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Today's date is Sunday, October 25, 2020
School of Agricultural and Resource Economics
 May 2014
Friday 30
11:00 - SEMINAR - Public preferences for carbon farming co-benefits : Assistant Professor Marit Kragt, Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy Website | More Information
The Australian Government still has initiatives to encourage climate change abatement practices by farmers. Under the Direct Action Plan, farmers can gain carbon credits for sequestering carbon in soils or vegetation, or for reducing emissions. Next to mitigation, these 'carbon farming' activities often generate co-benefits such as biodiversity or erosion prevention. In this seminar, I present the results of an Australia-wide choice experiment study, conducted to estimate community values for carbon farming projects. Carbon farming was described in terms of carbon sequestration and the ancillary effects on soil erosion and area of native vegetation on farmland. Analyses revealed that values for carbon farming benefits depend on respondent’s perceptions of climate change. While respondents are generally willing to pay for reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, people who do not believe that climate change is happening do not have a significant WTP for emissions reduction. All respondents were found to have a positive willingness to pay for increasing the area of native vegetation on farmland, and for reducing soil erosion. These preferences demonstrate that the community benefits from carbon farming are larger than just their effects on climate change mitigation. Future policies should take these positive values for ancillary effects into account.

 June 2014
Monday 02
7:00 - COURSE - Winter Clinical Pilates : Exercise to keep you mobile during the winter months Website | More Information
Machine &/or mat based clinical Pilates classes focusing on efficient and effective movement patterns. Classes are designed to strengthen the body whilst enhancing mobility over the colder winter months! Classes may incorporate elements of myofascial and muscle release, contemporary Pilates and a variety of props.

'Group' (max 8 ppl) and 'Studio' (max 3 ppl) sessions available at various times throughout the day (incl. before or after work and lunch time sessions).

All sessions are conducted by an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and private health rebates may apply depending on your level of cover.

For a schedule and prices email [email protected] or call 6488 3333.
Wednesday 04
16:00 - SEMINAR - Climate change adaptation: water conservation and crop production in south-western Australia and the Loess Plateau of China : this seminar is part of the Centre for Water Research seminar series. Website | More Information
Climate simulation models suggest that mean temperatures on the Loess Plateau of China will increase by 2.5 to 3.75°C by 2050, while those in the cropping region of south-west Australia will increase by 1.25 to 1.75°C. The rainfall in south-west Australia rainfall is predicted to decrease by 20 to 60 mm, rainfall on the Loess Plateau of China is not expected to change.

Farming systems in both regions differ markedly in scale, but both have adopted water conservation techniques that benefit crop yields. In south-west Australia zero tillage and adequate use of fertilizers have enabled farmers to increase their rainfall use efficiency and yields of cereals, canola and legumes, while on the Loess Plateau, mulching with plastic, gravel and residues, crop sequence, fertilizer/organic manure application and supplementary irrigation have improved precipitation use efficiency and yields of several crops and enabled the production of maize in areas of the Loess Plateau where temperatures limit its production.

The implications of climate change and adaptation strategies such as agronomic management and crop breeding in the two regions will be discussed in relation to future improvements in water productivity and food production.

Further reading:

Turner, N.C., Li, F.-M., Xiong, Y.-C., and Siddique, K.H.M. (2011). Climate change and agricultural ecosystem management in dry areas (Guest editorial). Crop and Pasture Science 62: i-ii. Gan, Y., Siddique, K.H.M., Turner, N.C., Li, X.G., Niu, J.Y., Yang, C., Liu, L., and Chai, Q. (2013). Ridge-Furrow Mulching Systems - An innovative technique for boosting crop productivity in semiarid rain-fed environments. Advances in Agronomy. 117: 429–476.

Chai, Q., Gan, Y., Turner, N.C., Zhang, R.Z., Yang, Y., Niu, Y. and Siddique, K.H.M. (2014). Water-saving innovations in Chinese agriculture. Advances in Agronomy 126: 149-201.

Liu, C.A., Zhou, L.M., Jia, J.J., Wang, L.J., Xi, L., Pan, C.C., Siddique, K.H.M. and Li, F.M. (2014). Maize yield and water balance is affected by nitrogen application in a film-mulching ridge-furrow system in a semiarid region of China. European Journal of Agronomy 52:103-111.

PS* This seminar is free and open to the public & no RSVP required.

****All Welcome****

Thursday 05
8:30 - CONFERENCE - 10th Australasian Development Economics Workshop : This event brings together development economists from Australia and internationally with particular emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region. Website | More Information
The annual Australasian Development Economics Workshop, sponsored by DFAT, brings together development economists from Australia and internationally with particular emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region.

The next workshop is the tenth in the series and will be hosted by the Business School, The University of Western Australia, Perth.

