Past Event

Elective Studies Supper Club Vol 6.: Dr. Sabina Shaikh

In partnership with Land and Sea Dept., the next installation of Elective Studies Supper Club continues with a lecture by Dr. Sabina Shaikh, who will speak about the economic value of protecting our environment. Chef Steve Newman will prepare a sumptuous meal for attending artists, and Land and Sea Dept. Beverage Director Paul McGee will devise a welcome cocktail.

This event is part of our Elective Studies series, created to help artists find inspiration from the world around them. Through a combination of lectures by top-tier experts and meals crafted by the city’s finest chefs, these convenings are designed to unite, inspire, nourish, and connect.

With generous support from The Joyce Foundation, and sponsorship by Death’s Door Spirits and Lagunitas Brewing Company.


How Humans Value the Environment
Dr. Sabina Shaikh
University of Chicago

As humans, we depend on the environment in a multitude of ways, from breathing air and drinking water to the use of natural resources to power daily activities like driving and turning on lights, to enjoyment from outdoor recreation and views. Human dependency on the environment implies that there is economic value in its protection. How is this value measured and what does it tell us? This talk uses an economics framework to explore the ways in which humans reveal preferences for the environment and how these values can be used to develop mechanisms for environmental protection.

Dr. Sabina ShaikhDr. Sabina Shaikh is an economics lecturer in the Program on Global Environment and the director of the Environment, Agriculture and Food (EAF) working group at the University of Chicago. Sabina’s research focuses on understanding how humans value the environment and natural resources. Her current research, funded by the National Science Foundation, is focused on water sustainability and food security in Southeast Asia. As founder and director of the EAF group, Sabina leads student research projects on urban environmental and food issues in Chicago.

Dr. Shaikh has published in scholarly journals including Ambio, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Ecological Economics and Land Economics. She has written chapters for Natural Capital: Theory and Practice of Mapping Ecosystem Services, the Handbook of Metropolitan Sustainability and the forthcoming Handbook of Sport and Sustainability. She is active in Chicago’s environmental community serving on the boards of the Delta Institute, Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition and Greenleaf Advisors and the Sensible Growth Committee and Water Supply Advisory Group at the Metropolitan Planning Council. She is currently serving as a judge for the Food to Market Challenge led by the Chicago Community Trust and Kinship Foundation.

Dr. Shaikh holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California at Davis.


If you are interested in being added to the list of artists invited to these gatherings, please email

If you require a sign interpreter or any other arrangements to fully participate in this program, please contact at least 72 hours in advance of the event.