Dana Marie Bauer
Department of Earth and Environment
685 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
GE540 -- Ecosystem Services [syllabus]
GE550 -- Modeling Environmental and Social Systems [syllabus]
GE375 -- Introduction to Quantitative Environmental Modeling [syllabus]
GE460/660 -- Resource Economics and Policy [syllabus]
Ecosystem services are the benefits that humans derive from nature. Many of these services are critical for
human survival. My research applies economic and ecological theory in the assessment of ecosystem services
and the analysis of those policies and programs that aim to protect them. I use a variety of data analysis
and simulation modeling techniques that integrate ecology and economics to better understand how human behavior
influences and is influenced by natural ecosystems. Results from my research inform natural resource users,
managers, and policy makers of the direct and indirect benefits arising from natural systems and elucidate the
potential tradeoffs among multiple ecosystem services and between ecosystem services and marketed goods. My
current research extends across two broad areas: (1) conservation and management of ecosystem services within
regions experiencing urbanization pressures, and (2) conservation and management of ecosystem services provided
to agriculture by mobile organisms (e.g., birds, bats, and bees).
Ecosystem Services in Urbanizing Areas
My first broad area of research investigates the economic value of ecosystem services provided by wetlands
and other terrestrial open spaces and analyzes the effectiveness of various policies in conserving these
resources. In particular, my research assesses the cost-effectiveness of wetland and other land-use regulations
for conserving wetland species (e.g., amphibians) that act as indicators for healthy wetland ecosystems.
Conservation difficulties are encountered because many wetlands are small, temporary features (e.g., vernal
pools) that individually are insignificant but en masse provide substantial benefits. My research shows that
because ecological structure and function extend beyond the physical boundaries of wetlands into and across the
terrestrial upland matrix, it becomes necessary to provide some level of protection to these intervening lands.
- Cost-Effective Conservation of Wetland Species
- Spatial Modeling of Wildlife Conservation in Exurban Communities
- Valuation of Green-Space Amenities along an Urban-to-Rural Gradient
Ecosystem Services Provided by Mobile Organisms
My second broad area of research investigates the unique contribution of ecosystem services provided by mobile
organisms (e.g., pollination and pest control) as inputs to the agricultural production process. Widespread
habitat destruction and agricultural intensification have resulted in declines in the populations of many wild
species including pollinators and natural enemies, raising concerns regarding potential risks to global food
security. These ecosystem services are particularly interesting because they involve rival but non-exclusive
spatial spillovers in that farmers are not able to prevent the organisms from leaving their property and, thus,
are not able to fully capture the benefits of on-farm management activities (e.g., restoring natural habitat).
This creates an incentive for farmers to under-supply these services on their own land. My research improves
our understanding of the magnitude of this market failure and what portion of that market failure may be
“internalized” by conservation policies and programs. My research in this area is occurring at two different,
but linked, scales of analysis: (1) a macroeconomic analysis of the impacts of potential pollinator declines on
global crop production and trade, and (2) microeconomic analyses of individual grower decision making that
incorporates the spatial aspects of ecosystem services provided through on-farm and off-farm natural areas, as
well as the substitutability of purchased inputs (e.g., managed insects). Highlights include:
- Welfare Impacts of Pollinator Declines on Agriculture and Global Trade
- Reliance on Wild versus Managed Pollination Services in U.S. and World Agriculture
- Predicting Pollination Services in Cranberry Bogs
- Impacts of Pest-Control Services Provided by Bats to Pecan Production
Research Opportunties for Students
I am currently seeking applicants for a graduate research assistantship (PhD preferred) in natural resource
economics and ecological-economic modeling to begin study in the 2014/15 academic year. The student will join
a newly funded interdisciplinary team of ecologists and economists conducting research on the management of
small natural features with large ecosystem functions in urbanizing landscapes. In northeastern forests, vernal
pools provide an excellent model system for this research. The project will couple spatially explicit ecological
and economic data and models within a dynamic system simulation model to examine the interactions between
regulator, community, and landowner decision-making and the resulting landscape impacts on vernal pool species
and broader scale ecosystem function. Ideally, applicants will have a background in both economics and ecology, but
highly motivated students with background in one discipline are encouraged to apply.
