What is the carbon footprint of our food system? How can we reduce the carbon footprint of growing, processing, marketing, and cooking food, as well as recycling the leftovers? I'd like to know the answers to these questions, and so would my clients. I'm an ecologist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University, where I've worked for 24 years. I work in a research team that conducts greenhouse gas inventories and develops greenhouse gas decision support systems in agriculture and forestry. My colleagues and I have developed greenhouse gas inventories for individual farms and ranches, multiple U.S. states and counties, as well as the entire U.S. cropland and grassland sector. We've led or supported inventories for more than a dozen other countries on five continents.
Life cycle analyses, supply chain initiatives, and decision support systems are our specialty! We developed the first AFOLU sector greenhouse gas inventory tool for the IPCC in 2000. That work has continued through several versions of the NRCS CarbOn Management and Evaluation Tools (COMET-Farm and COMET-Planner) and as technical lead for the GEFSOC Modeling System and the Carbon Benefits Project Tools developed for the United Nations Global Environment Facility.