Resources for the Future (RFF) announced today that it is awarding Yale University’s Eli P. Fenichel and Karen C. Seto the $100,000 Molly K. Macauley Award for Research Innovation and Advanced Analytics for Policy for valuing Earth observations.
The award winners will work with the VALUABLES Consortium, a cooperative agreement between RFF and NASA to quantify and communicate the socioeconomic benefits of Earth observations.

Fenichel, the project’s principal investigator, and Seto, the co-principal investigator, will estimate the value of satellite data products to measure and map montane urbanization in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. As this region is prone to earthquakes, flooding, and landslides, Fenichel and Seto will assess the value of using remote sensing products for allocating resources during disaster relief. Building on NASA-funded work, they will also map urbanization in mountainous areas in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region and train stakeholders to use the project’s outputs.

Fenichel is an associate professor of ecosystem management and bioeconomics at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, where Seto is the Frederick C. Hixon Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science.
The Macauley Award was created in honor of Molly Macauley, RFF’s former Vice President for Research, whose pioneering work helped decisionmakers understand the economics of space. The award supports research to quantify the socioeconomic impacts of Earth observations when they are applied to solve pressing societal problems.

Resources for the Future (RFF) is an independent, nonprofit research institution in Washington, DC. Its mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. RFF is committed to being the most widely trusted source of research insights and policy solutions leading to a healthy environment and a thriving economy.

Unless otherwise stated, interpretations and conclusions in RFF publications are those of the authors. RFF does not take institutional positions.