Upcoming Events with the Savanna Institute

The Savanna Institute has a great lineup of field days and workshop coming up. Check out the flyers below and visit their events page for more info!



Posted in Events | Leave a comment

5-Year PhD project on Local Food at University of Maine

The University of Maine is hiring a PhD student to serve a central role in a new five-year research project funded by the National Science Foundation on cooperation in the local food industry. Topically, the project focuses on uncovering patterns of cooperation within and between the organizations that make up the local food industry in Maine and Northeast. The student will perform this research through quantitative models and statistical analysis of the evolution of human culture and cooperation. The assistantship is designed for students with strong quantitative, analytical and communication skills who are interested in developing our understanding the dynamics of human behavior, cooperation, culture and organizational evolution as they pertain to environmental management.

The graduate student will work with Dr. Waring to conduct behavioral experiments, collect and analyze survey data, build and test new theoretical models, and to participate in outreach endeavors in the local food sector in Maine and beyond. The position is intended to prepare a PhD with expertise in social-ecological systems, and evolutionary approaches to human behavior, with a focus on environmental management and local food.

The assistantship is supported by the primarily by the National Science Foundation, as well as the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions and the School of Economics. The Mitchell Center pursues an integrative research program with strong stakeholder partnerships to generate improved solutions to intersecting ecological, social, and economic challenges in and beyond Maine.

A degree (prefer masters) in ecology, evolution or environmental science, economics, anthropology, sociology, social psychology or a related field; excellent GPA and GRE scores; strong quantitative, analytical and communication skills; programming experience; research experience; mature, organized, professional and courteous, and the ability to work independently and in collaborative teams. Support includes a fellowship of $22-25,000/yr for four years, a tuition waiver, and a subsidy for health insurance.

Application Procedures:
Contact Dr. Waring by email: timothy.waring@maine.edu, with subject line “Cooperation in Local Food Doctoral Assistantship.”

Please include:
1.  A letter detailing your interest in this position,
2.  A CV or resume,
3.  Scanned GRE scores and transcripts,
4.  Names, phone numbers, and email addresses of three references.

Review of materials will continue until the position is filled.

Tim Waring
Assistant Professor, School of Economics
Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, University of Maine
phone: (207) 581-3157, fax: (207) 581-4278

Posted in Jobs, Opportunities | Leave a comment

International Rescue Committee seeks Farm Coordinator in Salt Lake City

The International Rescue Committee in Salt Lake City is looking for a Farm Coordinator who knows the day-to-day challenge of vegetable production. But just as crucial, we’re looking for an enthusiastic somebody who could see themselves as a mentor, teacher and guide for the 20+ refugee farmers who work the urban incubator farm we manage. In this full-time year round position you’d be working for our New Roots farming program and managing vegetable production from the early spring through the fall. Then, after mid-October, you’d help craft and teach classroom workshops on production, marketing, record-keeping and all the other nuts and bolts that make farm businesses successful. You’d also be critical to expanding New Roots onto additional sites and into the lives of new participants. Follow this link for additional information http://chj.tbe.taleo.net/chj04/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=IRC&cws=1&rid=12388. To apply please submit your resume and a brief cover letter that includes why you are interested in working with a training program for refugee and immigrant farmers, a summary of your agriculture experience, and your salary requirements and timeline for starting a new position.  This position is full-time, year round, and offers competitive compensation based on experience as well as an excellent benefits package.


Posted in Jobs, Opportunities | Leave a comment

Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism in the Food System


In late May 2015, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems published a new annotated bibliography, Structural racism present in the U.S. Food System

The resource provides useful background reading to advocates, scholars, and anyone else working to bring about a more sustainable and just food system in the United States.

We received a number of comments and suggestions on the bibliography since it first appeared. The revised version (URL link below)  includes additional citations that reflect feedback regarding the initial May 2015 version.


Posted in Book List, Education, Publications, Resources | Leave a comment

PhD project in soil science in Munich

Formation and composition of soil microaggregates as explored by their elemental and isotopic label composition

We offer a 3-year PhD-position at the Chair of Soil Science of the Technische Universität München (www.tum.de / www.soil-science.com) within the DFG-funded research unit MAD Soil. The group of Prof. Ingrid Kögel-Knabner is located at Freising-Weihenstephan, nearby Munich in southern Bavaria, Germany. The announced position includes a salary according to TV-L E13 (65%), corresponding to the German TV-L system (Tarifvertrag für den Öffentlichen Dienst der Länder). The starting date is October 1st 2015.


In this project we aim to elucidate governing processes and mechanisms for the formation of soil microaggregates by means of the analysis of elemental/isotopic composition and the three-dimensional structural association of organic and mineral soil components at submicron resolution. We will specifically focus our approach on the analytical power of NanoSIMS in order to elucidate soil microaggregate structure and composition. This spatially explicit data will be supplemented by bulk scale measurements, such as 13C-NMR. We intend to reveal the dynamics of soil microaggregate formation and turnover by applying our analytical approach to various natural soil materials. The data collected will enable us to define relevant statistical relationships regarding the functions of soils as being carbon sinks, habitats for microorganisms and the water storage and transport function.

