GLASSNET News: November 2021
The first, biannual GLASSNET meeting was held on Monday and Tuesday, October 11-12 at Purdue University. Twenty-one people attended part or all of the meeting in person, while 22 people attended virtually. The bulk of the virtual attendance was concentrated during the two mornings, explicitly ‘hybrid’ sessions, although there were also virtual participants engaged in the afternoon sessions as well. The purpose of this document is to highlight the most significant findings and discuss the next steps – listed as ‘Action Items’. This summary is organized along with the major themes that have emerged in the first year of this project. Continue Reading
GLASSNET Website Re-launch
The GLASSNET team relaunched the GLASSNET website with a fresh design early in October. An important new aspect of the site is GLASSNET Features. Each month, GLASSNET will feature a GLASSNET researcher, publication, and tool. Check out our first featured researcher below:
Danielle Grogan is a Research Assistant Professor in the Earth Systems Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. Her work focuses on the role of water resources in global food security and the complex systems dynamics that develop within agricultural water networks. Dr. Grogan also studies the role of winter and cold region climate change in shifting hydrologic regimes, and the intersection of climate and policy in water resource management. Hydrologic modeling and the development of interdisciplinary model systems form the basis of Dr. Grogan’s research methods. She is a Co-PI for GLASSNET and a member of the Leadership Team.
GLASSNET is proud to announce that the Artificial Intelligence for Environment and Sustainability (ARIES) is now a member of the GLASSNET Network. GLASSNET and ARIES have joined forces to produce and deliver integrated, multidisciplinary research related to the SDGs. Continue Reading
Evaluation Criteria for GLASSNET Use-Case Proposals
GLASSNET is positioned to contribute policy-relevant information to decision-makers, especially via innovative policy “uses cases” that span the natural and social sciences. For example, it can combine the latest scientific ecological or climate data with economic valuation and social assessment to help shape policy options and priorities related to sustainable development.
GLASSNET will crowd-source use case proposals from its network and then evaluate them by applying a set of criteria designed to identify those with the greatest potential for impact. Continue Reading
Dr. David Johnson (Industrial Engineering & Political Science, Purdue University) is seeking a postdoctoral research fellow to work on an NSF-funded study of the tradeoffs, synergies and economic costs associated with policies and management practices focused on sustainable agriculture. Continue Reading
Climate impacts on global agriculture emerge earlier in new generation of climate and crop models.
Major new study providing the largest archive of process-based crop yield projections under climate change. This study introduces the metric 'time of climate impact emergence' and highlights that climate impacts are expected to occur sooner, more pronounced, and more widespread than previously expected.
Diversification for enhanced food systems resilience.
Global change and an increasingly interconnecting society are inducing unprecedented hazards likely to prove disastrous for many of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Food systems are at the heart of this challenge and must become more resilient to ensure access to food while also providing livelihoods for a large share of the world’s poorest households
Agricultural Trade and Environmental Sustainability
Global agriculture consumes substantial resources and produces significant pollution. By shifting its production to new locations, and inducing changes in technology and input use, trade has a substantial impact on the environmental sustainability of the world's food systems, but due to suboptimal environmental policy, the exact nature of these impacts is in dispute.
Smallholder Farmers’ Perceptions of Climate Change and Adaptation Practices for Maize Production in Eastern Ethiopia
Climate change and variability is affecting maize (Zea mays L.) production in eastern Ethiopia but how farmers perceive the challenge and respond to it is not well documented. A study was conducted to analyze smallholder maize farmers’ perception of climate change/variability and identify their adaptation approaches and barriers for adaptation in the eastern highlands of Ethiopia.
