If you haven’t yet heard of the carbon trading market, get ready. Darek Nalle, resource economist in the Department of Conservation Social Sciences and an instructor in the program, believes the buying and selling of emission credits is an area primed for significant growth.
“Our natural resource students are in a unique position to build a valuable skill set that will make them highly sought after in this promising industry,” said Nalle. “They have the opportunity to gain a solid understanding of the markets and associated risks, from a scientific, strategic and financial perspective.”
One new approach to expand students’ knowledge of world economic issues was the development of the College of Business and Economics Barker Capital Management and Trading Program. Students in the program are provided a five-figure principle in real dollars to place trades in a wide range of markets. Students select financial instruments which include equities, futures and options, and other derivates.
If students are successful, their principle balances are increased and they generate profit, which they can keep as a percentage of their earnings, and the remaining capital is cycled back into the program. Funds for this unique program were provided by Chicago Board of Trade former director and lifetime member, Rotchford Barker. Barker also is an Idaho alumnus.
“This experience financially benefits the students and the university,” said Nalle. “It facilitates research skills, and colleges work collaboratively to bring students up to speed in the marketplace.”
With regard to the carbon markets, Nalle would like to see two potential business spin offs develop from the Barker program. One would be training students to be aggregators – people who contract with sellers of carbon credits. Another spin off would be training students to be verifiers. Verifiers audit the sellers of carbon credits, and they ensure, through site visits and monitoring of management practices, that behaviors are followed as reported.
“This is something you can’t learn from a textbook,” said Nalle. “Students who have applied trading experience and an understanding of resource management, banking, and real estate transactions will be well positioned to gain within an exchange system that is here to stay.”
Darek Nalle, resource economist in the Department of Conservation Social Sciences and an instructor in the program, and CNR students.