Transforming Agriculture, Perennially


Emma Baker


Emma Baker grew up in West Liberty, Iowa and graduated from Creighton University in 2019 with a B.S. in Biology and Spanish with a minor in Sustainability. While she was at Creighton, she had the opportunity to work in a research lab where she spent two summers hand pollinating flowers of Stuckenia pectinata to try and understand more about the reproductive processes that occur in aquatic plants. Pollination is just as important in agricultural research, even if it does serve a much different research purpose. She was drawn to TLI because of its interdisciplinary focus on looking toward nature to find solutions to the tough environmental problems that our current agricultural system leaves us with. 


What’s one aspect of your life history that most people don’t know or wouldn’t expect?
From the time that I was 3 until I graduated high school I spent a couple hours every week in a dance studio taking classes. I still love dancing to this day even if the only time I do it is while cooking dinner in the kitchen.

What would people never guess that you do as part of your role at TLI?
I have had to grind up soil samples using a good old fashioned mortar and pestle to be sent away for nutrient testing.

What’s your motto / favorite quote?
“You will always struggle with not feeling productive until you accept that your own joy can be something you produce. It is not the only thing you will make, nor should it be, but it is something valuable and beautiful.” – Hank Green

What were you like at age 10?
I was a happy, slightly clumsy kid who could be found more often then not with my nose in a book or exploring her backyard with my brothers.

Support the work of Emma and others at The Land Institute with a donation.


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