Emma Fuller '05

As a fulltime data scientist, Emma Fuller ’05 crunches data to help farmers become better farmers – in other words, more efficient in their operations, more precise with inventory, and ultimately, more profitable. According to Emma, this data-driven approach to farming should lead to better sustainability. She believes we cannot understand the tradeoffs between environmental sustainability and human well-being without more specific data.

Just a few years ago, Emma was at Princeton University, completing her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology, focusing on commercial fisheries. In her words, she was interested in “unpacking” sustainability. She now works at the software company Granular, which applies Silicon Valley technology expertise to the agriculture industry.

Emma’s insight in the farming industry is informed by her personal life. She and her husband, Peter Smuko, own a 15-acre farm on Vashon Island, called Northbourne Farm. Emma credits her years at The Northwest School for setting her on this career path. She says her education expanded her boundaries and pushed her to examine both sides of an issue.

“In Jeff Blair’s class in international affairs, I remember talking about water systems and it struck me how linked social problems are to environmental sustainability,” recalls Emma. “Jeff was so good at playing devil’s advocate and the conversation was much richer.”