Publications

A Practice-oriented Approach to Foster Private Landowner Participation in Ecosystem Service Conservation and Restoration at a Landscape Scale

Large landscape conservation planning often requires managers to coordinate with private landowners, especially in regions like the southern and western U.S. where private landownership dominates. It is often difficult to design conservation programs that incorporate varying landowner perceptions, values, and ownership objectives. Simple and transferable methods are needed to inform the design of landscape-scale conservation and restoration programs, and we propose that this can be done by targeting ecosystem services (ES) of interest to private landowners.

Plastic Pollution Solutions: Emerging Technologies to Prevent and Collect Marine Plastic Pollution

As plastic waste accumulates in the ocean at alarming rates, the need for efficient and sustainable remediation solutions is urgent. One solution is the development and mobilization of technologies that either 1) prevent plastics from entering waterways or 2) collect marine and riverine plastic pollution. To date, however, few reports have focused on these technologies, and information on various technological developments is scattered.

How a Green Bank Can Drive the North Carolina Clean Energy Economy: A Market Opportunity Overview

This report provides an analysis of clean energy finance opportunities that will accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy in North Carolina. Green Banks have been proven as an effective engine for job creation by leveraging public resources to catalyze private investment, which is particularly relevant in this time of high unemployment.

Options on a Continuum of Competition for the Southeastern Electricity Sector

The purpose of this policy brief is to describe different ways to engender consumer choice, third-party participation, resource sharing, and regional grid management in the power sector, using existing examples from this region. It includes questions stakeholders might think through in these conversations, and fundamentally aims to educate and inform.

Assessing the Potential for Transferability of Access Rights to Enhance Sustainability in Large Pacific Tropical Fisheries

This study was conducted in order to identify options for the transferability of fishing rights in the context of Pacific Island commercial longline and purse seine tuna fisheries. The motivation for conducting this study was to provide information that can assist policy makers and fisheries managers in the region to consider if this policy instrument (enhanced transferability of fishing rights) could support achievement of the goals agreed in the Regional Roadmap for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries. 

2020 Aspen-Nicholas Water Forum Water Affordability and Equity Briefing Document

This paper explores the evolution of water services in the United States. Most people have access to water, most tap water is drinkable, most dams are secure, most farms can grow more with less water, and most rivers are cleaner than they were 50 years ago. Most does not mean all. There is growing evidence that an increasing number of Americans are losing access to safe drinking water and sanitation—and others never had it at all.

COVID-19 Impacts on Water Utility Consumption and Revenues Through June 2020

May and June 2020 data for the eight water utilities in our study show diverging trends of water consumption and revenues as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, with states and local governments taking different approaches and timelines to rolling back restrictions. There are signs of recovery in water consumption and revenues for many utilities, mostly due to high residential consumption and billed revenues, not increased usage from non-residential customers.

Mapping Ecosystem Services for the Southeast United States: Conservation and Restoration Priorities for Water Purification

This methods brief focuses on water purification by natural land cover, which removes nonpoint-source pollutants from runoff water before they reach waterways. This analysis maps natural land cover within the likely flowpaths of water from agricultural areas to waterways.

Concept Note for Sustainable Infrastructure Community of Learners

To aid economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, new funding is being pledged globally to support infrastructure construction. Such investments by themselves, however, will not necessarily promote sustainable development. An opportunity exists to significantly accelerate the adoption of sustainable infrastructure (SI) by taking advantage of the recent proliferation of capacity development programs and tools. One key to achieving this transformation is the establishment of a learning community among SI capacity resource providers and SI capacity resource clients.

Rural Attitudes on Climate Change: Lessons from National and Midwest Polling and Focus Groups

Following a nationwide report of rural attitudes toward the environment and conservation published in February 2020, this report takes a closer look at attitudes about climate change among rural voters. We draw on findings from the national study and incorporate new research with a regional focus on the upper Midwest.