The Department of Agricultural Economics in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has added an environmental economist to its faculty.
Liqing Li, Ph.D., previously an assistant professor in the economics department at California State University, Fullerton, has joined the department as an assistant professor.
Li graduated as an outstanding doctoral student in agricultural and applied economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she also earned her bachelor’s degree in economics.
“Dr. Li’s research interests in the field of environmental and natural resource economics and the connection between humans and the environment bring a new dynamic to our department,” said Rudy Nayga, Ph.D., department head. “Her work focuses on the environment and the impact and value of conservation and restoration efforts in both urban and rural areas.”
Li said she is thrilled to join the Texas A&M Univeristy community.
“The collaborative environment within the department and college deeply resonates with my academic goals and values,” she said. “I am eager to contribute to this vibrant academic family and start this exciting new chapter in my career.”
Research on the human-environment economics
The topics Li has addressed in her research focus on the connections between humans and their environment.
Examples of her ongoing research include understanding how people value different forms of urban green spaces and agriculture; examining the effect of climate change information on food choices; and how land conservation programs can affect local economies.
In one of her studies, she examined the potential unintended consequences of public goods provision in urban areas in conjunction with one of the largest tree-planting programs in the U.S. In that study, published in the Journal of Environmental Economics Management, she estimated the value people place on urban trees and examined whether the tree plantings triggered gentrification in the neighborhoods they were intended to help.
Li also has been actively involved in interdisciplinary research, collaborating with researchers in fields of ecology, sociology, engineering and environmental sciences. Some examples of her interdisciplinary work relate to the effectiveness of hurricane evacuation policies using mobility data; building community resilience in grassland protection and bison reintroduction; examining wild bird feeding behavior; and the human-and-nature connection.
“My goal is to integrate the results of my research into my teaching and further engage with students who have an interest in the economics of environmental and natural resources,” she said.
Li’s varied economics teaching experience
At Texas A&M, Li is teaching a doctoral-level course on the fundamentals of resource and environmental economics. Previously, she taught causality and analytics, intermediate microeconomics and environmental and natural resource economics at California State University, Fullerton.
“As an instructor, I try to provide students with curiosity and the capacity for lifelong development,” she said. “I want to help students from diverse backgrounds not only understand economics, but how to apply the knowledge they gain to better understand the world around them. I want to show them how to think critically about policies and use economic concepts to make wise daily life decisions.”
Li has an Impact Teaching Certificate from California State University, Fullerton, and Graduate Teacher Certificate from the University of Illinois. She was named outstanding doctoral student for 2020 by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, from which she also received a Department of Agricultural Consumer Economics Fellowship.
Economics-oriented workshops, presentations, professional affiliations
Li has given conference and workshop presentations in several professional associations, including the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, Western Economic Association International and Southern Economic Association.
She also has served on numerous academic committees and advisory boards and as a reviewer for grants from National Science Foundation and for both economic and multidisciplinary academic journals, including the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Landscape and Urban Planning, Environment and Development Economics and Conservation Biology.