Elinor Benami is a Ph.D. candidate in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in the Environment & Resources. Her research focuses on shaping social and environmental outcomes in agro-industrial production systems in Brazil and the United States. The first part of her research portfolio includes 1) evaluating the role of public policy in negotiating tensions between tropical forests and agriculture through the case of palm oil development in Brazil, and 2) assessing the role of voluntary market approaches, i.e. eco-certification, in affecting coffee producer responses during severe environmental stress. Her second research strand is a collaborative endeavor that applies machine learning techniques for allocating public resources, using the US Clean Water Act inspections as our case. Our work explores both the potential and limitations of applying automated predictions to public policy concerns.
Prior to Stanford, Elinor was a part of the research team at the Climate Policy Initiative, where her work involved analyzing energy policy in the US and tropical land use policy in Indonesia. Elinor completed her undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a minor in Environmental Sciences and Studies. She is a recipient of the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship and has also been supported an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, Center for Latin American Studies Field Research Grant, and the Teresa Elms & Robert D. Lindsay IPER Fellowship.