People

Our DRFEWS model draws from a variety of sciences and disciplines. This diversity is reflected in our team composed of faculty and staff from several departments of the College of Engineering and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and Ohio State's Sustainability Institute. Project faculty leads are listed below.

Bhavik Bakshi, Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Dr. Bhavik Bakshi Bhavik Bakshi is a Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The Ohio State University. He also holds appointments in Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering at OSU and as a Visiting Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, India. His current focus is developing methods and applications for assessing and designing sustainable systems while taking into account interactions between technological and ecological systems. He received his chemical engineering degrees from the University of Bombay and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a minor in technology and environmental policy from MIT and Harvard. Read More.

Jeffrey M. Bielicki, Associate Professor, College of Engineering / College of Public Affairs

Dr. Jeffrey M. Bielicki

Jeffrey M. Bielicki is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the College of Engineering and the College of Public Affairs at Ohio State.  As a mechanical engineer with a Ph.D. in public policy and a tenure home in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering, (where he is associated with the environmental engineering faculty), he conducts research on issues where energy and environmental systems and policy intersect.  For this project, Dr. Bielicki is a lead on the development of scenarios for how the Great Lakes Region may evolve as a function of different levels of openness to trade and sustainability. Prior to joining Ohio State, Dr. Bielicki was a Research Associate at the University of Minnesota, a Weinberg Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a Research Fellow at Harvard University, and a mechanical engineer at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Read more. 

Yongyang Cai, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Dr. Yongyang Cai Yongyang Cai is a computational and environmental economist. His current research focuses on dynamic and stochastic integration of climate and economics. He has published peer-reviewed papers in a variety of academic journals, including Nature Climate Change, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Operations Research, Computers & Operations Research, Journal of the European Economic Association, Quantitative Economics, and Food Policy. He is a co-investigator on several research projects funded by the National Science Foundation and USDA-NIFA. Prior to joining OSU, Cai was a Senior Research Scientist at the Becker Friedman Institute and the Center for Robust Decision Making on Climate and Energy Policy at the University of Chicago, as well as a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Elena Irwin, Faculty Director, Sustainability Institute and Professor, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Dr. Elena Irwin

Elena Irwin is the faculty director of the Sustainability Institute and a Distinguished Professor of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in economics and sustainability at The Ohio State University. Her research focuses on the economics of land use and development in urban, urbanizing and agricultural regions, including spatial models of land, water and ecosystem services. She has been a principal investigator on research projects totaling over $19 million, including funding from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other private and public agencies. She is a co-author of the 2018 NSF report “Sustainable Urban Systems: Articulating a Long-Term Convergence Research Agenda” and co-editor of the recently published 2019 book “Science for the Sustainable City.” She is a member of the U.S. EPA’s Board of Scientific Councilors Committee for Sustainable and Healthy Communities and the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Executive Board. She co-founded the Sustainability Institute (SI) at Ohio State, which was launched in January 2019. In her capacity as faculty director, she provides leadership to interdisciplinary sustainability research and teaching across the university, including mentoring core faculty of the Institute and collaborating with other faculty leaders on research development of SI’s key focus areas: healthy land, water and air; sustainable and resilient communities; and sustainable energy. She also co-leads the Sustainability Education and Learning Committee, which facilitates coordination, communication and development of interdisciplinary education programs in sustainability at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She holds an undergraduate dual degree in History and German from Washington University and a Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Maryland.

Douglas Jackson-Smith, Professor of Water Security, School of Environment and Natural Resources

Dr. Douglas Jackson-Smith Douglas Jackson-Smith is a Professor of Water Security in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, but has a wide array of research interests.   Jackson-Smith holds three graduate degrees all from the University of Wisconsin – a MS in Rural Sociology, MA in Agricultural Economics, and PhD in Sociology. He worked and did research in Nepal and Indonesia in the 1980s, and has raised sheep, chickens and livestock guard dogs since the early 1990s. Most of his active research is focused on topics related to agriculture, water, and the dynamics of working landscapes.

