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Econ Prof Wins $99K Grant to Study Johnson Creek

By Anna Mann on July 06, 2015 11:03 AM

Prof. Noelwah Netusil [economics 1990–] has won a $99,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate how the restoration of Johnson Creek has affected local property values.

The grant will provide $99,256 to Reed for a two-year research project supported by a postbac fellow. For this appointment, Prof. Netusil chose Maya Jarrad ’14, an environmental studies-economics graduate, who will update and verify projects in the Johnson Creek Watershed residing in the conservation registry database. Maya utilized this database for her senior thesis, “Valuation of Urban Stream Restoration in the Johnson Creek Watershed: A Repeat Sale Hedonic Hybrid Analysis,” written with Prof. Netusil.

Prof. Netusil serves as coinvestigator for the grant, which comes from USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The other coinvestigator is Klaus Moeltner, professor in the agricultural and applied economics department at Virginia Tech. 

Utilizing traditional methods, Prof. Netusil and Maya will tackle the question of whether restoration projects affect property sale prices by looking at home sales in the Johnson Creek Watershed during 1988–2014. Specifically, they will examine the different outcome on property sale prices as affected by projects that improve fish passage, remove invasives, and reconstruct channels to reduce flooding. Prof. Moeltner will evaluate the same data utilizing an alternative approach. At the end of the project, the findings will be shared in a workshop with local stakeholders. Prof. Netusil says that she has received positive letters of support for the project from a wide range of government agencies and nonprofits.