Society must address significant economic and environmental challenges such as poverty, energy security, and pollution of land, air, and water. Policymakers must design policies that balance stewardship of natural resources with the economic viability of industries that harness those resources to meet societal needs. The complexity of these issues makes it difficult to predict the impact of a new policy; the Center’s approach provides important tools to better understand the world’s complex human-natural systems.

The Center’s work will help policy makers design policies related to land, oceans, water, air and ecosystems.   For example, the Center can help policy makers and resource managers answer questions such as these:

  • How do changes in commodity, conservation, and safety net programs affect farm income, local economies, and water quality?
  • How should crop or revenue risk management programs for specialty crops be redesigned to provide insurance benefits with minimal distortions?
  • How would reduced commodity support affect food prices and consumer access to nutritious food?
  • How do water quality regulations influence the economic viability of farming and the health of wildlife?
  • What policies will help farmers prosper in a changing environment?

Some of the models that will be employed include:

  • Regional Spatially-Explicit Land Use Modeling
  • Tradeoff Analysis Model for Multi-Dimensional Impact Assessment
  • Models to Assess Agriculture-Wide and Rural Economic Interactions of Commodity Policy Change
  • Household-level and Community-level Policy Impact Models
  • Regional Computable General Equilibrium Models
  • Multi-regional Urban-core/Rural-periphery Input-output Models
  • Models of Dairy Policy in a Global Context
  • Risk Management Models
  • Crop Insurance and the PRISM Climate Mapping System
  • Consumer, Food and Nutrition Frameworks