Upcoming Events & Training
April 7-8, 2022
GLASS Conference 2022: Managing the Global Commons: Sustainable Agriculture and Use of the World’s Land and Water Resources in the 21st Century
Ensuring the long-term sustainability of our land and water resources, even as we seek to meet the world economy’s growing demands, requires informed management of the complex networks of policies, infrastructure, and technologies that connect the food and resource nexus. In addressing this challenge, a global perspective is required to determine the boundary conditions facing decision-makers as they seek to craft policies to ensure a sustainable economy and planet. The goals of the conference are: (i) to lead and to learn from other scholars, policymakers, and industry leaders engaged in the analysis of sustainability challenges at global, national, and local scales, and (ii) to identify current challenges in this space and (iii) contribute to the community-driven research agenda being developed under the auspices of the NSF-funded GLASSNET project can tackles these challenges using collaborative, interdisciplinary approaches that are responsive to stakeholder needs. A special issue of Environmental Research Letters has been commissioned to publish papers emerging from this conference.
Course Format: Online
The GIS for InVESTis a video tutorial series that provides step-by-step guidance related to a variety of geographic information system (GIS) topics for working with InVEST models. Each tutorial covers one topic, and each topic is presented in both ArcGIS and QGIS.
Course Format: Four-week online coursework (February 14 - March 11, 2022) followed by an in-person course at Purdue University (March 14-18, 2022)
The training modules are designed to provide an immersive experience that spans geo-spatial data, model code, and software structures to allow participants to examine real policy problems and synthesize quantitative results while enhancing their own intuition.
Course Format: Online
The workshop will be preceded by a pre-event on Mar 4th and will be based on the MAgPIE tutorials available online and presented by various members of the MAgPIE development team, giving you the opportunity to not only get to know the model but also the team behind it. Sessions will address different levels of experience from absolute beginners to more experienced MAgPIE users and participants are encouraged to select sessions based on their own experience level and interest.
The first, biannual GLASSNET meeting was held on Monday and Tuesday, October 11-12 at Purdue University. The Agenda and Background Materials for this meeting are attached and those interested in learning more about GLASSNET and the contributions of specific individuals and networks to this synthesis are encouraged to read this “Notebook”. Twenty-one people attended part or all of the meeting in person, while 22 people attended virtually. The bulk of the virtual attendance was concentrated during the two mornings, explicitly ‘hybrid’ sessions, although there were also virtual participants engaged in the afternoon sessions as well. The purpose of this document is to highlight the most significant findings and discuss the next steps – listed as ‘Action Items’. This summary is organized along with the major themes that have emerged in the first year of this project.
Starting with GLASSNET week, which took place in May of this year, a major theme of GLASSNET has been the Science-Policy interface. These discussions have been fueled in part by several extremely active members of our Stakeholder Advisory Board, as well as by members of the network who are keen to work on issues that are policy relevant. While the original proposal was largely motivated by global goals and policies such as climate change mitigation and the preservation of global biodiversity, subsequent discussions have focused increasingly at the region and country level. For example, the use case that formed the basis for our brainstorming session on Monday afternoon focused on mitigation of tipping points in the Amazon region, asking what GLASSNET might contribute to solving this grand challenge. This immediately begs the question: Which regions and which sustainability challenges should we focus on?
In the Tuesday meeting with our Stakeholder Advisory Board, an interesting idea emerged. The proposal, initiated by Carter Brandon of the World Resources Institute, and subsequently elaborated on by other participants, involves establishing a set of criteria for choosing the most promising use cases. These include, among others: Does this offer a useful science-policy interface? Is there a global-local-global dimension to this use case? Is there an opportunity to advance our study of the ‘missing middle’/meso layer of analysis (see below)? Are there both important socio-economic and ecological dimensions to the problem? Are there policymakers interested in this issue and capable of engaging with GLASSNET? Is there a theory of change? Carter will take the first crack at drawing up these criteria and others will be asked to contribute their thoughts as well.
