Jerome Dumortier

Feature Story
Jerome Dumortier
Ph.D. Economics
Year Graduated: 

Hometown: Freiburg in Breisgau, Germany

Current employment/job title: School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Assistant Professor

A “rational” approach to solving global problems

"Agriculture and forestry are responsible for close to one-third of global carbon emissions," says economics PhD graduate Jerome Dumortier. "So those sectors will likely be tied to climate change policy in the future."

Jerome says that complex issues like this benefit from the “rational” problem solving approach that's used in economics. “Global climate change is not going away,” he says, “so we have to learn to adapt.”

Jerome “likes the way of thinking” that economics brings to larger issues. “When you're setting a goal, economics helps you take everything into account efficiently so that you’re reaching the best outcome."

Jerome came to Iowa State University with an interest in studying environmental issues. Strong interdisciplinary programs through the university also added studies in agriculture.

He focused his research on the way that US biofuel policy has impacted land-use worldwide, and the economics of a landowner's decision to plant forests in order to earn carbon offset credits.

"I'm an applied economist," he says. "I want to have a useful impact on policy and address environmental issues." Jerome feels that his studies in agricultural and environmental economics placed him in a position to make a valuable contribution.

Why the Department of Economics at ISU?

Originally from Germany, Jerome completed his undergraduate studies in Switzerland. Because the university he attended had an exchange program with ISU, he’d “heard good things” about the Department of Economics.

Jerome says he liked the fact that economics studies at ISU are "very applicable to real-world policy.

“We're at the center of agriculture. This is really the best school in agricultural economics with top faculty," he says.

He also liked how faculty were "very available, and can tell you if your intuition on a research question is right.

"I profited from their experience and knowledge of the issues."

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