Equity v. Efficiency in Environmental Policy: A Mississippi River Case

Center for Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy
February 12, 2024 - 12:00 pm CST
- 1:00 pm
Josie Johnson Room 180, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Join us for a lunchtime STEP Seminar with STEP Professor Bonnie Keeler, who will share results from a multi-year study on the value of a cleaner Mississippi River. STEP Seminars are free and open to everyone; a light lunch is available to registrants. To join in-person or by Zoom, register here: https://z.umn.edu/Feb12STEPSeminarRSVP.

The Mississippi River faces numerous stressors with implications for river ecosystems and adjacent communities. How can policy makers evaluate proposals to improve the quality of the Mississippi River considering both efficiency and equity objectives? I will present results from a multi-year study on the value of a cleaner Mississippi River designed to inform regional and federal policy. Our study integrates qualitative data collected via interviews and document review, distributed data collection using mobile technologies, community engagement and site visits to river communities, and a stated preference survey designed to elicit monetary values for improved water quality.
I will discuss opportunities and challenges in integrating pluralistic forms of valuation into policy analysis and reflect on how different methods reveal different insights relevant to the management of complex social-ecological systems.
Portrait of Bonnie Keeler About the Speaker: 
Dr. Bonnie Keeler is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs where she co-directs the Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy. She is a McKnight University Professor, Earth Leadership Fellow, and Fellow of the Institute on the Environment. Keeler earned her PhD in Natural Resources with a focus on Economics, Society, Policy, and Management from the University of Minnesota.

Keeler is the principal investigator of the Great Lakes Technical Assistance Center, an initiative to provide technical assistance and capacity building to remote, rural, and disadvantaged communities in EPA Region 5. Keeler co-leads the CREATE Initiative, a community-engaged research project that aims to leverage the resources of the research university in service to the needs and priorities of community organizations in urban watersheds. Keeler also directs the Beyond the Academy network - a coalition of university leaders in the US, UK, and Canada seeking to reform academic models to promote actionable, engaged scholarship on sustainability.

Keeler currently serves on the subcommittee for social and community science as part of the Environmental Protection Agencies Board of Scientific Counselors. She previously served as a member of the External-Environmental Economics Advisory Committee from 2019-2020. She is a frequent advisor on state and regional-level water planning, working closely with the Minnesota’s Environmental Quality Board, Department of Health, Pollution Control Agency, Department of Natural Resources, Board of Soil and Water Resources, Metropolitan Council, and Clean Water Council.
Contact Info
Questions? Contact [email protected].