Campus News

Bowdoin Economist Planning Blaine House Conference

Story posted February 05, 2003

David Vail, Adams-Catlin Professor of Economics at Bowdoin College, is working with the Maine Governor's Office to plan a Blaine House Conference on the challenges facing Maine's natural resource industries.

The fall 2003 plenary conference will build on preliminary gatherings this spring, focusing on problems and opportunities in six sectors: agriculture, forestry, marine fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, and renewable energy.

As conference steering committee member, Prof. Vail is primarily involved in planning sessions devoted to tourism, forestry, and renewable energy. One of Maine's foremost analysts of the tourism economy, Vail has been commissioned to write a background paper for the conference, addressing nature-based tourism's strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and challenges.

Vail is principal author of two related monographs, Tourism and Maine's Future and Livable Wages in Maine Tourism?, supported by the Ford Foundation and published by the Maine Center for Economic Policy. His article on snowmobiling and rural development is featured in the current issue of The Maine Policy Review and he has written numerous newspaper feature stories and op-eds on tourism and sustainable development. Several comparative studies of tourism and natural resource management, co-authored with Swedish colleagues, have appeared in scholarly journals.

Vail recently completed service on the Maine House Speaker's Advisory Commission on Tax Reform. He is a board member of the Natural Resources Council of Maine and the Maine Center for Economic Policy and serves as advisor to the Mountain Counties Heritage Network in western Maine. He is a former director of Bowdoin's Environmental Studies Program and teaches courses in environmental economics and sustainable development.

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