Elena Irwin 's area of specialization is land use economics and human-natural systems. Her research focuses on spatial modeling of land use and the development of integrated models of land use and ecosystem services at local and regional scales. Current projects include the development of empirical and simulation-based spatial models of urbanization and agricultural land use decisions to examine the influence of policies on land change patterns and impacts on ecosystem services in several US study regions. She has published in a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary academic journals, including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Economic Geography, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Land Economics, Annual Review of Resource Economics, Journal of Regional Science, Regional Science and Urban Economics and Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. She is a co-investigator on several research projects funded by the National Science Foundation, including a coupled natural-human systems project focused on farmer decision making and Lake Erie water quality and the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, a Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project focused on urban sustainability. Her research has also been funded by the USDA’s Economic Research Service and US Forest Service, Ohio Sea Grant Program and the James S. McDonnell Foundation. She is the 2008 recipient of the North American Regional Science Council’s Hewings Award for distinguished young scholars in regional science and a co-recipient of the 2009 Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America. She currently serves as a member of the National Research Council Committee on Needs and Research for Land Change Modeling and is an associate editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. She advises AEDE graduate students and is a faculty leader in the Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS) undergraduate major at Ohio State University.