Michael Huang

Introduce yourself...

I am a graduate student in my second year of MSc in the Agricultural and Resource Economics program at the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.

What are you researching and what do you hope comes out of your research?

I'm researching the economics aspects of wildfire suppression expenditures in Alberta. Through my research, I want to help decision-makers if Alberta Wildfire considers how best practices in firefighting resource allocation can be made even better.

How did presenting a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) help explain your research to the public?

Preparation for the 3MT has helped me consider how university research can be communicated to the general public in an accessible manner. Whether it's pitching an idea to funding agencies who are interested in fresh perspectives or just catching up with grandma, a 3MT presenter who can communicate effectively will do justice to their research.

What inspires you to do research?

I'm inspired by the work of experimental and applied economists, on whose shoulders I stand to develop my own research. I continue to be fascinated by the innovation demonstrated by economics researchers who are approaching problems, big and small.

What are three keywords important to your 3MT?

engaging, descriptive, curious

How has your research changed during COVID-19?

Due to the remote delivery of this academic year, I have missed out on good deliberative discussions with my colleagues in the department, which has been difficult to replicate over a screen. Were it not for this health crisis, I would have liked to have had the chance to meet face-to-face with our funding partners in Alberta Wildfire, to see how the operations we are analyzing are taking place in the field.

If you had to dedicate your research to anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?

To the one million and growing population of Albertans who are living in the wildland-urban interface. My research will generate results, and hopefully more research interest, on how resources can be best allocated to protect human and ecological communities from wildland fire risks.