Brett Howell is a management consultant based in Washington, DC.  He is passionate about environmental sustainability and stewardship, with a special emphasis on the marine environment, and strives to make the connection between the health of ecosystems and the business bottom line.  Brett is particularly interested in social entrepreneurship, researching ways that property rights frameworks can be applied to the marine environment through marine protected areas and marine payments for ecosystem services (MPES), with the goal of creating a self-sustaining organization focused on coral restoration and invasive species management.  Brett has an MBA in real estate and sustainability from the University of Colorado-Boulder and a B.S. in Communication (majors in environmental planning and public relations) from the University of Miami.  He has more than six years of experience working on projects across real estate, engineering, and environmental consulting.  Since his earliest childhood, Brett has loved skiing, been an enthusiastic SCUBA diver, done whitewater rafting throughout the western US, and visited more than 30 countries as an avid traveler in search of new adventures.

© 2011 Marine Earth Capital

About Ecological Economics and Marine Payments for Ecosystem Services:

“Ecosystem services” (ES) is the term used to encompass the nonmarket benefits that society derives from nature and can be grouped into four basic categories: provisioning (e.g. food and water), regulating (e.g. climate regulation), supporting (e.g. waste processing), and cultural (e.g. aesthetics).  “Ecological Economics” (EE) accounts for the value ES provides by considering costs such as environmental change and uncertainty of long-term outcomes. EE corrects limitations in traditional economics, for example that ES are “unpriced” or “free” despite the fact that the environment provides critical inputs (e.g. raw materials), acts as a waste sink from human economic activities, provides utility (happiness) from the contemplation of scenic beauty, and offers basic life support services (e.g. climate regulation)... (Click here for source notes and to download the white paper)

One of MEC’s current interests:

Lionfish (family Scorpaenidae, species Pterois volitans and P. miles), also called firefish, are native to the tropical Pacific and Indian oceans (e.g. Africa, Western Indonesia, Philippines), but are
believed to have been introduced to Florida reefs intentionally or unintentionally by home aquarium hobbyists or commercial aquarists sometime between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Some people believe that Hurricane Andrew was the original source of release as it caused aquarium tanks to break, freeing the fish. In recent years the fish have become prolific on Caribbean reefs and coastal waters along the U.S. Atlantic Coast, found in densities of up to 1,000 fish per acre of reef, while reaching densities up to 20 times higher than similar-size native species. Scientists testing the DNA of captured lionfish have concluded that virtually all of them trace back to just nine founding females and an unknown number of males. Some scientists have referred to them as “cockroaches” and think of them as a form of biological pollution... (Click here for source notes and to download more about Lionfish)

About Marine Earth Capital (MEC):

Arya Mazdyasni is a real estate broker, entrepreneur, and a management consultant based in San Diego, CA.  Combining economic experience across a number of investment and asset classes with a drive for creating elegant solutions to global challenges, Arya has been an advocate for applying more reasonable frameworks of economics for creating market-based approaches to environmental and social stewardship. With a keen interest in ecologically- and socially-responsible entrepreneurism, co-creating Marine Earth Capital to help further the application of novel approaches to existing and anticipated challenges was a natural synthesis. He graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, has a Certificate in Real Estate Finance, Investment, and Development from the University of San Diego, and has a background in cybernetics. Arya is an avid traveler, loves the outdoors, and believes that good, well-informed design has the potential to create immense positive, non-zero-sum value.