About "Catch & Research"

Welcome. I found my passion in ecological economics and fishing. They are all about pursuit of unknown and uncertain objects. I always enjoy the seemingly reckless pursuit itself. This blog is a record of my long journey in research and fishing. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fishing in front of my apt.

I was frustrated from reading at school today. So, I came back home a bit early and went fishing near by my apartment. There is a bridge, and I fished under the bridge. The spot is one minute distance from my place (that's the reason why I moved to this new apt ;-). I have not fished there before, and decided to venture the spot today. The spot seemed promising for striper fishing, because there is always strong current.

I casted a 4" swimbait (Storm, Wild eye shad). After about 7 minute, I got a strong bite. It was clearly one of striper's. Yes, I caught a 18" baby striper. I didn't really expect to catch anything. What a surprise! I casted couple of other swimbaits, but didn't get any bite. Then came back home. It was short outing, but successful. (You can see Troy downtown at background)

Monday, April 28, 2008

First Sturgeon

I went out for striped bass with Captain M. yesterday night. What we did was first, we caught some herring for bait, and secon we did bait fishing with live herring. As soon as we cast the bait, we got strong bites. But not striper's strong bite; most of them were catfish's. We tried cut baits, too, but didn't make results. I was bored and started jigging with my bucktail jig. After dozens castings, bam! I got a strong bite. It really pull out my line. At that time, I was using light tackles (Medium power 6'6" rod and 2500 size reel). It was not easy to handel the strong fight on a small canoe. At first, I though that it was walleye. Wrong. Surprise to me, it was Hudson sturgeon! Nice. It was my first sturgeon. After taking quick picture, we released it. We didn't catch any striper, it was a worthy trip.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Environmentally Friendly Fisherman

During this earth week, I consider about my sports, fishing. Here is the list of my pledge:
  • Whenever I stand by shore, I will appreciate all kinds of joy that Mother Nature allow me through the wonderful sports, fishing.
  • While I fish, I will always remain calm and quiet in order to be a part of nature.
  • I will always clean up where I stay before and after I fish.
  • I will carefully practice catch and release.
  • I will respect every species of fish which form a tight ecosystem all together.
  • I will treat caught fish carefully to reduce harm as much as I can.
  • I will consider the use of barbless hook to minimize damage to my catch. (I try to buy barbless hook at local store, but I could not find. Do anyone know maker of good barbless hook?)
  • When I need fish for the small joy on my family’s dinner table, I will harvest only the necessary minimum.
  • When my tackle gets snagged, I will recover as long line as possible before I cut my line by pulling my line slowly.
  • When I re-spool, I will recycle old mono line.
  • I will always be cautious about choice of my tackle not only to catch fish but also to reduce environmental burden.
  • I will encourage others to fish to share my joy of fishing and appreciation of nature.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Meeting with Advisor (4/22), Forecasting

1. Question and Answer
(1) About forecasting
I asked about how to forecast? or which method is the right way of forecasting. This question came out because some economists and scientists claim that we cannot correctly forecast future variation with model, although we well understand cause and effect relationship between target variable and some explanatory variables. Simply thinking, when we know cause-effect relationship, we can predict results from certain causes. For example, when we drop eggs, they will be broken. We know the relationship between the activity and results, and the relationship always holds under usual environment.

However, the issue is to forecast complex system. Because there are so many uncounted variables, it is problematic to forecast with a model which explains only a few causal relationship in the system. Economic forecasting is the example.

Therefore, instead using models, scenario analysis can be useful. First, setting up some plausible scenarios, and then we can make forecast in each scenario. Understanding causal relationship is crucial in forecasting, but causal relationship itself cannot make a good forecast.

(2) Making a hybrid unit table
I found input-output table for Korea in money term and energy balance table in TOE term (ton of oil equivalent). I am trying to combine them and make a hybrid unit table. It seems a mechanical task, but there are many things to consider: dividing datum for a sector to several subsectors, putting new energy rows and so on. For a solution, I can consider rectangular matrix (non square); in this way, I can put more energy rows than energy industry column.

(3) Input-Output Analysis and SDA
How much should I know about IOA in order to do SDA? I may need know all the basics of IOA, but not detail. Mostly, I need focus on IOA techniques instead reasoning.

2. Next Goals

a. Making a pilot hybrid unit table
b. Keep reading Miller and Blair, and Miernyk
c. Reading application papers of SDA

3. House Keeping

a. I borrowed one book:
Miller et al. 1989. Frontiers of Input-output analysis. Which includes Faye Duchin's article.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Frist Striped Bass in this season!

