Stephen Polasky

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A doubling in global food demand projected for the next 50 years poses huge challenges for the sustainability both of food production and of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and the services they provide to society. Agriculturalists are the principal managers of global usable lands and will shape, perhaps irreversibly, the surface of the Earth in the(More)
Increasing energy use, climate change, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels make switching to low-carbon fuels a high priority. Biofuels are a potential low-carbon energy source, but whether biofuels offer carbon savings depends on how they are produced. Converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas, or grasslands to produce food crop-based(More)
Negative environmental consequences of fossil fuels and concerns about petroleum supplies have spurred the search for renewable transportation biofuels. To be a viable alternative, a biofuel should provide a net energy gain, have environmental benefits, be economically competitive, and be producible in large quantities without reducing food supplies. We use(More)
Increasing population and consumption are placing unprecedented demands on agriculture and natural resources. Today, approximately a billion people are chronically malnourished while our agricultural systems are concurrently degrading land, water, biodiversity and climate on a global scale. To meet the world's future food security and sustainability needs,(More)
© The Ecological Society of America www.frontiersinecology.org T Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) advanced a powerful vision for the future (MA 2005), and now it is time to deliver. The vision of the MA – and of the prescient ecologists and economists whose work formed its foundation – is a world in which people and institutions appreciate natural(More)
Establishing biological reserves in key habitats is one method of preventing loss of biodiversity. We analyze a dynamic reserve site selection model in which a conservation planner receives a budget each period to purchase sites of heterogeneous cost and ecological value in order to maximize species conserved. Sites chosen as reserved are conserved, while(More)
Recent studies that incorporate the spatial distributions of biological benefits and economic costs in conservation planning have shown that limited budgets can achieve substantially larger biological gains than when planning ignores costs. Despite concern from donors about the effectiveness of conservation interventions, these increases in efficiency from(More)
Global change issues are complex and the consequences of decisions are often highly uncertain. The large spatial and temporal scales and stakes involved make it important to take account of present and potential consequences in decision-making. Standard approaches to decision-making under uncertainty require information about the likelihood of alternative(More)
We develop an integrated model to predict private land-use decisions in response to policy incentives designed to increase the provision of carbon sequestration and species conservation across heterogeneous landscapes. Using data from the Willamette Basin, Oregon, we compare the provision of carbon sequestration and species conservation under five simple(More)