Working Papers/Manuscripts in Review:
Bauer, D.M., and I. Sue Wing. The macroeconomic cost of catastrophic pollinator declines.
Bauer, D.M., S.K. Swallow, P. Liu, and R.J. Johnston. Do exurban communities want more
Mann, M.L., R.K. Kaufmann, D.M. Bauer, S. Gopal, M. Nomack, J. Womack, K. Sullivan, and B.S. Filho.
Pasture conversion and competitive land rents in the Amazon.
Bauer, D.M., and S.K. Swallow. 2013. Conserving metapopulations in human-altered landscapes at the
urban-rural fringe. Ecological Economics 95:159-170.
Bauer, D.M., and R.J. Johnston. 2013. The economics of rural and agricultural ecosystem services:
purism versus practicality. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 42(1):iii-xv.
Bauer, D.M. 2013. Valuation of pollination services: a comparison of approaches. In Ninan, K.N., ed.
Valuing Ecosystem Services: Methodological Issues and Case Studies. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar
Johnston, R.J., S.K. Swallow, D.M. Bauer, E. Uchida, and C.M. Anderson. 2013. Connecting ecosystem
services to land use: implications for valuation and policy. In Duke, J.M., and J.Wu, eds. The Oxford
Handbook of Land Economics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
Nalepa, R.A., and D.M. Bauer. 2012. Marginal lands: the role of remote sensing in constructing landscapes
for agrofuel development. Journal of Peasant Studies 39(2):403-422.
Mann, M.L., R.K. Kaufmann, D.M. Bauer, S. Gopal, J.G. Baldwin, and M. Vera-Diaz. 2012. Ecosystem service
value and agricultural conversin in the Amazon: implications for policy intervention. Environmental
and Resource Economics 53:279-295.
Kunz, T.H., E. Braun de Torrez, D.M Bauer, T.A. Lobova, and T.H. Fleming. 2011. Ecosystem services
provided by bats. The Year in Ecology and Conservation, R.A. Ostfeld and W.H. Schlesinger, eds.
Special issue, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1223:1-38.
Bauer, D.M., and I. Sue Wing. 2010. Economic consequences of pollinator declines: A synthesis.
Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 39:368-383.
Mann, M.L., R.K. Kaufmann, D. Bauer, S. Gopal, M.D.C. Vera-Diaz, D. Nepstad, F. Merry,
J. Kallay, G.S. Amacher. 2010. The economics of cropland conversion in Amazonia: the
importance of agricultural rent. Ecological Economics 69:1503-1509.
Bauer, D.M., P.W.C. Paton, and S.K. Swallow. 2010. Are wetland regulations cost-effective
for species protection? A case study of amphibian metapopulations. Ecological Applications
Bauer, D.M., S.K. Swallow, and P.W.C. Paton. 2010. Cost-effective conservation of wetland
species in exurban communities: a spatial analysis. Resource and Energy Economics 32:180-202.
Johnston, R.J., S.K. Swallow, D.M. Bauer, and L.D. Philo. 2006. Support for conservation
policies and values for conservation: are they related? Chapter 12 in Johnston, R.J. and
S.K. Swallow, eds. Economics and Contemporary Land-Use Policy: Development and Conservation
at the Rural-Urban Fringe. Washington, DC: RFF Press.
Bauer, D.M., N.A. Cyr, and S.K. Swallow. 2004. Public preferences for compensatory
mitigation of salt marsh losses: a contingent choice of alternatives. Conservation Biology
Johnston, R.J., S.K. Swallow, D.M. Bauer, and C.M. Anderson. 2003. Preferences for
residential development attributes and support for the policy process: implications for
management and conservation of rural landscapes. Agricultural and Resource Economics
Review 32(1): 65-82.
Johnston, R.J., S.K. Swallow, T.J. Tyrrell, and D.M. Bauer. 2003. Rural amenity values
and length of residency. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 85(4): 1009-1024.
Johnston, R.J., S.K. Swallow, and D.M. Bauer. 2002. Spatial factors and stated preference
values for public goods: considerations for rural land development. Land Economics