Sarah specializes in natural resource policy and economics.Methods and Tools Non-Market Valuation
ECONorthwest has unparalleled expertise in quantifying the value associated with non-market goods and services.Natural Resource Damage Assessment
ECONorthwest helps clients calculate the values associated with damages to natural resources in many contexts, across the globe.Benefit-Cost Analysis
ECONorthwest applies benefit-cost analysis to help decision makers compare different project and policy options.
Ecosystem services—the goods and services supplied by the natural environment—are too often overlooked in traditional economic analysis. ECONorthwest excels at helping communities and organizations properly account for the social and economic benefits provided by ecosystem services.
When we analyze the ecosystem services that may be affected by a particular action or policy, we take an expansive perspective, recognizing the values from those services that provide direct benefits to society, as well as those that provide indirect and non-use benefits. Our evaluation techniques are sensitive to the dynamic relationships between management decisions and ecosystems and support assessments of risk and uncertainty under different scenarios and time horizons. Our approach provides decision-makers with robust, ecologically, and economically relevant data.
Over the years, we have worked with many communities and organizations to apply the economics of ecosystem services to real-life management decisions. Communities are often faced with making choices among different policy options, or allocating limited funding to some projects and not others. In making these decisions, communities must choose among a great number of competing demands:
Ultimately, making an informed decision will involve weighing benefits and costs. In this process, understanding how decisions may affect the value of ecosystem services and their contribution to the economy is key.
ECONorthwest's extensive experience and our rigorous approach to this topic provide invaluable support for decision-makers. The EPA’s Science Advisory Board has applauded ECONorthwest’s past efforts to account for the value of ecosystem services in complex environmental-policy decisions:
“…the project provides one of the best examples of the kind of landscape-scale analysis of the value of ecosystems and services recommended by this report.”1
1/ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Administrator, Science Advisory Board. 2009. Valuing the Protection of Ecological Systems and Services: A Report of the EPA Science Advisory Board. Report No. EPA-SAB-09-012. May. Pg. 85.