Humans and the natural environment are interconnected and should be perceived as one complex system. Humans’ well-being depends on the integrity of the environment and the well-being of the environment depends on humans’ stewardship and practices. It is critical to understand how one responds to the other so that sustainable management decisions can be adopted. Economics is the study of how humankind allocates its scarce resources given its unlimited wants. Increasing populations along the coasts as well as inland, climate change, and economic uncertainty lead to increased pressure on our natural resources. Thus, economics provides tools to address the issue of conservation and sustainable growth.
The Socio-Economics Group's mission is to investigate, model, and monitor the complex socio-economic and ecological systems around the Gulf of Mexico and beyond.