Jay Martin, Professor, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Dr. Jay Martin Jay Martin is a professor of ecological engineering who analyzes and integrates human and natural systems. As a faculty member in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering and a Faculty co-lead for Healthy Land and Water Systems in the OSU Sustainability Institute, he seeks to use natural systems to improve water quality and increase sustainability. His interdisciplinary research links field studies, watershed models, and socio-economic analyses with stakeholder groups to investigate connections between downstream water quality and management practices in upstream watersheds. Currently, Dr. Martin is leading a $5M USDA-NIFA project to establish a Public-Private Partnership with crop consultants and farmers, to identify fields with elevated nutrient levels where management practices will be installed and monitored in an effort to reduce nutrient runoff. He is also leading an interdisciplinary research team to evaluate the impacts of a large green infrastructure project, "Blueprint Columbus," on water, communities, ecosystems, economics and public health within the City of Columbus. Outside of Ohio, Dr. Martin's other research has included Mayan agroecosystems in southern Mexico, biodigesters in Costa Rica, Andes wetlands in Colombia, and the use of algae as a soil amendment by O'ahu farmers in Hawaii. As of 2019, he has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles, successfully advised over 35 Graduate Students and Post Docs, and been awarded more than $17M to support his research program. He is certified as a Senior Ecologist by the Ecological Society of America and a registered Professional Engineer in Ohio.

Alan Randall, Academy Professor, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Dr. Alan Randall Alan Randall is an academy professor and part-time scholar in residence in the Sustainable and Resilient Economy Discovery Theme at The Ohio State University, and an honorary professor of Economics at the University of Sydney. His research interests are in environmental economics with modest sidelines in research methods and environmental ethics. His writings include Risk and Precaution (Cambridge University Press 2011), Resource Economics: An Economic Approach to Natural Resource and Environmental Policy (4th ed, Edward Elgar, 2016 in press, with John C. Bergstrom), Making the Environment Count: Selected Essays, (Edward Elgar, 1999), and numerous journal articles. In addition to research and classroom teaching, he has supervised 30 PhD students to graduation, served as chair of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at Ohio State (1998-2010) and head of Agricultural and Resource Economics at U Sydney (2011-2014), and has been active in consulting and on committees advisory to various public agencies. Alan has completed a 6-year term on the US National Research Council standing committee on human dimensions of global change.  He chaired the long-serving external review panel for the recent Australian National Outlook project, which was featured in Nature on November 5, 2015. In the current project, he will contribute to integrated assessment modeling and scenario development, and he hopes to help develop improved methods for addressing risk and assessing sustainability.

Ian Sheldon, Professor and Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Dr. Ian Sheldon Ian Sheldon received his PhD in Economics from the University of Salford in the United Kingdom in 1981. He served as a lecturer in economics at the University of Exeter in the UK from 1982 to 1990, before becoming an Associate Professor at the Ohio State University in 1990, where he currently holds the Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy. He was previously editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, and featured articles editor for Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. He has published widely in the fields of economics and agricultural economics with a focus on trade and policy issues. His recent research has focused on trade and intellectual property rights, trade and climate policy, product quality upgrading and trade liberalization, agricultural productivity and trade, evaluating the impact of regional trade liberalization.

Robyn S. Wilson, Associate Professor, School of Environment and Natural Resources

Dr. Robyn Wilson ROBYN S. WILSON is an associate professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University. She is a behavioral decision scientist, focusing primarily on decisions under risk and uncertainty. She is also interested in the development of strategic communication efforts, as well as the use of decision support tools that assist individuals in making more informed choices. On this project, Dr. Wilson is responsible for designing the farmer surveys and modeling farmer land use decisions. Specifically, understanding how farmers may alter their land use and land management decisions in response to a variety of external forces (e.g., changing markets, policy, environmental quality, etc.).