Alison Eagle

Scientist, Sustainable Agriculture Program


Areas of expertise:
Nutrient cycling, crop production, soil science, ecosystem services, agricultural sustainability, climate change, land use, and natural resource economics.

Alison provides scientific expertise to the sustainable agriculture team’s efforts to eliminate nutrient pollution from productive agriculture. Her research includes synthesis and meta-analysis of field experimental data in nutrient cycling, with a focus on nitrogen. She works closely with other scientists to better understand how farm management practices can reduce nutrient losses and maintain productivity while also improving water, air, and soil quality. She provides technical expertise to move these efforts from theory and research farms to application in environmental markets and supply chain sustainability commitments.


Prior to joining EDF, Alison worked as a research associate for the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. At the intersection of agronomic sciences and economics, she began synthesizing and modeling the environmental impacts of improved agricultural management for application in policy or private markets. Alison was raised on a farm in Alberta, Canada, where she gained an early interest in agriculture, “learning to do by doing” (4H). In the search for a good dataset, she has collected soil, plant, and other samples in rice fields and on dairy farms; conducted lab tests; surveyed farmers; and scoured the literature for experimental results.

Alison is a member of the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America, and the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.

Alison received her PhD from Wageningen University in 2009 (Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy), for which her research focused on agricultural land use and externalities. She holds a MS degree (International Agricultural Development, Soil Science) from the University of California-Davis, and a BSc degree (Agricultural Sciences) from the University of Alberta.


McLellan, E.L., K.G. Cassman, A.J. Eagle, P.B. Woodbury, S. Sela, C. Tonitto, R.D. Marjerison, H.M. van Es. 2018. The Nitrogen Balancing Act: Tracking the Environmental Performance of Food Production. BioScience. doi:10.1093/biosci/bix164

Eagle, A.J., J.B. Heffernan, E.S. Bernhardt, K.L. Locklier, and L.P. Olander. 2017. Fertilizer management and environmental factors drive N2O and NO3 losses in corn: A meta-analysis. Soil Science Society of America Journal. doi:10.2136/sssaj2016.09.0281.

Eagle, A.J., J. Rude, and P.C. Boxall. 2016. Agricultural support policy in Canada: What are the environmental consequences? Environmental Reviews 24(1):13–24. doi:10.1139/er-2015-0050.

Eagle, A.J., D.E. Eagle, T.E. Stobbe, and G.C. van Kooten. 2015. Farmland protection and agricultural land values at the urban-rural fringe: British Columbia’s Agricultural Land Reserve. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 97(1):282–98. doi:10.1093/ajae/aau098.

Eagle, A.J. and L.P. Olander. 2012. Greenhouse gas mitigation with agricultural land management activities in the United States – A side-by-side comparison of biophysical potential. Advances in Agronomy 115:79–179.

Stobbe, T.E., A.J. Eagle, G. Cotteleer, and G.C. van Kooten. 2011. Farmland preservation verdicts – Rezoning agricultural land in British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics 59:555–72.

Stobbe, T.E., A.J. Eagle, and G.C. van Kooten. 2010. Niche and direct marketing in the rural-urban fringe: A study of the agricultural economy in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. BC Studies 167: 105–34.

Eagle, A.J., M.E. Eiswerth, W.S. Johnson, S.E. Schoenig, and G.C. van Kooten. 2007. Costs and losses imposed on California ranchers by yellow starthistle. Rangeland Ecology and Management 60: 369–77.

van Kooten, G.C., A.J. Eagle and M.E. Eiswerth, 2007. Determinants of threatened sage grouse in northeastern Nevada. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 12(1): 53–70.

van Kooten, G.C., R. Thomsen, T.G. Hobby and A.J. Eagle, 2006. Social dilemmas and range management in Nevada. Ecological Economics. 57(4): 709–23.

van Kooten, G.C. and A.J. Eagle, 2005. Forest carbon sinks: A temporary and costly alternative to reducing emissions for climate change mitigation. Chapter 11 in Institutions, Sustainability, and Natural Resources: Institutions for Sustainable Forest Management, Vol. 2. (pp. 233–55). Edited by S. Kant and R.A. Berry. Amsterdam: Kluwer.

van Kooten, G.C., A.J. Eagle, J. Manley, and T.M. Smolak. 2004. How costly are carbon offsets? A meta-analysis of carbon forest sinks. Environmental Science & Policy. 7(4): 239–51.

Schwankl, L.J., A.J. Eagle, C.A. Frate, and B. Nydam. 2003. Flow meters tested on dairy lagoon water. California Agriculture. Jul–Sept: 93–96.

Bird, J.A., A.J. Eagle, W.R. Horwath, M.W. Hair, E.E. Zilbert, and C. van Kessel. 2002. Long-term studies find benefits, challenges in alternative rice straw management. California Agriculture. Mar/Apr: 69–75.

Eagle, A.J., J.A. Bird, J.E. Hill, W.R. Horwath, and C. van Kessel. 2001. Nitrogen dynamics and fertilizer N use efficiency in rice following straw incorporation and winter flooding. Agronomy Journal. 93(6): 1346–54.

Bird, J.A., W.R. Horwath, A.J. Eagle, and C. van Kessel. 2001. Immobilization of fertilizer nitrogen in rice: effects of straw management practices. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 65(4): 1143–52.

Eagle, A.J., J.A. Bird, W.R. Horwath, B.A. Linquist, S.M. Brouder, J.E. Hill, and C. van Kessel. 2000. Rice yield and nitrogen utilization efficiency under alternative straw management practices. Agronomy Journal. 92(6): 1096–103.