Dr. Sean Hurley, Ph.D.

Dr. Lindsey M. Higgins, Ph.D.Dr. Hurley is an Agricultural Production Economist trained at Iowa State University. His primary research focus is on the economic feasibility of using new technologies in agricultural production. Specifically, he is currently studying the usage and feasibility of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) utilizing hyperspectral imagery to detect water stress in grapes. He also has active research projects investigating the usage of vermicomposting in agriculture both as a soil amendment and as a way of taking nitrogen out of dairy manure.

In the past, Dr. Hurley has analyzed the usage and viability of methane digesters on California dairies. He has also examined the California regulatory environment and its effects on agricultural production.

Dr. Hurley has taught 13 different courses in the Agribusiness Department at Cal Poly spanning agricultural production economics, quantitative analysis, business modeling, strategy formulation, finance, and marketing. Currently he is teaching courses in intermediate-level agricultural economics, data analysis using spreadsheets, and decision tools for agribusiness problems.


  • Ph.D., Economics, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 2000
  • B.A., Economics, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, 1994

Areas of Specialization 

  • Agricultural Production Economics
  • Economic Feasibility Analysis for New Technologies in Agriculture
  • Strategy Formulation
  • Business Spreadsheet Modeling
  • Quantitative Data Analysis
  • California Agricultural Regulatory Economics
  • Economics of Agricultural Waste Management
  • UAS Usage in Agriculture
  • Hyperspectral Imagery Analysis

Dr. Hurley's Course Materials

Agricultural Economic Analysis (AGB 313)

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