Ecosystem Services Valuation to Inform Decisions on Land Holdings
Location: The Dow Chemical Company (Midland, MI)
Duration: Up to two years
The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) recognizes the value of incorporating nature into global business goals, decisions and strategies. A key activity moving forward is the development and application of appropriate tools for the valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Dow has significant holdings of undeveloped land on which management and ownership transfer decisions are frequently made without fully understanding or appreciating their prospective value beyond real estate or development potential.
As a global leader for the environment and business, Dow must gather information and develop tools to better understand and assess the ecological benefits and economic value of its assets and activities with respect to biodiversity and ecosystem services. Doing so will enable the Company to:
- Identify and understand the value or potential value of corporate lands in order to inform decisions regarding acquisition, management, and divestment of property.
- Identify and evaluate opportunities for potential (previously unrecognized) revenue streams derived from appropriate use of corporate lands (e.g., ecosystem markets).
The objectives of this Post-Doc position and project are to:
- Develop an appropriate tool box of technical methods and analytical tools (e.g., ecological/economic models) for the valuation of ecosystem services.
- Apply these methods and tools to Dow land holdings in order to quantify the associated ecological benefits and value.
- Adapt/modify these methods and tools as needed and appropriate in order to optimize technical performance.
- Incorporate the use of these methods and tools into a management (decision-making) framework for land use that appropriately accounts for and prioritizes ecological benefits and value.
This role is within the Global Remediation Organization of Dow. The project will focus on the evaluation and application of analytical tools for ecosystem service valuation to various Dow-owned lands. The evaluation will include identification of gaps in the tools for these specific applications and development of plans to address the gaps. This will include working with Dow personnel and interfacing with tool experts. It is expected that the results will be published in peer reviewed journals and presented at conferences/symposia.
- Work with Dow personnel to determine appropriate land for valuation.
- Develop a toolbox of methods to value ecosystem services and biodiversity.
- Apply appropriate valuation tools and models and evaluate the results.
- Identify options to improve tools and implement where possible.
- Work with Dow personnel to integrate the modified tools into appropriate work processes and decision making.
- Ph.D. in Ecology, Environmental Sciences or related field.
The following skills are required.
- Understanding of the functional relationships between habitat attributes and ecosystem services, including measures to quantify such functions.
- Strong data management and analytical skills including manipulating, analyzing, and interpreting landscape ecology and ecosystem services data.
- Experience applying Geographic Information Systems (including ArcGIS systems) and related software at the landscape/watershed scale.
- Proficiency with relevant ecosystem services valuation models and tools.
- A working knowledge of current trends in the field of ecosystem services and related disciplines.
- The ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously with professionals from a diverse background.
- Strong written and oral communication skills.
- A minimum requirement for this U.S. – based position is the ability to work legally in the United States on a permanent basis (U.S. citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident or qualifying Asylee / Refugee