August 2019 eNews

Meet the Researcher Janie Chermak, Department of Economics, University of New Mexico

By Carolina Mijares, NM WRRI Program Manager

Janie Chermak joined the faculty at the University of New Mexico in 1995 and served as the Chair of the Economics Department from 2012-2016. Dr. Chermak’s research and teaching interests include interdisciplinary modeling, applied microeconomics, and natural resource and environmental economics with an emphasis in energy, water, and invasive species.

Professor Chermak received a BA in geology from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. Dr. Chermak obtained her MS and PhD in mineral economics from Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. From 2016-2017, Dr. Chermak was an invited member of the Science Advisory Council convened to review the science of the American Water Resources Association and the Journal of the American Water Resources Association. She also has served on the Albuquerque Bernalillo Water Utility Authority Technical Customer Advisory Committee since 2016 and is currently the Committee Chair.

During her time at the University of New Mexico, Dr. Chermak has supervised 25 graduate students (MA and PhD). Many of these students focused their research on water and water issues in semi-arid climates. Janie Chermak is currently the advisor of an NM WRRI Student Water Research recipient, Alyssa Latuchie. Latuchie’s research focuses on the New Mexican’s willingness to pay to treat produced water, which could provide an additional water supply to the state. The study utilizes a survey, administered to a sample of New Mexicans in order to assess the value New Mexicans place on this potential water source. The goal of the research is to consider the feasibility of produced water from a societal perspective, rather than from the private market.

Professor Chermak’s recent work focuses on modeling and comparing optimal residential water pricing options under conservation and capital investment objectives with heterogeneous consumers. In addition, she is just beginning a study of the potential impact on water resources to rural communities under changing energy production in the state.