Ecosystem Services and Environmental Economics

Claus R. Svendsen, Department of Environmental Conservation, Skagit Valley College
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In this exercise, students will explore the value of ecosystem services of an ecological restoration project that they are proposing. They will be able to compare the ecosystem services value to the cost of the restoration project.

Learning Goals

The goal is to get students to understand the basic concept of environmental economics. Highlight the value of ecosystem services, which we all benefit from but do not pay for. Most citizens are disconnected from the ecosystem services that our wildlands provide.

Context for Use

This exercise can be used in situations that require a comparison of costs of ecological restoration projects. Is it reasonable to spend $200,000 restoring a small estuarine wetland? The exercise can also be modified to compare the value of ecosystem services to land conversions.

Description and Teaching Materials

Ecosystem Services (Microsoft Word 24kB Dec21 11)
Costanca et al. 1997 (Acrobat (PDF) 550kB Dec21 11)

Teaching Notes and Tips


References and Resources