We are highlighting some of our graduate students in a series we call Graduate Student Spotlight. Next up is Rusty Dame, a third-year student in the Applied Economics Ph.D. program originally from West Palm Beach, FL. 

What is your area of research?

My current research focuses on marine resource economics, specifically recreational demand non-market valuation.

Why is your research important?

I think that my research is important because of the direct policy implications and the impact on anglers' livelihoods that can come from my results. I am currently working on the Pacific halibut fishery in Alaska - a fishery that is important economically and culturally to the anglers and communities of the region. My research may have an influence on commercial and recreational regulations that directly influence these people and the fishery. This motivates me to make realistic assumptions in my models and conduct good research that accurately captures the importance of the fishery.

What is your favorite thing about the Applied Economics department?

My favorite thing about the Applied Economics department is the time and energy faculty and staff put into graduate students to ensure their success. Everyone in the department is busy with their own research or jobs that must be completed, but I have never had a negative experience asking anyone for help or to discuss my research (not to mention the work professors put into preparation for their classes). During the first two/three years, graduate students take field and concentration courses from professors that actually conduct research in that field and are excited to answer questions and discuss related topics.

Full Interview is here