With a concrete list of criteria in hand, we will be in a position to crowd-source use-case ideas from the GLASSNET community. Mary Ruckelshaus proposed that we use our highly successful workshop format to screen the use case proposals. We would ask for ‘one-pagers in response to a network-wide call for proposals. The most promising ones could be selected for presentation at a workshop where GLASSNET members would comment on them, ask questions, and then vote on which proposals they find most promising. This vote, along with other GLASSNET criteria, including the focus on early career scholars and under-represented communities, would form the basis for the selection of GLASSNET endorsed use cases which we would focus on in 2022. These use cases would provide the community with an opportunity to strengthen elements of GLASSNET already identified for further development. These include scientific developments to address the limitations of current work bridging micro (grid cell) relationships with those at the macro (national and global) levels, data integration and interoperability, cyber-infrastructure, human capital, including early career development, and broader impacts, and science-policy integration.
Science-Policy Interface Action Item: Circulate criteria for selecting use cases and schedule a webinar for the presentation of potential use cases.
Meso-Level Analysis: The Missing Middle
While Carol Song introduced the term ‘missing middle’ to describe the limitations of current cyber-infrastructure, this term would also seem to be appropriate for the challenge faced by those modeling land and water sustainability challenges. Here, the problem is one of bridging the ‘macro’ with the ‘micro’. The GLASSNET community has strong networks focusing on grid cell outcomes (e.g., CUAHSI, GGCMI, ISIMIP, LUCKiNet, NatCap) and also members focusing on macro-economic dimensions of the global-local-global challenge (GTAP, GlobEcon). However, in between these lies, the ‘missing middle’ – a type of analysis often described as the ‘meso layer’. GLASSNET has yet to define this term precisely, but there was a consensus at the end of GLASSNET week that this layer of analysis deserves greater attention. We had a series of presentations at the second summer workshop (see attached background materials) highlighting the importance of the meso layer of analysis. And it seems that the geography community, represented in GLASSENT by the Global Land Programme (GLP) is making important progress in this area. (See, for example, Patrick Meyfroidt’s presentation in the July workshop. All workshop presentations and recordings are available on the GLASSNET website: https://mygeohub.org/groups/glassnet/learning-hub/workshops/summerworkshopseries ). To make further progress in this area, we will need to focus on specific use cases, such as the Amazon tipping point explored on Monday afternoon. This is also a topic which we will explore in greater depth in the context of the April 2022 GLASS Conference and the ensuing special issue of Environmental Research Letters (see below).
A related point that was raised by Cathy Kling in this session was the potential for drawing on the growing body of economics literature estimating reduced-form relationships between ecological, climate, and other biophysical variables and economic outcomes. Can these be used to extend the range of ecosystem services covered? Can they also provide insight into the ‘missing middle’ and how this is shaped by institutions and other socio-economic considerations?
Action Items for Meso-Level Research:
- Identify use cases where the interactions between micro-and macro- can be further explored.
- Contribute a session to the April 2022 GLASS Conference
- Integrate findings from reduced-form econometric models
Data Integration and Interoperability
Firstly, it is important to note that, based on the survey, and subsequent vote by participants in the May GLASSNET week, this is the topic is front and center on GLASSNET members’ minds. Hence this was the focal point of the first summer workshop (https://mygeohub.org/groups/glassnet/learning-hub/workshops/summerworkshopseries ).
GLASSNET adheres to the FAIR principles. All data gathered and generated by members should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reproducible. The consensus is that members are doing well with the F and A elements, but are struggling with the I and R elements of FAIR. These need to form the focus of our efforts. Interoperability in particular received considerable attention during the meeting. Danielle Grogan led the discussion of this topic at the Biannual Meeting and opened with the observation, based on the collaboration experiences of the WBM group at the University of New Hampshire, that a
first step towards interoperability is to get the members of the community talking to one another. It is only through such dialogue that scientists from different disciplines will begin to understand what is required for interoperability. This has important implications for GLASSNET, which seeks to foster such collaborations through early career scholar exchanges, workshops and conferences. Creating opportunities for informal dialogue at these events is important.