I went striper fishing with Captain M to the Troy dam yesterday afternoon. I casted hair jigs and swimbaits. After fruitless 40 minutes, we decided to leave. At the final moment, I caught one, 5 or 6 pounder. It was a small schoolie, but nice enough to make my day. It is so shiny in this picture. You can see the lure at its mouth. After taking this picture, I released it. It was short outing, but I caught the first striper in this season. Good start!

ps. Capt. M's goal of this season is 200 stripers. Mine? I don't know, I am still a novice of striper fishing. I hope I can catch at least one at every outing.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Outfit for Sit On Top (SOT) Kayak

I have a sit on top (sot) kayak (you can find pictures of my kayak here). I use this for fishing. One of drawback of this kayak is that it is easy to get wet: water comes in over wall. Because of its surfboard like design, this problem seems unavoidable. So, I have to wear properly to stay dry.

I checked some websites and books. Their recommendations are dry suit (expensive but sure), or bib style wader + rain jacket combo (less expensive but could-be deadly in case of falling). I think these options are over kill for freshwater kayak fisherman. Instead, I tested wader boots + bib style rain pants option, and it was fine for the purpose to keep myself dry. Of course, it was more comfortable to maneuver on kayak than other outfit options. I need test it under warm weather. So far, I am happy with this outfit option.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Abstract for ISEE 2008 Nairobi conference

I submitted an abstract to International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) 2008 conference. This conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya. Because Kenya is in the middle of political turmoil, I am not sure whether the conference can be held as planned or not. Also, air fare to Nairobi is incredibly expensive, over $2,000 (are u kidding me?). I am working on for funding with my advisor. Anyway, I am taking a shot.

They required a long abstract, 500-1,000 words. It sounds odd to me. Title of the abstract is "Energy substitution and economic growth: fuel mix and change of the elasticity of substitution." Currently, I am changing my research topic. This abstract is my old topic. I will study about energy and economic growth of Korean case. I will use the Structural Decomposition Analysis (SDA) for the topic. You can find the full abstract here http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddfmw3gd_8fsm3vjgm

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

GDAE program director, Dr. Frank Ackerman

Yesterday, I attended a seminar of Dr. Frank Ackerman, co-program director of Global Development and Environment Insittute (GDAE) at Tufts university. GDAE is well known in heterodox economists and ecological economists. It publishes many books and articles of new perspectives. GDAE may be one of dream job of many heterodox economists.

Dr. Ackerman's presentation title was "Can we afford global warming?" He used expression, climate economics during his presentation. He used a metaphor of insurance for climate change policy. People buy a insurance although it never pass the cost-benefit test. Climate policy should be considered as a insurance against catastrophic events which have low probability. It is all about precautaionary principle.

Makes very sense! But question is "can we buy the insurance?" He answered that the insurance is not that costly. There are already diverse and affordable solutions available, but problem is political will. He said that government should invest more in R&D for climate change. This view, tech-optimistic, is similar to Martin Hoffert. My question to Dr. Ackerman will be where we can optimally allocate the insurance money.

USSEE President elect, Dr. Sabine O'Hara

Last Friday, I met Dr. Sabne O'Hara, President elect of United States Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE). She happened to visit for another reason, and I organized a meeting with her. She is a tall and blond lady. She said that she is originaly from Germany. We talked about various topics for two hours. She was vary clear about every thing. Although there was nothing new to me in the talk, she impressed all students including myself. Here are some key words that she mentioned in her talk:

science of sustainable development, context specific, region specific, value of social diversity, 3 pilar (or dimension) approach, better understanding human behavior, problem oriented...

After the talk, I got impression that our ecological economics society would move to more policy direction. In particular, science of human behavior.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I will teach you how to be selfish!

At the first class of John Gowdy's microeconomics, he said that an experiment showed that students in economics tended to be more selfish than other students. His point, as I remember, was that current economics education does not teach how to observe economic phenomena in themselves, rather how to be selfish in each market situation.

When I heard this, I made up my mind not to be another selfish economist. But, frankly, let me confess you that nowadays I feel like becoming another selfish ass... Whenever I make decision, I find myself calculating costs and benefits of my own without considering community or others. I find myself being reluctant to share some time for cause of community.

I came to a graduate school with dream, a dream to make difference in the world. And now I am losing the dream. Quite painful in my heart, sensing no problem in my head.

About my heart pain, I have to blame economics education; it really teaches the art of being selfish, nothing more than that. Economics is crying, human nature is originally selfish, and somehow selfish people make a world of altruism thanks to touch of the invisible hand. Therefore, be selfish without any shame! When people work hard for their own interest, it will solve every problem by increasing efficiency!

