM)), but it's relevant to your inquiry:
-- Graduated from college (https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/economics) in 1989 with an economics major, and pretty much all my other courses were related to economics, public policy, regulatory issues, and the like. Took math through multivariable calculus and linear algebra, which was good enough back then to go on to...
-- ... spend one year in a PhD program in economics (http://www.economics.harvard.edu/graduate/phd). (My understanding is that now you need at least Real Analysis to be considered for admission.) But I didn't find the program all that relevant to my interests (i.e., the economy and related economics issues), so despite have a full-tuition scholarship, I went on leave to check out . . .
-- ... a two-year master's program (http://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/masters/mpp) at the same university, at which I mainly kept studying the same applied economics that interested me. I had two separate concentrations: Energy & Environmental Policy and Government & Business.
-- After graduation, I then worked for 14 years at an environmental and economic consulting firm (http://www.indecon.com). At first my practice area was mainly environmental economics in the public policy context, but over time it became more financial economics applied to environmental litigation, especially the enforcement of environmental regulations (especially against alleged industrial polluters).
-- My wife and I then moved away from the Big City. I am now an independent consultant (http://jshefftzconsulting.com/), although I still do work under subcontract for my former firm. My practice is now increasingly financial economics applied to all sorts of litigation disputes, not necessarily environmental at all.
-- Forestry? I've worked on some cases involved the timber products industry, but my background is not specific to that. My wife has a graduate degree from a forestry school (http://environment.yale.edu/), although her focus was environmental management and remote sensing (i.e., GIS).
-- Fisheries? I've worked on some cases involving fishing, especially salmon farming, but once again my background is not specific to that. My wife has a life-threatening allergy to fish, so I eat as much sushi as possible when I'm away from her, but that probably isn't relevant unless this case against BNSF doesn't settle and then I get to fly out to your neck of the woods in a couple weeks and get in some good skiing. (Oh how bare are our New England mountains right now!)
So, I don't know if that's what you're looking for, but there it is...
12-17-2011, 06:03 PM
Okay, I can play the same game as Jonathan S. =
In college (http://www.pomona.edu) I double majored in economics and classics. I graduated in 2004 and wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do, though grad school in econ was definitely on the menu. My grades as an undergrad were only okay, and I had math through matrix algebra and diff eq. But I slaughtered the GRE quant. I took some time off to "ski bum it for a year" - which naturally become multiple years. I threw in applications to some top 10 type doctoral programs and got shut down - and in hindsight I'm not surprised by this.
I then applied to a good local MSc in agricultural and applied econ program (http://www.montana.edu). I completed a good deal of coursework there before taking a job with the government (http://www.irs.gov/taxstats). I transferred to a program with a part-time option (http://http://advanced.jhu.edu/academic/applied-economics/) closer to work. Next semester, I will finally have my degree in hand, plus a certificate from the business school (http://carey.jhu.edu/).
If you're interested in a grad degree in resource econ, I think you should have linear algebra and diff eq - otherwise you will probably be pretty unhappy. PhD programs will want more math on top of that. I've heard that some really like to see real analysis.
The terminal MA and MSc programs seem to have nice job prospects. Obviously, I got a decent job without even having the degree in hand, though starting pay was kinda lousy. Things are pretty grim with the government right now, but I still see pretty good job prospects for myself going forward. I don't know how the environmental space is specifically, but I imagine that the market is similar.
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