Friday, January 27, 2017

February 2017 Sustainability Profile: Jeremy West

Name: Jeremy West

What is your title on campus? 
Assistant Professor of Economics

Where are you from? 
Austin, Texas, though I’ve lived in states at all four edges of the U.S.: California, Texas, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. 

What is your educational background? 
I have BSc and PhD degrees in Economics from Texas A&M. I did my post-doc at MIT before joining the faculty of UCSC in 2016.

What does “sustainability” mean to you? 
To me, sustainability means ensuring that future inhabitants of the Earth have at least as good opportunities and environment as inhabitants today, in every way possible.

How does sustainability relate to your role at UCSC? 
I practice (and preach) sustainability at UCSC in my research, teaching, and service. My work focuses on public policy and its role in society’s management of our scarce environmental resources. I apply scientific and statistical methods to study human behavior and facilitate smarter environmental policies with minimal undesirable side-effects. In addition to research in these areas, I teach environmental economics and public policy at undergraduate and graduate levels (for interested students: I’ll be teaching both during the spring 2017 quarter). I am also collaborating with faculty from disciplines across UCSC to design and teach a novel graduate program in Coastal Science and Policy.

What are your research interests?
I empirically study economics related to public policy, consumer behavior, resource conservation, energy, and the environment.

How do you practice sustainability in your own life? 
People readily think of the “big” ways to practice sustainability -- buying an electric car, for example. While these actions clearly matter, there are plenty of smaller ways to regularly practice sustainable behavior. Personally, I practice such “micro-sustainability” through choices such as commuting by bicycle to my UCSC office, minimizing my use of non-reusable household products, and supporting our country’s amazing parks and greenspace as often as possible!

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. If you know of a person or group on campus that you think we should profile, or if you would like to be profiled, please send us an email.

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