Staff and students at The University of Western Australia's School of Agricultural and Resource Economics have taken out five prizes at a national awards ceremony.
The awards were presented in Sydney recently during the 57th annual Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES) Conference.
Professor Michael Burton and Adjunct Associate Professor Dan Rigby from UWA, together with Francisco Alcon, won the Quality of Research Discovery award for their paper: Supply Uncertainty and the Economic Value of Irrigation Water. The paper examines the issue of demand for irrigation water, and the value farmers place on greater certainty in water supply in a region of Spain that is heavily reliant on trans-regional movements of water.
Honours student Genevieve Massam won the Undergraduate Prize for the WA branch of AARES for her thesis: Community Values for the Benefits of Carbon Farming: a Choice Experiment Study, which looks at public preferences for different outcomes of carbon farming.
Assistant Professor Ram Pandit, Research Assistant Professor Maksym Polyakov, from UWA, with Maheshwar Dhakal, won Best Poster award for their poster: Visitors' Willingness to pay for an entry fee at Chitwan National Park in Nepal. The poster illustrates the results of a survey that assessed whether foreign visitors would be willing to pay more to enter Nepal's oldest and most visited park due to its rich biodiversity and ease of access.
Student Nhan Tran won the Outstanding Master's Thesis Award for her thesis: Determinants of Investment in Rural Households in Vietnam which found credit access was important in determining farm investments but less important in other investments such as housing and education.
Professor Ben White, Head of UWA's School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, and Adjunct Senior Lecturer Rohan Sadler won the AARES-Wiley Blackwell Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics Best Paper Award for their article: Optimal Conservation Investment for a Biodiversity-rich Agricultural Landscape. The article focuses on the WA Wheatbelt as a case study to predict the rate at which native bushland is degrading, using satellite data.
The awards aim to recognise and reward the efforts of members of the community who promote the profession of agricultural and resource economics in Australia and other countries. They also aim to foster, in all sections of the economy, interest in and understanding of the economic issues affecting primary industries, resources and the environment.