Bunch of selfish asses cannot solve the many problems on this small planet. We all know it from our experience dealing with these problems. We have to stop teaching the art of being selfish. Economics should be a science. It should not be a religion of selfishness.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sea Level Change Model, Dr. David Holland

I went to a talk by Dr. David Holland* from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. Wow, it was one of the most original and informative presentations. He showed us pictures and videos which he took in arctic and antarctic research stations. It was great joy to hear from a field expert of climate change frontier. Here is the summary of the talk:

You must be familiar about Sink hole theory of ice sheet. Warmed up air melts top ice, and then melted ice digs sink holes through body of ice sheet. Water flows through the sink hole and lubricate ice sheet while facilitating total melting process.

Dr. Holland presented a bit different theory. He pointed warm sea water as a main cause of ice sheet melting. He dropped temperature probes into ice fjord and found bottom water is warmer than has been thought. Warmer ocean water is eating away ice sheet. It seemed not his experties to explain why temperature is increasing at the bottom. He pointed wind patern changs as a possible cause.

He measures the amount of sink hole melting is very small compared to meting by warmer ocean. He is still working on computer model with his theory, so didn't provide any explicit prediction. But he mentioned "it will hardly happen that whole Florida submerges under water."

Predicting the impacts of climate change will never be easy task because we have never been there.

*Dr. Holland is a member of The Center for Atmosphere Ocean Science(CAOS), an interdisciplinary research and graduate program within the Courant. His work focuses on modeling the interaction of climate, oceans,and ice shelves. His webpage: http://efdl.cims.nyu.edu/

"We hate China:" Failure of civil diplomacy

As 2008 Beijing Olympic is reaching close, protests against China are happening in many cities. The protests was caused by China's treatment of Tibet crisis and poor condition of human right in China at surface. But what I observe is the failure of Chinese diplomacy, in particular social diplomacy.

We all know that Tibetans and civil rights group try to take advantage of this timing when China faces the biggest event, which will present China's great achievement all over the world. As usual, this kind of protests were well expected. However, China's poor civil diplomacy made things worse. Here are the bad choices that China has made. First, Chinese government expelled all foreign reporters from Tibet after the crisis. I saw that some of foreign press produced somewhat distorted views which harmed China's image. But when all the reporters were expelled, the vacuum of information was filled up not by China-friendly press, but by more unfriendly and distorting guesses. Citizens in other countries well know that in fact Chinese presses are owned and operated by the government; they don't trust Chinese press, as it is the case in many other countries. China should have opened Tibet to deliver the truth of the crisis. Now, unfortunately I can see a lot of exaggerations of the crisis.

Second, statement of Chinese chief diplomats were arrogant and failed to earn understandings of world citizens. They did not need mention about human right condition in other western countries. This sounded just like, "We didn't do anything wrong compared to you." I think they should have expressed remorse of the crisis and beg understanding of the uniqueness of the situation. We all know how hypocritical the western countries are. At least Chinese diplomats didn't need remind this fact. What they did need was to make China's image as a victim. Anyway, they failed, and now look how damaging the result is.

Third, the Chinese government has continuously underestimated Dalai Lama's civil diplomacy. After the crisis, we are clearly witnessing the triumph of his diplomacy all over the world, although he may not claim the victory. He earned mind of world citizens, while arrogant Chinese diplomacy was losing.

I worry that people would say "We hate China" after the olympic games, although the people didn't really have any anti-feeling against China before. If it becomes true, China will lose more than gain from the games. I would like to see the Chinese efforts to earn world citizen's mind.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Meeting with Advisor (4/7). Hybrid SDA

I met my advisor, Dr. John Gowdy today:

1. Question and Answer
I asked about the advantages of hybrid approach of Input-Output Structural Decomposition Analysis (SDA). There are 4 advantages of it. Most of all, the hybrid approach is better in keeping original information of input-output table than generalized input-output SDA. Here are the advantages explained by Casler and Rose (1998):
  1. It abides by the energy (or pollution) conservation law: There are primary energy and secondary energy whcih is a product of primary energy. When we calculate total energy use, the amount of primary enrgy and the amount of secondary energy plus primary energy used for other production must be equal. Hybrid approach can ensure that the I-O table conserves this law. But other approaches could lose this feature, and over- or under- calculate total amount of energy (Miller and Blair, 1985).
  2. It accurately measures changes in energy use (or pollution emissions) that arise. Because this approach shows energy use for each sector.
  3. It makes it possible to still use the augmented Leontief inverse.
  4. It makes it easy to incoporate with ecological-economic models.

2. Plan of Dissertation
I agreed to write three essays about Economic growth, energy and green house emissions in Korea. First one will be a descriptive essay about economic growth and energy-pollution policy in Korea. I will present general discussion about related issues and evidence.

Second and third ones will be structural decomposition analysis about energy use and green house gas emissions in Korea. They will be more analytical and technical papers.

