University: University of Miami
Current University Expertise:
David Letson is Professor of Marine Affairs and Economics at the University of Miami, where he has worked since 1995. He currently serves as Chair of the Division of Marine Affairs. His research focuses on the economics of extreme weather and climate variations. He is interested in the value of predictions from the geosciences and in how those predictions are interpreted and used. Living in Miami, on a barrier island no less, Letson is well acquainted with hurricanes and hurricane forecasts. In one research project, Letson has developed an internet-based survey approach to estimate the economic value of hurricane forecast attributes. Letson has also helped create an electronic securities market to advance understanding of how hurricane track forecasts are interpreted and used. Letson serves as a member of NOAA's Hurricane Forecast Socio-Economic Working Group, convened by NOAA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research to develop a hurricane social science research agenda. Letson's other main interest is the economics of climate. He participates in a multi-disciplinary evaluation of climate forecasting for decision makers in the southeastern US and Argentina, as part of the Southeastern Climate Consortium, representing eight universities (Alabama-Huntsville, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami and North Carolina State). Two targeted decision sectors are agriculture and fisheries.
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