Professor Lant Pritchett (Harvard University) will deliver the keynote address. We will also have a roundtable discussion on the “Middle Income Trap” with Professor James Riedel (Johns Hopkins University), Professor Xin Meng (Australian National University) and Dr. Sudarno Sumarto (SMERU).

Register here: www.business.uwa.edu.au/research/conferences/10th-australasian-development-economics-workshop

13:30 - EVENT - IOA Postgraduate Showcase - Frontiers in Agriculture : 9 PhD students present their diverse agriculture-related research Website | More Information
The Institute of Agriculture's annual Postgraduate Showcase brings together some of UWA’s best PhD students at an advanced stage of their research. This year, nine presentations covering a wide range of disciplines will highlight some of the research and progress underway at UWA in the area of agriculture, food science and natural resource management. The event also provides opportunities for students to interact with industry representatives and future employers.

For catering purposes, please RSVP by 26 May to [email protected]

 July 2014
Tuesday 08
9:00 - COURSE - ANOVA, Linear Regression and Logistic Regression : A Short Course using SPSS Website | More Information
The course is designed for people with knowledge of basic statistics who want to learn more about regression and analysis of variance (ANOVA).

This course covers techniques that can be used to analyse data with continuous and categorical variables. The course will begin with simple linear regression and then proceed with approaches that can be used with more than two variables such as multiple regression. ANOVA with interactions and blocking will also be covered. The course will end with techniques that address the analysis of binary or ordinal variables.
Tuesday 29
13:20 - EVENT - The UWA Institute of Agriculture 2014 Industry Forum : Potential for Food Production in northern Western Australia Website | More Information
New agriculture is believed to play a crucial role in the regional transformation of northern Western Australia. There is significant potential for Asia-focused food production and industry to diversify northern Australia’s economy, trade and sustainable use of natural resources over the long term; and to benefit Indigenous communities, which have a significant presence in the region. It is timely to engage in a discussion on the feasibility and likely effectiveness of new agricultural development projects in this unique region of Australia, where the challenges are magnified compared to southern Australia.

For catering purposes, please RSVP by 21 July 2014 to [email protected]

 August 2014
Sunday 03
16:00 - CONFERENCE - IsoEcol 2014 : International Conference on the Applications of Stable Isotope Techniques to Ecological Studies Website | More Information
This will be the 9th International Conference on the Applications of Stable Isotope Techniques to Ecological Studies (IsoEcol 9). The conference will be held 3-8 August 2014 at The University Club, on the campus of The University of Western Australia, adjacent to the beautiful Swan River.

IsoEcol 9 will bring together an exciting mix of researchers from universities, industry and government with interests in the development and application of stable isotope techniques to the ecological sciences. IsoEcol traditionally includes a mid-conference field trip day and is generally run as a single common session facilitating cross-disciplinary discussion. In addition to great science, Western Australia offers you a memorable array of pre- and post- conference touring options to excite and replenish your ecological spirit in a must see global biodiversity hotspot!
Friday 08
11:00 - SEMINAR - The Behavioural Gap for Organic Food in Britain: Data from a Canterbury Case Study : Dr Adelina Gschwandtner, University of Kent More Information
The present paper attempts to bring further evidence on the behavioural gap for organic food in Britain. The stated preferences are analysed with the contingent valuation method while the revealed preferences are estimated with the hedonic pricing method. We find a small but significant gap in the premium for organic food between stated and revealed preferences. This gap may suggest a need for price premium intervention. The estimated price elasticity for organic products is on average above one (in absolute value) suggesting that subsidizing the consumption of organic products could be very effective and have a strong impact.

Adelina Gschwandtner obtained her PhD in 2002, at the University of Vienna.  She subsequently worked at the University of Vienna until 2011, before moving to the Vienna University of Economics and Business. She joined the University of Kent in September 2012. Adelina's research interests lie in the field of empirical Industrial Organization. Her two main research areas are Profit Persistence and Sunk Costs. She has analysed the pattern and the determinants of profit persistence in the US and the UK over the last 50 years. More recently she has worked on the determinants of profit persistence in the European food sector, and plans to analyse the relationship between food and health. Her papers in this area have been published in Economic Inquiry, Applied Economics, International Journal of Economics and Business and The Manchester School.
Sunday 10
10:00 - OPEN DAY - 2014 Open Day : Join us for our Open Day and experience all that UWA has to offer Website | More Information
Come and find out about UWA’s undergraduate and postgraduate courses, scholarship opportunities, outstanding career options and explore our community programs and facilities.