When thinking about interoperability, it is useful to highlight some success stories and seek to learn from them. One of these that surfaced frequently during the discussions is the firm ‘data handshake’ between the community of climate modelers and those working with crop models to determine agricultural impacts of climate change. It has been greatly facilitated by AgMIP, the Agricultural Model Intercomparison Project. This is a network of scientists that has been very active over the past decade. Indeed, several of network members of GLASSNET emerged in the context of AgMIP (GGCMI and GlobEcon). How can this type of data handshake be extended to other communities within GLASSNET? One example of how this was extended to the global economic modeling community is discussed below under the Cyber Infrastructure theme via the so-called “AgMIP Tool” on the GeoHub.
An important element of data integration and interoperability is the idea of standards. A number of participants felt strongly that GLASSNET represents a unique opportunity to establish standards to which others might also choose to adhere. By communicating these standards to funding agencies, data repositories, and journals, these might gradually become the ‘coin of the realm’. However, others felt this was too ‘top down’, also noting that GLASSNET is new and does not yet represent all the members of the relevant communities of practice. Two related points were also raised in this discussion: (a) data provenance – often we do not know where the data originate – are the observations or model outputs? And (b) are the data being used ‘fit for purpose? Often data is used for inappropriate purposes, perhaps due to a lack of information about data provenance.
Incentives are also key to making data more widely available and improving documentation. Michael Witt emphasized the importance of publishing the data with a digital object identifier (DOI). This is something that the GeoHub offers and GLASSNET will encourage the publication of data and workflows on the GeoHub with a DOI. Gerhard Klimeck, NanoHub Director, noted that they now have developed a tie with Thomson-Reuters so that they pick up publications from the NanoHub and ensure that they are widely available for citation. Additional incentives for those providing data and tools on the GeoHub could be offered by having annual nominations for GLASSNET Research Fellows in recognition of outstanding contributions to data, tools, and applications. These might come with funding to participate in an early-career scholar exchange or conference. We might also consider an award for the best paper featuring a transdisciplinary investigation of global-local-global phenomena.
Action Items for Data Integration and Interoperability:
- Establish a working group to investigate the feasibility and advisability of GLASSNET data standards. If deemed appropriate, what should such standards entail?
- Establish an awards committee to develop criteria for GLASSNET Research Fellow and Best Paper awards.
Carol Song led the discussion on Cyber Infrastructure. Carol is PI for the NSF projects which have funded development of the GeoHub (https://mygeohub.org/ ). GLASSNET was designed with the GeoHub at its center – providing a vehicle for the sharing of data and models as well as a vehicle for facilitating interoperability across different models and data bases. As noted above, it is where the AgMIP tool resides (https://mygeohub.org/tools/agmip ). This is the most widely used tool on the GeoHub, facilitating data interoperability between the climate and crop modelling communities, on the one hand, and the global economic modelers on the other hand. USDA has recently provided funding to Kansas State University for GLASSNET member, Prof. Nelson Villoria to update this tool to reflect the latest results from the climate and crop modelers. This fits nicely with Carol’s vision for the GeoHub. Her team will never have the resources to develop all the tools themselves. But they can provide a platform for others to do so, with funding from diverse sources.
Another excellent example of how the GLASSNET community can benefit from the GeoHub is offered by the Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison project (GGCMI), led by GLASSNET member Christoph Mueller, offers a tool allowing members to upload their crop modeling results to the GeoHub, validate them, and compare their findings those of others in the community.
While it did not receive a great deal of attention during the meeting, another important use of the GeoHub involves the linking of models across networks. This idea, and a progress report, was offered by Danielle Grogan in her presentation at the September, Cyber Infrastructure workshop (https://mygeohub.org/groups/glassnet/learning-hub/workshops/summerworkshopseries ). In collaboration with Iman Haqiqi, the two are linking the global Water Balance Model of hydrology to the SIMPLE-G gridded global model of agriculture, land use, and the environment. In the process, they have had to come to grips with issues of data interoperability, conceptual differences between the two communities, and practical questions of data transfer and model convergence criteria. This is truly a transdisciplinary effort.
