Benedict C. Posadas, Ph.D.Associate Extension Research Professor of Economics
1815 Popps Ferry Road
Biloxi, MS 39532
Since 1990, Ben Posadas has consistently developed and maintained the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center’s (CREC) extension and research program in economics with emphasis on three major areas: marine economics and marketing, horticulture economics and marketing, and economics of natural and technological disasters. This emphasis was motivated by the information needs of the coastal communities and residents, marine, horticultural and coastal-related industries, business establishments and organizations, and state and federal regulatory agencies. The CREC’s horticulture and marine resource economics (HMRE) extension and research programs during the past decade were made possible by additional extramural funding from state and federal funding agencies totaling more than $4 million dollars.
Working with a team of an urban horticulturist, economic planner, and GIS practitioner, Ben assisted in the creation of the MSU-Center for Urban Rural Interface Studies (CURIS). The overall mission of CURIS is to provide a clearinghouse of information regarding county socio-economic profiles, changes in land use, community resiliency, economic and disaster preparedness, and economic impacts of natural and technological disasters.
Ben conducted economic assessments of the damages associated with natural disasters to the state marine fisheries and recreational fishing sectors. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) and NOAA Fisheries requested him to conduct an economic assessment of the damages associated with Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. The combined damage assessments in all five states were used by the states through their legislative representations and federal endorsements to secure the allocation of federal disaster recovery funds amounting to $130 million. His expertise in damage assessment was again requested by the MDMR after Hurricane Gustav in November 2008.
Ben participated in the Natural Resource Damage Assessment associated with the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) offshore oil rig in April 2010. He was requested by the MDMR and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to represent the state of Mississippi in the Technical Working Group on the Human Use Impacts of the DWH oil spill.
He also served with the team of economists from four Mississippi universities who were mandated by the Mississippi governor to conduct an assessment of the economic impacts of the DWH oil spill.
With multi-year funding from the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (GSMFC) since June 2011, Dr. Posadas collaborated with the MarketMaker (MM) national program and the MM programs in 20 other states, and the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition (GSMC) to provide an online direct marketing tool for seafood products and services from the Gulf of Mexico states.
Timely conduct of economic research on horticultural, marine and coastal-related issues was the key to successful extension of the HMRE project results. Presentations of results were conducted at producers meetings, scientific conferences and industry workshops. The use of the Internet and social media networks played a vital complementary function in extension programming in HMRE issues.