This year there will be campus tram tours, hands-on activities, live music and entertainment, as well as plenty of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Join us for Open Day 2014 from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Sunday 10 August.
Wednesday 13
8:00 - EVENT - Women in Agriculture Breakfast Website | More Information
Students of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (SNAGS) and The UWA Institute of Agriculture would like to invite you to a breakfast to commemorate the role of women in agriculture.
Friday 15
11:00 - SEMINAR - The world in the eyes of a Luenberger development indicator: Who is moving faster in the new century? : Associate Professor Atakelty Hailu Website | More Information
This study relies on production theory to construct Luenberger indicators for quality of living across countries. Compared to the famous Human Development Index (HDI), which uses simple weights to average over outcomes, the Luenberger indicator uses a best-practice or frontier approach to the problem thus avoiding the need for ad hoc weighting. Further, the new indicator can be used to incorporate a wider set of outcomes relating to corruption, democratic rights and peace. Both nonparametric (DEA) and stochastic directional distance function frontiers were used to construct the underlying frontier. Our country rankings are compared to rankings based on the HDI. Some countries are graded down heavily relative to the HDI, and these also happen to be nations that are currently suffering from massive upheavals. Finally, the study undertakes a comparison of improvements between 2000 and 2011 using an equivalent productivity change measure to identify nations that are making the most progress.

Atakelty is an Associate Professor in the School of Agricultural and Resource Economics at The University of Western Australia (UWA). He obtained a BSc degree from Alemaya (Haremaya) University (1990) and a PhD from the University of Alberta (1998). Atakelty has won several awards for his academic achievements and has published papers in premier journals. Before joining UWA in 2001, Atakelty had worked at Alemaya and the University of Alberta. His current research interests are diverse and include efficiency and productivity analysis, bioeconomic modelling, environmental policy and auction design, and agent-based modeling (computational economics). Atakelty is also the author of APEAR, a new R package for productivity and efficiency analysis in R.
Saturday 16
15:00 - EVENT - More Than Honey - The Movie - Free Event : Fifty years ago, Einstein had already insisted on the symbiotic relationship binding these pollen gatherers to mankind: “If bees were to disappear from the globe,” he predicted, “mankind would only have four years left to live.” Website | More Information
More Than Honey is a film on the relationship between mankind and honeybees, about nature and about our future.

This documentary by the Swiss filmmaker Marcus Imhoof and narrated by John Hurt is looking into the fascinating world of bees, showing small family beekeepers (including the beekeeper of ERSTE Foundation beehive, Heidrun Singer) and industrialized honey farms.

More Than Honey is a film on the relationship between mankind and honeybees, about nature and about our future. Honeybees show us that stability is just as unhealthy as unlimited growth, that crises and disasters are triggering evolution and that salvation sometimes comes from a completely unexpected direction.
Monday 18
18:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - Tim Jarvis - Antarctic explorer who recreated British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s survival journey! : Relive Tim’s remarkable journey to retrace the steps of legendary leader Sir Ernest Shackleton. More Information
Come to a free talk and book signing by Tim Jarvis, one of the world’s leading explorers, as he describes his modern-day journey to retrace, for the first time ever, the legendary 1914 expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

In early 1914, British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team sailed for Antarctica, attempting to be the first to reach the South Pole. Instead of glory, Shackleton and his crew found themselves in an epic struggle for survival: a three-year odyssey on the ice and oceans of the Antarctic that endures as one of the world’s most famous tales of adventure, endurance, and leadership ever recorded.

In the winter of 2013, celebrated explorer Tim Jarvis, a veteran of multiple polar expeditions, set out to recreate Sir Ernest Shackleton’s treacherous voyage over sea and mountain, outfitted solely with authentic equipment – clothing, boots, food, and tools – from Shackleton’s time, a feat that has never been successfully accomplished.
Friday 22
11:00 - SEMINAR - Consumer choices in fast-food chain restaurants: the role of information : Assistant Professor James Fogarty, School of Agricultural & Resource Economics Website | More Information
The research question for this study was to determine the impact of providing menu item energy content information at the point of sale on consumer choices at Australian fast-food chain restaurants. To answer the research question data was collected via an on-line survey. Specifically, a sample of 1,600 members of the Australian adult population made menu selections from representative fast-food restaurant menus under different information conditions.

To analyse the data a linear mixed model was estimated. The analysis found that providing information on the energy content of menu items at the point of sale results in consumers selecting menu items that, on average, have a lower energy content. In males the effect is statistically significant, but in females the effect is not. Compared to the baseline of no information on energy content, when energy content information was displayed using an absolute KJ format, the average energy content of menu selections fell by 191KJ for males and 63KJ for females. When energy content information was displayed using a %RDI format, the average energy content of menu selections fell by 233KJ for males and 5KJ for females.

Mandating the provision of energy content information at the point of sale in fast-food chain restaurants in Australia would impose costs on business, but would also provide additional information to consumers that is valuable; and would also, potentially, generate a reduction in health system expenditure. Some exploratory analysis on costs and benefits finds that the benefits to consumers from more information, and the potential savings in terms of health system expenditures, are likely to be greater than the cost on business of a regulation mandating the provision of energy content information at the point of sale.

