About Me

DSC_0558.jpg DSC_0558_crop3

I am a scientist with expertise in sustainability metrics and life cycle assessment in energy, agriculture, vehicles, and related supply chains.  As a postdoctoral scientist with the Air Force Institute of Technology and the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education, I develop models and reports to inform local and regional decision-making related to vehicle fleet management, air quality, and groundwater remediation. By comparing tradeoffs in energy and materials consumption, human health and safety, and greenhouse gas emissions, I hope to empower managers and scientists with the Department of Defense and other organizations better optimize for both human health and resiliency.

In 2013, I graduated with a Ph.D. from Purdue University’s Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department through the Ecological Sciences and Engineering Interdisciplinary Graduate Program.  My research, conducted at Purdue’s Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering and at Argonne National Laboratory, focused on the role of biomass storage and supply in assessing greenhouse gas emissions during biofuel production.

Prior to my graduate work, I earned a B.A. in Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology from Whitman College and worked to uncover some of the biochemical mechanisms of atherosclerosis as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington School of Medicine.DSC_0558.jpgDSC_0558.jpg

Research Interests:

Food and energy are two of the most tangible and necessary services provided by Earth’s systems. Trends in the United States and around the world, particularly the expansion of biofuels industries, have led to increased pressure on agriculture to provide both food and fuel for a growing and more affluent global population. The effects of agricultural expansion and intensification may include increasing land use conflicts between food, fuel, and conservation; greenhouse gas emissions and loss of forests and other carbon sinks, and lower resilience of linked agricultural, energy, and economic systems to environmental or economic disturbance. On the other hand, increasing use of urban landscapes for food production, alternative agricultural practices, and development of high-yielding food and energy crops may provide tremendous social and environmental benefits by increasing land use productivity, sequestering carbon, and reducing fossil fuel dependence.

Our ability to address these issues depends on our understanding of the many factors affecting food and biomass production at a wide range of scales, particularly crop responses to climate change, greenhouse gas burdens of novel biomass industries, and changes in land use.  My primary research interests are:

  1. Examine the potential for changes in land use practices (e.g. succession planting, urban farming) to mitigate cropland expansion and associated environmental impacts
  2. Bring a scientific, data-based approach to determining costs, benefits, and ecosystem services provisioning of alternative agricultural techniques
  3. Develop optimization models for biomass supply chains to minimize cost, land use, and net greenhouse gas emissions
  4. Assess the resilience of biomass and food crops and associated industries to likely climate change scenarios

My work at Purdue included both experimental and modeling approaches to better our understanding of the connections between biomass supply chains, direct and net greenhouse gas emissions, and economic impacts. I intend to apply my interdisciplinary expertise to the work of building and evaluating food and energy systems as we work toward sustainability, locally and globally.

If you find these ideas relevant to a current or anticipated job opening, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Contact Information:

Email: isaac.emery [at] gmail [dot] com


Google Scholar profile


One Response to 'About Me'

  1. Ken Lyons says:

    Hi Isaac,

    Dr. Ervin at Portland State said you may be interested in the energy field.

    I’m on vacation this week, but I provided the link to Cadmus’ job listings.
    I work in the energy services division, but you might fit well in government services as well.

    Please feel free to contact me later next week if you have questions



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *