My research uses a systems approach (perhaps a legacy from my biology days) to examine social change around food procurement, agricultural systems, environmental sustainability, and health/nutrition at the community level, both domestically and internationally. These problems are complex in nature and require adaptive, context specific solutions, earning them the title "wicked" problems. To examine these problems and work toward sustainable solutions to these problems I consistently work across disciplinary boundaries—engaging plant scientists, geographers, veterinary medicine specialists, economists, and public health professionals.
I also have a (growing) interest in scholarship of teaching. I believe my research should inform my teaching, and I consistently work to bring research experiences and findings into the classroom. I also believe students learn best in an active learning environment guided by inquire based teaching. My goal is to help students develop a toolkit which includes critical thinking, logical reasoning, and a sociological imagination, regardless of background. I also teach courses which include a community engaged learning component as a way of helping students develop empathy and practical research skills related to scientific inquiry.
2019 Carnegie Fellow