What is the next database and tool which could aid in the transdisciplinary research that GLASSNET aims to promote? There was great interest in the InVEST model and associated databases that have been developed by the NatCap community to estimate changes in ecosystem services in the wake of land-use change. The good news is that NatCap personnel have already succeeded in getting InVEST running on the GeoHub. The next step is to determine what databases are needed. This will be largely driven by the emerging use cases (see the previous discussion of this point).
A final important use of the GeoHub will be to aid in mapping the GLASSNET network of networks. This is something that the NanoHub has done in the past and it is something that surfaces in the GLASSNET Evaluation section (see below).
Action Items for Cyber Infrastructure
- Establish a working group to support the use of the InVEST modeling suite on the GeoHub
- Develop scripts to allow for mapping of the GLASSNET network members via the GeoHub
- Continue to support model linking exercises, starting with the WBM-SIMPLE-G linkage
Developing Human Capital
Mary Ruckelshaus, Dominique van der Mensbrugghe and Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer led the discussion of human capital. Developing the next generation of leaders undertaking international, trans-disciplinary research into sustainability challenges is a core mission of GLASSNET. We have a variety of tools available for advancing this objective, including courses, conferences, early-career scholar exchanges, and monthly workshops.
There was considerable enthusiasm for courses introducing non-specialists (i.e., individuals with different disciplinary backgrounds) to widely used modeling frameworks within GLASSNET (e.g., InVEST, GTAP, SIMPLE-G, WBM). In some cases, these courses already exist (InVEST, SIMPLE-G). In other cases, they are yet to be developed. We plan to encourage such developments. Dominque van der Mensbrugghe, GTAP Director, suggested a format for a one-day course introducing non-economists to GTAP. This was met with a positive response.
On the conference front, we plan to target the American Geophysical Union meetings in 2022 (to be held in Chicago) for a major GLASSNET roll-out. Michael Witt, Danielle Grogan, Matt Huber, and Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer agreed to lead this initiative. It will involve putting in a proposal for a full-day ‘new initiative’ session which will entail presentations, posters, mentoring, and other activities around GLASSNET. The due dates for abstracts and session proposals will be late Spring, with the meetings taking place in December. There was also interest in creating a more intensive conference experience along the lines of a ‘summer school’ or a more extended workshop experience. Carsten Meyer and Christoph Mueller will lead an investigation of this option for an immersive, transdisciplinary experience.
Several important items that were somewhat short-changed due to time constraints were monthly workshops, early career scholar exchanges, and undergraduate research (which is currently underway in several lab groups at Purdue and Stanford). These will be taken up in detail in our next GLASSNET leadership meeting, although some important workshop ideas for 2022 have already surfaced (see above).
Finally, as part of our efforts to map the GLASSNET community, we would like to identify less connected communities, regions and disciplines to which we can reach out to make this network more complete and more effective. One area where an initiative is already underway is an outreach to the GeoScience Alliance, led by SAB member Diana Dalbotten. Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer will involve members of this group of early-career Native American scientists involved in the AGU 2022 meetings.
Action Items for Human Capital
- Advertise upcoming short courses to the GLASSNET network (e.g., SIMPLE-G, InVEST)
- Develop new courses suitable for non-specialists (e.g., GTAP for beginners)
- Develop a plan and proposals for GLASSNET events at the AGU 2022 meetings in Chicago
- Develop a proposal for a GLASSNET summer school or intensive workshop
- Advertise international early-career scholar exchange opportunities for 2022
- Develop a plan for early-career scholar participation in GLASSNET workshops in 2022
- Identify less connected communities, regions, and disciplines that could benefit from integration into GLASSNET
- Develop a slot on the GeoHub to feature undergraduate research
GLASSNET member Raquel Asencio, an expert in the evaluation of networks and their functioning, challenged the group to address the following core questions: What will GLASSNET success look like? How will we know when we have achieved it? She laid out the following components of program evaluation and proposed a first cut at each of these items.
