Research topics in Environmental Science

February 16, 2017
PhD in Environmental Sciences

Many human activities result in air pollution, including emissions from vehicles and power plants, negatively impacting human health and economic efficiency. RFF experts have been analyzing policies to monitor and improve air quality since such regulations first came to pass.

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The accumulation of large amounts of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere is slowly raising the global temperature and disrupting climate patterns, with implications for economic stability worldwide. Research and analysis at RFF supports informed policy design and negotiations to address climate change on national and international levels.

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Developing countries face tradeoffs as they seek to create robust settings for the advancement of markets and industry while safeguarding environmental and human health. RFF experts collaborate with partners around the world to design and evaluate innovative policy approaches to achieve both economic and environmental goals.

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Healthy ecosystems are essential for the survival and success of countless species on Earth. RFF researchers are studying the dynamics of these natural systems to assess the benefits of protecting existing ecosystems or restoring those that have been disrupted by human activities or invasive species.

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The beginning of the twenty-first century has seen rapid changes in the domestic and international energy landscape. In order to accommodate current and future challenges, experts at RFF are analyzing policy options that balance growing electricity demands with the need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

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Today’s environmental experts have a wide range of tools at their disposal for the design and evaluation of local, state, regional, and national policies. Many of these tools were developed at RFF, and the organization’s contribution to the field of environmental economics remains one of its greatest legacies.

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Forests are home to many invaluable ecosystem goods and services as well as a source of wood products for economies around the world. Experts at RFF are evaluating the effectiveness of forest management policies by accounting for the economic, social, and environmental goals of region-specific programs alongside program costs.

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The United Nations is currently guiding the framework for a potential international climate agreement. Each country faces a unique set of environmental challenges, often complicated by existing political, social, and economic factors. RFF experts are analyzing climate, energy, and environmental policies around the world to help governments analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their respective policies.

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Research at RFF on the way land is used and managed spans natural, rural, and urban settings, including analysis of innovative policies to limit urban sprawl, the cost and effectiveness of natural infrastructure, and the costs and benefits of recreational land use, among other topics.

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Discussions about climate change, natural disasters, and financial markets often center on risk management, highlighting the extreme losses that can occur. Research at RFF focuses on ways to quantify and reduce uncertainty, as well as detect, mitigate, and transfer the risk associated with disasters and climate change.

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Outer space is a unique natural resource that is often ignored. As more opportunities to utilize this resource emerge, work at RFF helps policymakers who will need to design comprehensive guidelines that clarify near-Earth ownership, responsibilities, and pollution protocols to help regulate the use and development of space.

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A growing economy relies on an effective and efficient transportation system; however, issues related to pollution, congestion, and safety can dampen that growth. RFF experts are analyzing the costs, benefits, and distributional consequences of transportation policies to help lawmakers design programs that can effectively impact consumer and producer behaviors.

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Source: www.rff.org
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