Emily J Pindilli, Ph.D.


Emily Pindilli is the lead for the Natural Resource Economics theme at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Science and Decisions Center in Reston, Virginia. Dr. Pindilli has nearly fifteen years of experience specializing in economic and policy analysis to support energy and environmental projects. Since joining USGS in 2012, she focuses on a diverse portfolio of environmental and informational economics research topics including: the value of scientific data; ecosystem services assessment and valuation; methods to integrate multi-disciplinary analyses to support land use decision-making; lifecycle analyses of resource development and conservation; and environmental markets.  Dr. Pindilli is highly interested in innovative approaches to non-market valuation and using economics as a framework to conduct integrated analyses.

Recently, Dr. Pindilli completed a primer on biodiversity and habitat markets (see here). She is currently pursuing research on quantification tools and enabling information to support biodiversity and habitat markets. Dr. Pindilli has ongoing work looking at the value of the USGS streamgage network. This includes considering the users and benefits of streamflow information for engineering, recreation, and water consumption. She is the leading economist on a project assessing the ecosystem services and values associated with the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge which includes the analysis of recreation, carbon sequestration, wildfire mitigation, and flood avoidance (see here). She is conducting similar work at the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. She is a co-PI for a study on the Chesapeake Bay watershed focusing on floodplain ecosystem services and recently initiated similar work for the Delaware River Watershed. She is working with other USGS scientists to advance the development of the Multi-Resource Analysis. Dr. Pindilli's graduate research included an economic analysis of the costs of agricultural best management practices and the potential for nutrient trading in the Chesapeake Bay watershed (see here).  Her work is focused on integrated ecologic-economic analyses and incorporating the social and earth sciences into decision-making.

Prior to joining USGS, Dr. Pindilli conducted simillar work in the private sector. She spent a number of years focused on conventional and unconventional energy development, economics, and environmental impacts including the evaluation of U.S. reliance on oil imports, compatibility of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and policy analysis of oil shale and other unconventional fuels. Dr. Pindilli provided economic and environmental science analytical support for the Interagency Task Force on Strategic Unconventional Fuels. She also worked on projects related to the sustainability of biofuels, solar and wind power generation issues, and shale gas regulatory issues. Dr. Pindilli later focued on transportation related issues including a benefit-cost analysis for the DOT Intelligent Transportation Systems AERIS Program to evaluate the potential environmental benefits of connected vehicle applications (see here). Dr. Pindilli also conducted an alternative and cost-benefit analysis of USGS’s moderate resolution geospatial data program (Landsat).



PhD Environmental Policy; Environmental Economics focus

George Mason University, Fairfax VA


MS Environmental Science and Policy

George Mason University, Fairfax VA


BA Economics

James Madison University, Harrisonburg VA