Dyson hosts symposium in honor of late professor Gregory Poe

By: Katelyn Godoy
Photo of Greg Poe with overlay text: Special Symposium in Honor of Gregory Poe

Students, faculty, and staff from across the university came together in April for a special symposium in celebration of the life and professional contributions of Gregory Poe, professor of applied economics and management, who passed away in March 2017. Greg was a member of Dyson’s faculty for 24 years.

Following Dyson professor David Lee’s, official welcome to the day’s guests, Kathleen Segerson, PhD ’84, an economics professor at the University of Connecticut, gave a tribute to her late friend and colleague. She recognized Greg’s personal impact as a thesis advisor to 14 graduate students, many of who were in attendance at the symposium. Segerson spoke of how Greg’s work impacted her personally, noting that his colleagues’ work that was seemingly unrelated would often become influential for him.

Toward the end of her tribute, Segerson spoke of Greg’s contributions to the field, in particular his work on water quality trading and electricity demand. She invited the audience to spend some time reading Greg’s capstone publication, “Behavioral Anomalies in Contingent Values and Actual Choices,” published in August 2016. Segerson noted its significance as Greg’s last paper, and one that “spans his professional life” and reflects the work he’s done over the course of his career.

In her final words before kicking off the Symposium, she expressed her hope for the event to be a time to “step back, reflect, and impart some knowledge to each other.” More than anything, that’s what Greg would want, she concluded.

After Segerson’s address, graduate students and faculty presented their own research and responded to the audience in a lively Q&A session following each topic. The subject matter was organized into four broad categories, three of which were moderated by Cornell faculty:

Water Quality and Ecosystem Services

Moderated by Neha Khanna, PhD ’98, professor of economics and environmental studies, Binghamton University

Environmental Policy

Moderated by Shanjun Li, Kenneth L. Robinson Professor of Agricultural Economics and Public Policy, Dyson

Alternate Approaches in Assessing Water Management and Quality

Moderated by William Schulze, Kenneth L. Robinson Professor of Applied Economics and Public Policy, Dyson

Groundwater and Watershed Management

Moderated by Jon Conrad, professor of resource economics, Dyson

Greg, who joined the Cornell faculty in 1993, taught environmental and resource economics at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. His research and outreach program focused on non-market valuation of environmental public goods, valuing the damages from ground water and surface water pollution, experimental economics, and environmental and water resource policy.

His courses in environmental and resource economics attracted countless undergraduates and graduate students for more than 20 years. Greg also supervised several winners of the Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association’s (NAREA) Thesis Award over the span of his career.

The symposium was sponsored by the Dyson School, the Food Industry Management Program, Industrial Economics Inc., the Cornell Institute for China Economic Research, and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

Read more about Greg’s life and legacy in this faculty memorial statement, written by Jon M. Conrad, Richard N. Boisvert, and David R. Lee.