Dr. Wanhong Yang

Integrated economic-hydrologic modelling for supporting conservation investments on agricultural landscapes

JANUARY 9, 2015
3-5pm
in SS 2125

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Growing concerns about the adverse environmental effects of agriculture have led to the establishment of various public, private and partnership programs for implementing landscape conservation practices. These programs call for science-based answers to these two critical policy and management questions: First, given the vastness and heterogeneity of the agricultural region, how can we prioritize locations for conservation investments in order to maximize the environmental and ecological benefits within a given financial budget? Second, given historic and existing placement of conservation practices on agricultural landscapes, how can we evaluate the cost effectiveness of these conservation investments? In this talk I will begin with an overview of various integrated economic-hydrologic modelling initiatives in my research program for supporting spatial targeting and cost-effectiveness evaluation of conservation investments on agricultural landscapes. Following this I will introduce similar integrated economic-hydrologic modelling initiatives in developed market economies. Finally, I will discuss a research agenda on integrated landscape assessment modelling at various spatial scales to support conservation investments for enhancing ecological goods and services including water quantity and quality.

Biography

Dr. Wanhong Yang is a professor in the Department of Geography, University of Guelph. Dr. Yang obtained his Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign in 2000. Dr. Yang has expertise in GIS, environmental economics, and hydrology and has developed a research program on examining the cost effectiveness of agricultural conservation programs using integrated economic-hydrologic-GIS modelling. Dr. Yang has conducted a wide range of integrated watershed modelling projects both in Canada and the United States. Dr. Yang was the leader for hydrologic and integrated modelling for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Watershed Evaluation of BMPs (WEBs) program during 2005-2013, and also the leader for hydrologic modelling for Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food’s Watershed Based BMP Evaluation (WBBE) program during 2010-2013. Dr. Yang published widely in prestigious journals such as Hydrological Processes, Transactions of the ASABE, and Ecological Economics, and is currently serving as an associate editor for Journal of Soil and Water Conservation.

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