Esther Parish is a researcher for the Landscape Ecology and Regional Analysis group within the ORNL Environmental Sciences Division (ESD). Parish is a member of the ORNL Climate Change Science Institute (CCSI) Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (IAV) research theme and the ORNL Center for BioEnergy Sustainability (CBES). Her primary research interests include utilizing geographic information science and integrated models and datasets to assess (1) climate change impacts on human populations and water resources and (2) tradeoffs between environmental and socioeconomic sustainability indicators of biofuel production.
Parish received a BS in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University in 1994 and an MS in Physical Geography from the University of Tennessee in 2002. She joined ORNL in 2007 after conducting research for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Public Power Institute (PPI) and teaching geology and geography courses for Roane State Community College. Parish also has over 12 years of experience as an environmental consultant for clients such as the US Department of Energy (DOE) Pollution Prevention (P2) Program, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Parish began her career in the private sector, working as an open hole well logging engineer for Schlumberger Wireline and Testing in the oilfields of Oklahoma and Texas. Parish hails from Chicago but also spent four childhood years in the Philippines.
Parish is a geographer with expertise in geographic information systems (GIS), watershed hydrology, climate change science, bioenergy sustainability, and pollution prevention. Parish has been the primary author for several recent publications in Computers & Geosciences, Environmental Management, and Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. Parish also edited a Fall 2012 climate change report by a group of researchers from across Tennessee entitled, Sustaining Tennessee in the Face of Climate Change: Grand Challenges and Opportunities.