Partners / Clients

People have long depended on the ocean for food and commerce, and looked to it for adventure and recreation. In the 21st century, expanding population, trade and tourism are adding to our reliance on the services the oceans provide. However, fishermen, scientists and policy makers alike recognize that this irreplaceable resource is in trouble. Recent studies warn that unless humans begin interacting with our marine environment in a more sustainable way, seafood populations and critical ecosystems may collapse within 50 years.

To reduce these threats to our oceans and estuaries, and avoid their dire consequences, experts are calling on organizations and governments to develop practical solutions by integrating cutting-edge science and technology with economic, social and political expertise. Such an approach will require not only bringing experts and decision-makers together, but also building public understanding of these issues and producing leaders who can engage in effective problem solving and take the actions necessary to solve the problems.

With these goals in mind, three leading marine science and policy institutions – Stanford University (through its Woods Institute for the Environment and Hopkins Marine Station), the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) – have joined forces to create the Center for Ocean Solutions (COS). With the support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, COS combines Stanford’s expertise in marine biology, oceanography, engineering, economics, law and policy, with the Aquarium’s unparalleled success at public education and outreach, and MBARI’s leadership in deep-sea technology, exploration and monitoring, as well as marine and coastal economics. Over time, COS also expects to bring on board other leading institutions around the Monterey Bay, adding further depth and breadth to its expertise.

The Ecosystem Services Research Program (ESRP) in EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) is setting a new strategic direction to meet compelling needs for better understanding the implications of human impacts on ecosystems and the services they provide. We define ecosystem services as the products of ecological functions or processes that directly or indirectly contribute to human well-being. These processes and functions of ecosystems, the foundation of our health, livelihoods and well-being, are now at risk worldwide.

Afordable Futures LLC has been working with EPA to improve their modeling capacity.

We have been supporting work of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management on the Massachusetts Oceanic Partnership (MOP)

The goal of the MOP is to foster sustainable economies and societies through the use of ecosystem-based marine spatial planning.  There are dozens of competing activities such as commercial fishing, shipping, pipeline construction and recreation that now contend with important emerging uses such as renewable energy development, fish farms and marine conservation initiatives. 

With all of the services and resources that are provided by the ocean, conflicts arise over which services are more important. MOP has partnered with AFORDable Futures LLC to construct an ecosystem service model which will help inform managers of the tradeoffs associated with management decisions. This model will integrate biological, physical, social and economic information to enhance informed decision making. 

Houston Advanced Research Center


The HARC’s Economics of Sustainable Development Program (ESDP) focuses on practical economic tools implemented according to basic principles of sustainability in order to develop valuable insights for decision- and policy-making regarding the allocation and management of scarce resources. These insights provide policy makers, the public, academics, and businesses with a fuller understanding of potential and likely impacts including:

  • Total costs and benefits to be realized, including non-market costs and benefits;
  • Impacts on natural resources, the environment and ecosystems, including the stock and flow of costs and benefits from these natural assets;
  • Distribution of costs and benefits among people, groups and geographic areas; and,
  • Intergenerational impacts of decisions.
AFORDable Futures has been instrumental in assisting in some of the modeling work for HARC supporting their Ecosystem Measurement and Assessment Project designed to "document ecosystem management tools and metrics that may be used in coastal, offshore and Arctic regions and then determine which tool(s) could be most applicable."

Earth Economics works locally, nationally, and internationally. Our work has influenced policy and shifted investment towards sustainable land management and economic policy. The intended outcome of our work is to shift away from the failed economic policies of the past, towards an approach that is both economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

Earth Economics' work includes:

      • Ecosystem Service Valuations: Studies evaluating value of the goods and services our ecosystems produce, providing economic justification for shifting investment toward environmental restoration.
      • Funding mechanisms for conservation and restoration: Working with local jurisdictions such as the King County Conservation District, we apply innovative, ecologically based approaches to fund critical conservation work.
      • Educational outreach: In collaboration with our past funders, other nonprofits, and stakeholders, we have conducted workshops, lectures series, and media events to increase awareness about ecological economics.
      • Conversion of built capital to sustainability: Working with the electronic recycling industry, paper mills, other industries, Earth Economics helps catalyze the shift from unsustainable to sustainable technology and industrial processes.
AFORDable Futures LLC provided Earth Economics with initial analyses using the RAV tool and continues to be a project collaborator with Earth Economics.  Currently, we are developing work in support of flood control, tribal lands, and other environmental/natural resources management issues primarily in the Pacific Northwest.

The Wild Salmon Center is the only international conservation organization working to protect wild Pacific salmon throughout their entire range. We partner with governments, local communities, and businesses to create a network of healthy salmon ecosystems across the North Pacific. Our work is based on the best available science and our conservation solutions support sustainable economies, regional cultures, and the great rivers of the Pacific Rim.
The mission of the Wild Salmon Center is to identify, understand and protect the best wild salmon ecosystems of the Pacific Rim. We devise and implement practical strategies, based on the best science, to protect forever these extraordinary places and their biodiversity.

Roel Boumans provided RAV analyses for restoration work in Kamchatka's Kol River system.

The Wilderness Society's mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. The Wilderness Society is the leading American conservation organization working to protect our nation’s public lands, the 635 million acres collectively owned by the American people and managed by our government. From well-known icons to hidden gems, these lands provide us all with clean air and water; abundant wildlife; havens for recreation, learning, and solitude; and a foundation for a healthy planet. They are also important sources of renewable energy and vital natural resources that must be managed wisely.

CIVILand is a junior research group, which is engaged in payments for environmental and cultural landscape services also called Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) in the context of civil society initiatives.

Through their work, CIVILand hopes to raise a new perspective in the current international discussion on the PES. The junior research group will conduct empirical studies in Germany, Great Britain and the US.

The research group is based at the Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) and will conduct research in cooperation with various partners in Germany and the US. The Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) funds this junior research group through the research program “Social-ecological Research” (SÖF).

The Gund Institute is a transdisciplinary research, teaching, and service organization focused on developing integrative solutions to society's most pressing problems. W e conduct integrative research and service-learning projects on a broad range of topics, offer hands-on learning through our problem-solving workshops and courses, develop online teaching resources and international collaborations through metacourses, and support professional and graduate education through our Graduate Certificates in Ecological Economics and Ecological Design.