1) Determine high-level objectives for GLASSNET
2) Agree on a theory of change
3) Specify the success criteria
4) Gather data on the relevant metrics
5) Interpret the data to determine if success criteria are met
The good news is that, based on surveys undertaken during GLASSNET week, it appears that there is broad agreement/buy-in on the overall goals of GLASSNET. However, it was agreed that we have a lot of work to do in mapping our membership, their areas of expertise, touchpoints between the networks, and the identification of key gaps. Raquel also pressed the group on the question of transdisciplinarity – what does this mean to us? And is it sufficient to simply share data? A deeper level of connection and collaboration is clearly required. How can we foster this? The GLASSNET Leadership will meet with Raquel to begin to address the deficiencies in our program evaluation plan.
Action Items for Evaluation of GLASSNET
- Work with GeoHub team to implement a strategy for mapping the network
- Review Theory of Change, Goal Hierarchy and Success Criteria proposed by Raquel Asencio
- The layout of the plan for data collection to permit evaluation of GLASSNET
Tom Hertel led the discussion of governance which began with a discussion of adding additional networks to GLASSNET. This question is timely, as we were recently approached by the FABLE Consortium about their joining GLASSNET. It was agreed that any new member networks should share the same goals with GLASSNET (see table below for the goal alignment of current members). New members should adhere rigorously to the FAIR principles with respect to sharing of data and models. Furthermore, there was a strong interest in understanding the mutual benefit which might arise from the enlarged network. The FABLE network appears to meet all of these conditions. They also bring country-level engagement aimed at achieving the UN SDGs. On their side, they are very interested in accessing data, models, and collaborations with current GLASSNET members. They hope to make use of the GeoHub for wider access to their own models – most notably the FABLE Calculator. GLASSNET Leadership will follow up on FABLE’s inquiry with a letter asking for a formal request, including goal alignment, once FABLE staff has conferred with their own membership.
Other important governance topics include data sharing and authorship protocols. These were addressed in a presentation to AccelNet Co-PIs early this year by a group that has pioneered best practices on these topics: https://lagoslakes.org/cont-limno-team-policies/. The GLASSNET group was happy with the data protocol as described there, although it may need to be modified slightly. The authorship policy laid out by this group was also well-received – particularly by early-career scholars. Iman Haqiqi agreed to lead an initiative to tailor the LAGOS authorship policy to GLASSNET needs.
Action Items for GLASSNET Governance
- Issue an invitation to the FABLE Consortium to apply for GLASSNET membership
- Publish in the website the criteria applied when considering additional network membership
- Develop data and publication protocols for GLASSNET, to be published on the website
GLASSNET is proud to announce that the Artificial Intelligence for Environment and Sustainability (ARIES) is the newest member of the GLASSNET Network.
GLASSNET and ARIES have joined forces to produce and deliver integrated, multidisciplinary research related to the SDGs; support data and model integration to achieve the FAIR Principles, and build an international network of institutions and scientists to more quickly accomplish societal transitions to sustainability .
Ken Bagstad, Research Economist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and member of the ARIES team, has had an active role in the GLASSNET Summer Workshop Series and contributed on behalf of ARIES during the GLASSNET Biannual meeting. Bagstad will now serve on the GLASSNET Science Committee.
“We are excited to add the expertise in the areas of data and model integration through artificial intelligence that ARIES offers. Their tools specializing in semantics and machine reasoning in support of interoperability will contribute greatly to the GLASSNET overarching goal and complement the offerings of our GLASSNET networks well,” Tom Hertel, GLASSNET Director, said.
