SESYNC, UMD Researchers to Publish Paper in Ecological Economics

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Mar 20, 2014

Click here for the April 2, 2014 press release.

Researchers from the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), the University of Maryland (UMD), and the University of Minnesota have written a paper titled “Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY): Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies” that has been accepted for publication in the journal Ecological Economics.

The paper’s authors are Safa Motesharrei, a Ph.D. candidate in applied mathematics and public policy at UMD; Jorge Rivas of the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota and now the Institute of Global Environment and Society; and Eugenia Kalnay, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology at UMD.

Motesharrei received minor support from NASA to develop a coupled earth system model. Some of this funding was spent on the mathematical development of the HANDY model.

After the modeling was completed and the paper was submitted to Ecological Economics, Motesharrei became a graduate research assistant at SESYNC, which is funded through a National Science Foundation grant to UMD.

A copy of the paper is available for download at:

The views and conclusions in the paper are those of the authors alone. NASA does not endorse the paper or its conclusions.


Safa Motesharrei website
Eugenia Kalnay website

NASA statement

Media Relations Contact:

Melissa Andreychek, 410-919-4990,

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