Recent Work


EPIC Assessment

EHDD, San Francisco, CA

Research project, data model, web application

The Early-Phase Integrated Carbon (EPIC) Assessment is a low-carbon design tool built to provide guidance at the beginning of a project when decisions are impactful but data is scarce. Conceptualized by Brad Jacobson and myself in 2019, I have led the tool’s technical development from early concept to its current closed beta with over 100 medium-to-large firms participating. The tool has been developed into web application which will be made freely available to push sectoral efforts toward meeting aggressive time-based climate targets. The tool is also currently under license to a small number of property technology companies, the revenue from which supports open access to the tool and its continued development. 


Multi-hazard modeling in the Himalayas

Peer-reviewed research article

From 2018-2021, I led a research project on multi-hazard risk in the Hindu Kush Himalaya under principal investigator Karen Seto (a lead author of the IPCC AR6 WGII chapter on urban climate mitigation). Our team’s transdisciplinary approach paired remote sensing and machine learning techniques with the experience and expertise of social scientists in and beyond the region. Co-author Mark Turin, associate professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, noted the unique approach of the study in a news article related to the study:This study brings together transboundary approaches—pursuing issues as they move across political borders—with innovative transdisciplinary methodologies. I see much potential in integrating granular, site-specific ethnographic knowledge with broader scale computational and machine learning tools in service of complex research questions like those addressed in this paper.In our analysis, we found that almost half of the region’s residents are exposed to multi-hazard risk, and that patterns of urbanization are closely related to landscape patterns of multi-hazard susceptibility. Forthcoming publications aim to communicate these results to a wider regional audience and to explore their ramifications on disaster risk reduction policy in the Himalaya.Rusk, J., Maharjan, A., Tiwari, P., Chen, T.H.K., Shneiderman, S., Turin, M. and Seto, K.C. “Multi-hazard susceptibility and exposure assessment of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.” Science of the Total Environment, 804 (2022).


There is a light that never goes out

Research article 

This article traces the scholarship on Chaco Canyon’s largest Great House, Pueblo Bonito, to demonstrate how the popular and academic writing on Chacoan culture’s “collapse” undergirds present-day indigenous erasure. The monumental ruins of Chaco Canyon in present-day New Mexico, the story goes, are a testament to the hubris of the Pre-Colombian peoples who overran the carrying capacity of the land and whose fractious nature prevented social cohesion. This narrative describes a city collapsing on the precipice of its transition to a complex society. A synthesis of recent scholarship, however, allows us to reinterpret this alleged collapse as a transition from one form of complexity to another. This reinterpretation is shown to bear directly upon a current environmental justice struggle in Chaco Canyon. The narrative of collapse perpetuated by settler archeology is used to undercut present-day land claims by indigenous peoples, allowing fracking to proliferate across the region. Rusk, J. “There is a light that never goes out: Changing patterns of occupation at Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon.” AA Files 78, 2022.


A Necessary Reckoning: Architectures of Reparation

WUSTL, Steedman Fellowship

Research proposal 

My proposal, “A Necessary Reckoning: Architectures of Reciprocity and Reparation,” sought to address the limitations of quantitative accounting of future impacts by connecting abstract accounting for future harm to immediate acts of reparation.Awarded alternate.


Life cycle assessment of wood fiber insulation

International Mass Timber Conference

Research poster

At the 2019 International Mass Timber Conference, I presented on waste reuse in the mass timber supply chain, and shared the results of a life cycle assessment of wood fiber-based insulation that I performed under the direction of the Center for Industrial Ecology at Yale. Cartography with Samuel David Bruce.


100 Resilient Cities: Case Study School

Design case study

While at WSP Built Ecology, I led the analytics and technical design of an engagement with 100 Resilient Cities. This work included passive lighting, water, and ventilation systems, as well as solar PV modeling and system design.



Design research, curatorial

HMWRK is a research collaborative that investigates the collision of the office and the home. The project uses a range of media and practices to examine uncanny conjunctions of home and work. Through these activities, HMWRK investigates the motifs, experiences, and conditions such a conjunction engenders, as well as its social, economic, and political implications. HMWRK has mounted two exhibitions in the Yale Architecture North Gallery, facilitated a conversation and publication with Beatriz Colomina, Aristide Antonas, Sophie Hochhausl, and Gabriel Cuellar, and is currently preparing to publish a collection of their curatorial work, original essays, and graphic investigations in conjunction with the Yale School of Architecture. HMWRK is myself, Rachael Tsai, Diana Smiljkovic, and Gustav Kjær Vad Nielsen.