just when I thought that there are areas of life that Economics can't be applied to, I stumbled upon this super cool blog.
Called 'Surf Economics', it is run by a guy by the name of Chad Nelsen, who is pursuing his doctorate in Surf Economics @ UCLA (how cool is that!!!!).
Apart from the obvious - that the fieldwork involved in this subdiscipline must be great fun - what is Surf Economics all about? Well, according to the blog and another article I found, the field is all about estimating the economic value that surfing areas bring to the local economy. Think for example of the economic benefit that is brought to a local community when it becomes widely known that there are some smokin' waves to be ridden nearby. Surfers come from far and wide, shops open to service their needs, and more money gets pumped into the local community.
Interestingly, the idea behind promoting awareness of the economic value of surf beaches serves in the end a conservation purpose. The economic value of a surf beach is a critical variable that should enter the policymakers decision function for making adjudications concerning coastal developments which have the potential to alter coastal environments and affect beach breaks (and hence affect the potential for a local community to benefit economically from their surf beach). For a small local community with few diversification options in terms of its tourism income, coastal developments which alter beaches and don't take account of their value can potentially be economically disastrous.
Another instance of economists helping local communities and making real life impacts........now back to deriving the FOCs of my Hamiltonian......................