Monday, December 31, 2012

My Year in Review 2012

This year was not quite as eventful as last - it was mainly a case of following through with things started or planned last year - but there is plenty to report.

In January I took over as Research Director in the Crawford School a role that covers both research related administration and leadership and being director of PhD study in the School. One of my first tasks was contributing to ANU's ERA 2012 submission. We were happy to see that our efforts and those of all the researchers that we were reporting on were rewarded with an improvement in ANU's score in economics compared to 2010. There were other big developments in Crawford's Research Profile over the year. CAMA moved to the Crawford School from the College of Business, which boosted Crawford's RePEc ranking in Australia to the top 5. We have made several other appointments and most importantly hired Bob Costanza to one of the Public Policy Chairs. Warwick McKibbin who moved to Crawford with CAMA in August was the first. Bob is the most cited person at ANU on Google Scholar Citations. Bob and Ida Kubiszewski have been visiting Crawford since August.

Old Canberra House, Crawford School, ANU

My role as PhD director took up more of my time but mostly it is a case of improving policies and processes and moving students through the milestones of the PhD. It's good that I have a great team working with me. I couldn't possibly do the job without the help of Robyn Walter who is our PhD administrator. I was also helped by PhD convenors in economics - Amy Liu, in policy and governance - Andy Kennedy, and Colin Filer for economics. Last and definitely not least is Megan Poore who has been acting PhD academic skills adviser since May. Megan has done a really great job working with PhD students one and one and in workshops and courses and steered the first year students committee in putting on our annual PhD Conference.

I published five papers this year. The paper in the Journal of Economic Surveys on interfuel substitution had been "in press" since 2010 but was finally included in a formal journal issue this year. I think we will be seeing fewer of these long gestations in the future. My other single author paper - on energy efficiency trends - was only in press since March. I first submitted it in 2010 though. I also published three papers with co-authors. A paper on the costs of reducing carbon emissions with Jack Pezzey published in AJARE, my first paper with Astrid Kander using long-run historical energy and growth data, and a short piece with four other ANU coauthors on decomposing the steep rise in global carbon emissions in 2010 in Nature Climate Change. The paper with Astrid was also my first successful publication in the Energy Journal. My chapter in the Encyclopedia of Environmetrics on ecological economics was also officially published and we had two articles published on The Conversation.

So far for 2013, I have one paper in press (see below) and a revise and resubmit. I only put out one working paper in 2012. There are lots of partly finished papers that we need to make progress on over the next couple of months. I have discussed or hinted at some of these ideas on this blog. I'll report on them in detail as they are gradually finalized.

Work began on the research funded by the ARC grant we were awarded last year. The most important activities this year have been Astrid Kander's visit to Canberra to collaborate on the project - writing a couple of those unfinished papers - and the search for a post-doctoral research fellow. We got a strong response to the advertisement (mainly through RESECON) and recently interviewed some candidates and are in the process of making an offer.

Earlier in the year, Stephan Bruns and Christian Gross visited Canberra. Stephan spent most of June working with me and I then went to the IAEE meeting in Perth and met up with Christian who then came to Canberra for a day before going on to the Schumpeter conference in Brisbane. We have several unfinished papers in progress :)

In addition to the IAEE meeting in June, I also participated in the MAER meta-analysis in economics workshop in Perth in September. They were the only two conferences I went to in 2012. I'm not a big conference-goer. I gave a couple of invited seminars. One at University of Western Australia and the other at Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien.

I went on two international trips driven by the IPCC Working Group III meetings in Wellington, NZ and Vigo, Spain. The first meeting was to progress from the so-called zero-order draft of the 5th Assessment Report to the first-order draft which was then opened to comments by reviewers. At the Vigo meeting we began the response to these comments and the views of the co-chairs on how the draft needs to change. The final meeting for us will be in Ethiopia next July. I took the opportunity for further travel before the NZ meeting and after the meeting in Spain.

Mount Ruapehu, North Island, NZ

On the teaching front, I taught a new course - Energy Economics - in the second semester. Based on the student evaluations, it was a great success. They especially liked the guest lectures I organized by Chris Short, Hugh Saddler, Paul Burke, and Astrid Kander.

I also again taught an introductory microeconomics course - Economic Way of Thinking I and gave a series of three lectures in our flagship CRWF 8000 course in each semester as well as a few guest lectures.

Finally, I also do a lot of refereeing and editing work... In my role as associate editor of Ecological Economics. I was involved in the dispute between Tol and Ackerman resulting in the posting of comments by me and them in the journal.

Things lined up for 2013 include a visit to Ethiopia and a paper in the March issue of the Journal of Economic Literature.

Tomorrow there'll be a post on the most popular blogposts of 2012.

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