Ecological Engineering (M.S., Ph.D.)
Analyzing sustainability is an uncertain and difficult undertaking with many different interpretations of sustainability possible. We have been using emergy analysis to provide a quantitative assessment of relative sustainability that permits us to compare unlike systems in a meaningful way. Emergy analysis looks at the diverse inputs to a system and converts those inputs to a like unit (the solar emjoule). From that point inputs can be compared, and indices of resource use and sustainability can be calculated.
We are currently using emergy to calculate relative sustainability of designs of university campuses, neighborhood revitalization, holistic ranching, organic coffee production, landfill covers, and stormwater management.
Representative publications in this area by our faculty:
- Alfaro, R., S.A.W. Diemont, B. Ferguson, J.F. Martin, J. Nahed, D. Alvarez, R. Pinto Ruiz, 2010. Steps toward sustainable ranching: An emergy evaluation of conventional and holistic management in Chapas, Mexico. Agricultural Systems 103 (9): 639-646.
- Martin, J.F., S.A.W. Diemont, E. Powell, M. Stanton, and S.I. Levy-Tacher. 2006. Emergy evaluation of the performance and sustainability of three agricultural systems with different scales and management. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 115: 128-140.
- Diemont, S.A.W., J.F. Martin, and S.I. Levy-Tacher. 2006. Emergy evaluation of Lacandon Maya indigenous swidden agroforestry in Chiapas, Mexico. Agroforestry Systems 66: 23-42.
Contact Stewart Diemont, email@example.com for more information about this graduate studies area.