David Ervin is professor of environmental management, professor of economics,
and a fellow in the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. His research program includes projects on ecosystem services, business environmental management, and the potential role of genetically engineered crops in agricultural sustainability. He is a codirector of the Integrated Graduate Education, Research, and Training program, Ecosystem Services for Urbanizing Regions, and coprincipal investigator of the Spatially-Explicit Assessment of Ecosystem Services Shifts under Climate Change, both funded by the National Science Foundation.

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Policymakers and resource managers often frame ecosystem services management challenges as a matter of protecting natural areas outside of cities. Assuring good stewardship of nature’s services in rural areas is indeed crucial but is only part of the solution. Over 50 percent of the world’s human population now resides in urban areas, a figure …

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