GLASSNET is positioned to contribute policy-relevant information to decision-makers, especially via innovative policy “uses cases” that span the natural and social sciences. For example, it can combine the latest scientific ecological or climate data with economic valuation and social assessment to help shape policy options and priorities related to sustainable development. GLASSNET is also designed to draw from the most policy-relevant local knowledge while providing context, boundary conditions, and lessons from global trends.
However, given the enormous potential scope of such SDG-related challenges, GLASSNET needs to prioritize where and how it extends its efforts. To do this, we propose a rating system that will help the GLASSNET community rank use case proposals and allocate its resources. Both the rating system itself and the results gleaned from applying it to any batch of proposals will be of interest to potential funders who also seek to maximize their impact.
GLASSNET will crowd-source use case proposals from its network and then evaluate them by applying a set of criteria designed to identify those with the greatest potential for impact. It is proposed that this list of eight criteria be ranked on a scale of 1-5 for each proposal.
i. Relevance to the GLASSNET mandate of contributing critical natural and social science analysis to achieving the SDGs (especially those related to land and water).
ii. Clear connection between the local and global dimensions of the issue. We are particularly interested in cases where global drivers are demonstrably resulting in local stresses, and where local responses feedback to the regional and possibly national/global levels.
iii. Demonstrated interest on the part of policy decision-makers, and engagement of all relevant stakeholders.
iv. Potential impact, demonstrated through a theory of change.
v. Potential impact beyond the use case, i.e., could be scaled up elsewhere.
vi. Clear and useful science-policy interface.
vii. Project is innovative (e.g., proposes a novel approach or addresses a novel topic).
viii. Project is practical (e.g., sufficient data, team composition, analytically feasible, and can be completed within 24 months).
The evaluation will be done in two rounds. An initial evaluation of all proposals lead to a shortlist to be presented and discussed at a workshop, out of which the top proposals would be ultimately selected. Upon selection, these GLASSNET use cases will be provided with accelerated access to project resources, including advice from the Leadership Committee, early-career scholar exchanges, and GeoHub tools and data. They will also be featured on the website and promoted with the Stakeholder Advisory Board and across the network in order to identify appropriate sources of funding. As findings become available, GLASSNET will convene its membership to provide feedback to the use case team.
Dr. David Johnson (Industrial Engineering & Political Science, Purdue University) is seeking a postdoctoral research fellow to work on an NSF-funded study of the tradeoffs, synergies and economic costs associated with policies and management practices focused on sustainable agriculture (https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1855937). The project emphasizes cross-system and cross-scale impacts, such as how demand for biobased energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions contributes to cross-system (e.g., nitrate leaching and groundwater depletion) and cross-scale (e.g., indirect land-use change) externalities. The postdoc will be primarily supervised by Prof. Johnson but will also work with Dr. Thomas Hertel and other agricultural economists and high-performance computing specialists at Purdue University, hydrologists at the University of New Hampshire, and agronomists at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Using a multi-model, gridded representation of global agriculture and hydrology, they will design experiments to analyze the impacts of various policies (e.g., nitrogen management practices, restrictions on groundwater withdrawals for irrigation) to identify combinations of policies that achieve sustainability objectives while minimizing negative impacts. Networking and professional development opportunities will be facilitated through participation in the NSF-funded GLASSNET (Global-Local-Global Analysis of Systems Sustainability Network of Networks); more information is available at https://mygeohub.org/groups/glassnet.
A successful applicant should have experience with multi-criteria decision analysis, spatial optimization, and the challenges of designing policy experiments with complex models. At the time of appointment, applicants should have a PhD in systems engineering, agricultural and/or applied economics, policy analysis, or a related field. Experience in methods for decision-making under uncertainty, surrogate modeling, and GIS analysis are also desirable. To apply, please submit a CV, graduate transcript, statement of interest addressing your experience in these areas, and names and email addresses of three references, to email@example.com.
The position will start as soon as a suitable applicant is identified, with an anticipated end date of July 31, 2023; further renewal depends on performance and the availability of funds. The salary will be commensurate with training and experience.