Environmental economist joins Texas A&M’s agricultural economics department



The Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Agricultural Economics has added an environmental economist to its faculty.

Dr. Liqing Li, previously an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at California State University, Fullerton, has joined the department as an assistant professor.

A head and shoulders photo of Dr. Li-Ching, who will be teaching environmental economics. She is wearing a black jacket, white shorts, and glasses. A head and shoulders photo of Dr. Li-Ching, who will be teaching environmental economics. She is wearing a black jacket, white shorts, and glasses.
Dr. Liqing Li joined Texas A&M’s Department of Agricultural Economics as an environmental economist. (Photo provided)

Lee graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an outstanding doctoral student in agricultural and applied economics, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree in economics.

“Dr. Lee’s research interests in the fields of environmental and natural resource economics and the relationship between humans and the environment bring new vitality to our department,” said Dean Dr. Rudy Naiga. “Her work focuses on the environment and the impact and value of conservation and restoration efforts in both urban and rural areas.”

Lee said he is excited to join the Texas A&M University community.

“The collaborative environment within the department and university resonates deeply with my academic goals and values,” she said. “I look forward to contributing to this vibrant family of scholars and beginning an exciting new chapter in my career.”

Research on human environmental economics

Lee’s research themes focus on the connection between humans and their environment.

Examples of her ongoing research include understanding how people value urban green spaces and different forms of agriculture. Investigating the impact of climate change information on food choices. and how land conservation programs impact local economies.

One of her studies investigated the potential unintended consequences of providing public goods in urban areas in combination with one of the largest tree-planting programs in the United States. Journal of Environmental Economic Management, She estimated the value people place on urban trees and investigated whether planting trees would cause gentrification in the area for which they were planted.

Lee has also been active in interdisciplinary research, collaborating with researchers in the fields of ecology, sociology, engineering, and environmental science. Examples of her interdisciplinary research include the effectiveness of hurricane evacuation policies using mobility data. Building community resilience in grassland conservation and bison reintroduction. Investigate the feeding behavior of wild birds. and the connection between humans and nature.

“My goal is to incorporate my research findings into teaching and further engage students interested in environmental and natural resource economics,” she said.

Lee’s various economics teaching experiences

At Texas A&M, Lee teaches doctoral-level courses in the fundamentals of resource and environmental economics. Previously, she taught Causation and Analysis, Intermediate Microeconomics, and Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at California State University, Fullerton.

“As an instructor, I strive to provide my students with curiosity and the capacity for lifelong growth,” she said. “I want to help students from diverse backgrounds not only understand economics, but also apply the knowledge they gain to better understand the world around them. I want to teach them how to think critically about things and use economic concepts to make smart everyday life decisions.”

Lee holds an impact teaching certification from California State University, Fullerton and a graduate teaching certification from the University of Illinois. She was named the 2020 Outstanding Doctoral Student of the Year by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she also received a fellowship in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.

Economics-related workshops, presentations, and expert partnerships

Lee has presented at conferences and workshops for several professional organizations, including the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, the Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, the International Western Economic Association, and the Southern Economic Association.

She also serves on numerous academic committees and advisory committees, and as a reviewer for the following grants: National Science Foundation and both economic journals and interdisciplinary academic journals. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Landscape and Urban Planning, Environmental and Development Economics, and Conservation Biology.


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