3. Next Goals

  • Understanding SDA method. Read two books that I borrowed.
  • Korean data collecting. Money term I-O table at hand. I need energy and green house gas emission data.
  • Searching for physical data estimating method. Look up Cleveland's artical about energy IOA.

4. House Keeping

  • I borrowed two books:
    Miller and Blair. 1985. Input-output analysis: foundations and extensions.
    Miernyk. 1965. The elements of input-output analysis


Casler. S.D. and P.D. Blair. 1997. Economic structure, fuel combustion, and pollution emissions.

Casler. S.D. and A. Rose. 1998. Carbon Dioxide emissions in the U.S. economy

Miller and Blair. 1985. Input-output analysis: foundations and extensions.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Prep list for fishing trip

(1) What to wear?
Clothing is very important because fishing is an outdoor activity. When weather changes, there is always danger of hypothermia or injury. Dressing properly can ensure the joy of fishing. Winter requires extra clothings. Here, I assume a trip during Summer, Spring and Fall time.
  • Hat: You always need a hat to make shade and also keep your body temperature. If it is a extremely warm Summer day, you can wear a sun visor.
  • Cargo pants: It provides extra storage. Except humid Summer day, I do not recommend shorts. Because long pants protects skin from sun and unexpected cuts from fishing tackle. Personally, I do not prefer jean because jean is poor at insulation. And when it gets wet, it does not dry fast.
  • Long sleeve shirts: Although you wear short sleeve shirts, you need to wear or bring long sleeve shirts.
  • Shoes: In many cases, snickers are fine. If you are going to wade, you may need water shoes (sandal) or boots.
  • Jacket: There are many brand name jackets available on the market. Breathable sports jacket (ex. Gore-tex) is always fine for fishing.
  • Rain jacket: You have to keep one in your bag. In many cases of shower and drizzling, breathable jacket works as a rain gear. But during Summer, fisherman has to fight heavy shower, and 100% water proof rain jacket is necessary.
  • Wool sweater: Wool is a great material for sports wear. It keeps body temperature when it gets wet. Because fisherman stays near by water, he/she has more chance to get wet. Wool sweater is a perfect extra clothe which you want to keep in your bag.
  • Gloves: Fingerless gloves are convenient to handle fish and bait. I heard that wool gloves are good, but have not tested them yet.
(2) Fishing tackle?
  • Fishing rod and reel: I usually bring two sets with me and rig one rod for bottom lure, and the other for mid or top water lures.
  • Tackle box: including hooks, floats, line, sinker, swivel, lures (top, mid, bottom lures), clipper and so on
  • Multi tool: It is very useful when you cut your line and remove hooks from fish. I used use Swiss Army knife. Now I use Leather man multi tool because it has long nose pliers.
  • Can of bait: Worm, minnow, crayfish, paste bait and so on. Whatever you want.
(3) Record keeping?
  • Camera: If you are a catch-n-release fisherman, you at least want to take a picture of your trophy. You may not want to bring your expensive camera unless you have a personal property insurance. I saw that there is a disposable digital camera, which looks good for boat fisherman.
  • Ruler or scale: Many waters have size limits which you have to pay attention.
  • Thermometer: I check water temperature. Temp information is useful to measure degree of fish activity.
(4) Food?
  • Water: When it is windy, your body loses more water than under calm weather.
  • Snack: energy bar, jerky and so on. Fruit is always first choice of mine. Fruit helps our body quickly regain energy. It is more effective than any other processed food.
  • Beer: Not a good one. But can you imagine fishing without drinking beer?
(5) Last but not least!
  • Sun glasses: Polarized sun glasses make difference: you can easily see through water. But any kind of sun glasses is better than nothing. I prefer gray or amber color under day light, and yellow during dawn and twilight.
  • Flash light: Always keep one in your bag. When you go out for night fishing, you definitely need a head lantern.
  • First aid kit: Most injuries in fishing is related cut or punctuation by sharp tackles. At least, you need clean gaze and band aid.
  • Sun block and lip balm: Protecting your skin from strong sun beam is very important. Sun burn really hurts.
  • Insect repellent: Unfortunately fish are biting most, when mosquito are biting most.
  • Plastic bags: You need couple of bags for many purposes, such as wrapping your catch and collecting your garbage.
  • Small towel: Whenever you hook bait or dehook your catch, you may want to wash your hands. It means you have put your hands into water. You can dry your hands by wind, but it can hurt under windy weather. Dry your hands with towel.
  • Tissue: Emergency situation.
  • Contour map and Regulation booklet

This list is the basic of basics to prepare for fishing trip. You may need more. Remember, always more prepared is better than less prepared. BUT, lighter bag is better than heavier one. Difficult decision to make.