12:00 - SEMINAR - Economics Discipline Seminar : Instrument endogeneity, weak identification, and inference in IV regressions Website | More Information

13:00 - EVENT - RESCHEDULED: ‘Making the Links’ Roundtable: Building Research Teams and Partnerships in the Humanities and Social Sciences : Learn how to develop multi-partner projects and build collaborative relationships from some of UWA's leading ARC Linkage winners. More Information
Some of the University’s most successful ARC Linkage grant winners from the Faculties of Arts, Business, Education and Law will come together to discuss how they developed multi-partner projects and built collaborative relationships both within and outside academia. Members of the Research Development team will also present an overview of the ARC Linkage program and answer questions regarding program guidelines.
Friday 29
11:00 - SEMINAR - A Fourfold Sutra for Environmental Monitoring and Compliance : Dr Rohan Sadler, Astron Environmental Services Website | More Information
A Fourfold Sutra for Environmental Monitoring and Compliance: Regulation, Remote Sensing, Information Management and Product Development

R&D (research and development; including process improvement and leaning up) is really the only means a small- to mid- tier company can compete (i.e. survive!!) during a market downside. For small players in a contracting market, especially if the firm responds late to the margin squeeze, R&D characteristically is an all or nothing affair given the few surplus resources available to the small players, i.e. there is limited opportunity to spread your risk across an R&D portfolio. Moreover, R&D must target regulatory requirements which is by far the strongest driver forcing market participants to engage in environmental monitoring; in effect regulation requiring environmental monitoring is a key element of the social license given to miners to extract natural resources. Interestingly, past monitoring is generally poor both in quality and availability, with a big constraint being sampling bias, i.e. sampling occurs at such a small scale so as to confound any conclusion to be drawn at a scale appropriate to the regulation. Remote sensing aims to scale up environmental monitoring to overcome sampling bias, and some examples of UAV (unmanned airborne vehicle) data capture will be illustrated. Regulation also requires often sophisticated analytics be applied to available data to distinguish the effect of human activities from naturally noisy, lagged and/or event-driven changes in environmental state. This requires the integration of data, warehousing, analytics and decision tools into an information platform that enables objective and repeatable diagnostics of system state to be delivered as the basis for environmental management. However, the potential space of information and monitoring products that can possibly be developed can expand exponentially when addressing the information needs of an evidence based approach to environmental monitoring and compliance, and so the product development funnel will be outlined briefly. With a bit of luck, such an approach will lead to a temporary outwitting of the gambler’s ruin problem, at least until the next iron ore price dive, if one can but convince the regulator, clients and internal users to accept and indeed champion new methods and technologies in a timely fashion. And you never know, such an approach may also benefit the environment through delivering measurable outcomes.

Rohan is a Senior Scientist at Astron Environmental Services, an environmental consultancy serving primarily the resources sector. His current role has more to do with the ‘D’ side of R&D (i.e., product development) than in past roles with UWA on the ‘R’ side. This ‘D’ side focuses on expanding Astron’s capacity in data governance, analytics, information delivery and remote sensing across a range of business units, some of which earned him ‘Innovator or the Year’ at Astron in 2013. While Rohan’s academic background is in ecological complexity theory and statistical computing, he does enjoy an affinity with the School as an Adjunct Senior Lecturer, and on occasion enjoys poking his nose into how economists may think. Professionally, Rohan is an AStat accredited statistician. Privately, caffeine is a magic word.

12:00 - SEMINAR - Economics Discipline Seminar : A New Formulation for Latent Class Models More Information

 September 2014
Monday 01
9:00 - SYMPOSIUM - IAVS 2014 : 57th Annual Symposium of the International Association for Vegetation Science Website | More Information
The International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS) is a worldwide union of scientists and others interested in theoretical and practical studies of vegetation: its composition and structure, history, classification, distribution, ecology, dynamics, management and uses in the landscape. The main goals of the IAVS are to facilitate personal contacts among vegetation scientists all over the world and to promote research in all aspects of vegetation science and its applications. Our official aims are: • to promote research and education in vegetation science • to promote the publication of research results in vegetation science • to facilitate scientific and personal contacts among vegetation scientists of all countries • to promote applications of vegetation science • to increase awareness of and to disseminate knowledge about vegetation.

The Local Organising Committee is looking forward to seeing you in Australia and proudly showing you around our country. Four excursions flanking the symposium (two in Western Australia, and two on the East Coast featuring New South Wales and tropical northern Queensland) will offer ample opportunity to marvel at the beauty of our plants and vegetation. Come and join us – to push the envelopes of scientific theory, to boost the image of our scientia amabilis, to make new friends and perhaps find a new job or research partner, and at the same time, just to have a hell of a good time.

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