Alecia Cassidy just finished her fourth year in the UM Economics Doctoral Program. Her research interests revolve around environmental economics, specifically energy efficiency, and more broadly environmental issues. This passion for the environment drew her to economics during her undergraduate career, she explains, “I knew that pursuing a field related to the environment would be perfect for me, so I signed up for a course on environmental economics. I was intrigued by externalities and nonmarket valuation. It was a type of economics that a “greenie” like me could relate to, because it explained why the same market mechanisms that brought us prosperity failed in terms of societal welfare.” The most important draw for Alecia was that economics has the ability to offer policy solutions that ensured consumers and producers have the right incentives.

From their website, “The Dow Sustainability Fellowship supports full-time graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at the university who are committed to finding interdisciplinary, actionable, and meaningful sustainability solutions on local-to-global scales. The program aspires to prepare future sustainability leaders to make a positive difference in organizations worldwide.” Alecia’s work concerns how consumer decisions to invest in air conditioners, heaters, insulation, and windows respond to extreme weather. “My project is important because understanding how consumers’ durable investment choices respond to weather can help in evaluating the global capacity for climate change adaptation. Human adaptation to a changing climate will be very important for mitigating future costs, for two reasons. First, current projections show that even if measures are taken to avoid catastrophic global warming, climate change will likely continue, necessitating adaptation. Second, adaptation need not require extensive international coordination,” she explains.

Current fellows also come from the School of Natural Resources, the School of Public Health, the College of Engineering, the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, The Ross Business School, and several departments within the College of Literature, Science & the Arts. We are extremely proud that Alecia was awarded this prestigious two-year fellowship!

Learn more about Dow Sustainability Fellows here!

Contact Alecia here!