Research Scientist: Dr. Michael Shelly

Dr. Michael A. Shelly is an experienced environmental economist (with over 25 years experience) who has analyzed a wide variety of projects on five continents.  

Dr. Shelly values the environmental, ecological, and social benefits associated with both natural and engineered systems.  Examples include: assessing natural resource damage in Kuwait caused by the Gulf War; analyzing the impacts from contamination in Lake Onondaga (New York), from an invasive species in Lake Davis (California), and from coastal oil contamination in southern California; projecting the socioeconomic impacts of natural gas hydraulic fracturing in New York State; and serving as an independent reviewer for the Bureau of Land Management’s handbook on natural resource damage assessment. 

In addition, he has valued the health impacts of pollution.  Examples include: leading the team that, for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, estimated the value of the health damages caused by the deliberate destruction of oil wells in Kuwait during the Gulf War; estimating the health benefits from air pollution controls at the world’s largest phosphate producer; and estimating the health costs of cigarette smoking.

Dr. Shelly has also worked on climate change issues.  Examples include: estimating the potential carbon credit revenues for a proposed advanced oxy-coal power plant in Jamestown; conducting a regulatory review for a large, coal-fired, circulating fluidized bed power plant in Pennsylvania; and evaluating the potential carbon credit revenues from a rehabilitated natural gas pipeline in the Republic of Georgia.

In his work, Dr. Shelly utilizes cost/benefit analysis, life cycle assessment, input-output analysis, habitat equivalency analysis, and economic willingness to pay methods for valuing ecosystem services.

He previously worked for two environmental consulting firms (ERM Inc. and Ecology and Environment Inc.), for NERA - an economic consulting firm specializing in the energy industry, and in the economics/strategy department at Unilever. plc.  He also taught environmental economics at Canisius College and microeconomics at Daemen College.

Dr. Shelly holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Edinburgh in 1988, a Master’s in Economics in 1983 from the University of Warwick and a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics in from Queen Mary, University of London in 1981.