Isenhour's research is focused at the intersection of economic form and environmental impacts. In particular she has examined the economic and cultural logics linked to linear production-consumption-disposal systems and policies designed to reduce waste and ensure just and equitable transitions to more circular economic forms. She is a member of the materials management research group at the University of Maine and has worked extensively with state and local entities on waste reduction and reuse policy.
Draws on narrative political analysis of negotiating texts and observations at meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP), we argue that the Adaptation Fund negotiations became a particularly intense site for the contestation of justice-based norms in international climate policy. Explores how this unwavering support for the Adaptation Fund—and the claims to distributive and procedural justice it represents—could impact not only Fund governance and structure in the post-Paris Agreement period, but also the success of future adaptation efforts and the Paris Agreement itself.
Traces the perspectives of "ecomodernism" and its critics to fundamentally different views on the nature of technology and progress, both with deep theoretical roots familiar to economic and environmental anthropologists. Argues that the dominant emphasis on technological progress, though hopeful, is linked to affluent urban perspectives that delegitimize more aggressive and just proposals for climate mitigation and human progress.
Argues that understanding human behavior and the social drivers of climate change are essential for the public to fully appreciate the climate system, and that this knowledge can inform decision making related to climate-change mitigation and adaptation. Suggests two new social science principles that could advance interdisciplinary climate literacy goals.
Suggests that Maine has a vibrant but underestimated reuse economy, while finding that reuse has promise to enhance economic resilience and contribute to culturally appropriate economic development.