Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, will speak on "Institutional Robustness: How Institutional Arrangements Facilitate or Detract from Efforts to Sustain Ecological Systems"

Nobel laureate to speak on how institutions impact ecosystems

Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, will present the Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture Dec. 10 at 10:30 a.m. in the Lincoln Room of the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Michigan State University. The lecture, which is open to the public, will be followed by a reception. She also will receive an honorary degree while on campus.

Recognized around the world for her groundbreaking research, teaching and scholarship on the complexity of human social and economic behavior, Ostrom is the Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science and senior research director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. She received the Nobel Prize in 2009.

Ostrom’s lecture, "Institutional Robustness: How Institutional Arrangements Facilitate or Detract from Efforts to Sustain Ecological Systems," is presented by CSIS and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

"Elinor Ostrom is one of the world's leading scholars on economic governance, especially how common resources such as forests and water are managed," said Jianguo "Jack" Liu, MSU University Distinguished Professor of fisheries and wildlife, who holds the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability. He also is director of the MSU Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability (CSIS). "Her pioneering work has shown that when these common properties are managed by users, the outcomes are better than what's predicted by standard theories."

Liu is known around the world for his work on environmental sustainability and complex relationship between human and natural systems and is the lead investigator of the International Network of Research on Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS-Net), funded by the National Science Foundation. Ostrom serves on the CHANS-Net Advisory Board and has collaborated with several faculty members at MSU, including Thomas Dietz, professor of sociology; Bill Taylor, chairperson of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife; Bill McConnell, CSIS associate director; and Liu.