This position gives an opportunity to use cutting edge technologies, such as NanoSIMS and AFM, in an internationally renowned group focusing on the fate and stabilisation of soil organic matter.


Applicants should hold a M. Sc. degree in physics, chemistry, geosciences, geoecology, biology, environmental sciences or a related discipline. Candidates with experience in microscopic techniques like secondary ion spectrometry, epi-fluorescence, scanning and/or transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM) are highly welcome. Experience with sample preparation and (geo-) statistical modelling approaches will be highly beneficial. The candidate should be highly motivated, team-oriented and willing to work with advanced analytical techniques.


A single pdf-file including letter of motivation, a CV, the contact data of 2 referees, and a statement of research interests should be sent by email indicating [PhD-Mad Soil] in the subject line to bodenkunde@wzw.tum.de until August 7th 2015. Evaluation of the applications will start soon after the deadline. For questions concerning your application feel free to contact christian.schurig@wzw.tum.de.

Posted in Opportunities | Leave a comment

U of British Columbia: tenure-track agroecology position

Originally posted May 25 2015 at UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

The University of British Columbia is seeking outstanding candidates for a full-time, tenure track position at the rank of Assistant Professor.  The position will be affiliated with the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC Farm, within the Applied Biology Program in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems (Vancouver campus).  The anticipated start date is January 1, 2016.

Applicants should have a PhD, postdoctoral or equivalent experience, and expertise and demonstrated ability for outstanding research in the agricultural sciences (e.g. agroecology, soil science, plant science, animal science, aquaculture).  They should have the potential for excellence in teaching at both the graduate and the undergraduate levels and be able to attract excellent graduate students.  They should also have the ability to complement our teaching program, and the potential to fit synergistically into strong research clusters by possessing a suitable disciplinary background and enthusiasm for cooperating across disciplines.  Principal duties of the successful candidate will be (1) to develop a thriving, extramurally funded research program, and (2) to excel in undergraduate teaching and the training of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

How to Apply

Applicants are invited to send:

  1. a curriculum vitae,
  2. names of four references (including addresses, e- mails and telephone numbers),
  3. brief statements (1-2 pages each) describing
    1. (a) a five-year research plan and
    2. (b) teaching philosophy and evidence of potential for effective teaching.

The application package should be sent to the Chair of the Selection Committee c/o Melanie Train, email: melanie.train@ubc.ca (electronic submission of one complete PDF file is required).

The deadline for submission is July 15, 2015.  Enquiries by telephone (604-822-3105), fax (604- 822-6394) or e-mail are welcome.

About the Applied Biology Program

In the Applied Biology Program, our researchers apply principles of biology and other life sciences to the responsible and sustainable use of land, plants and animals, especially in food production systems.  The work of the Program focuses primarily on food security and safety, environmental sustainability, and the ethical management of animals and resources.  Faculty members of the Program emphasize (1) active, student-centred learning, (2) synergistic research clusters, (3) strategic thinking, including environmental and social sustainability, and (4) engaging with the broader community.

UBC is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, which is regularly listed as one of the world’s most livable cities. UBC consistently ranks as one of the world’s top research universities.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply.  We welcome applications from members of visible minority groups, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to engage productively with diverse communities.  In accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

Posted in Jobs, Opportunities | Leave a comment

Agroecology Post-Doc position at Montana State

Post Doctoral Researcher, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences and Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology,

Montana State University-Bozeman, Montana

LRES, http://landresources.montana.edu/

PSPP http://plantsciences.montana.edu/

Starting Date: Negotiable, preferred start date is 9/1/15.

Salary: Commensurate with experience and qualifications. Group medical, dental and optical insurance plan; TIAA/CREF, vacation and sick leave.

Duties & Responsibilities: We seek a highly motivated candidate to help coordinate research assessing 1) the re-integration of crop and livestock production in organic cropping systems, and 2) the role of mite-transmitted wheat viruses in mediating crop-weed competitive interactions. The successful candidate will be part of two multidisciplinary regional projects aimed at increasing our understanding of the ecological underpinnings of sustainable cropping systems in the Northern Great Plains.

The successful candidate will initiate and supervise field, greenhouse, and laboratory experiments. Greenhouse and laboratory activities will include mechanical transmission of viruses, mite transmission of viruses, ELISA, PCR, and associated tasks. Field duties include plot establishment and maintenance, and measurement of pathogen and plant variables. Further duties include assisting in the supervision of graduate and undergraduate students, development of appropriate experiments, collection and analysis of data, interpretation of results, formulation of conclusions, and documentation in a final written form.

 Required Qualifications:

  1. PhD in ecology, agroecology, weed science, plant pathology, entomology or a related field.
  2. Strong statistical foundation
  3. Excellent writing skills.
  4. A valid driver’s license.

Preferred Qualifications may include any of the following:

  1. Ability to work in a multidisciplinary environment.
  2. Interest and knowledge in agroecology and sustainable food production systems.
  3. Excellent verbal communication skills.

The successful candidate will also have the ability to multi-task and give careful attention to detail.

Application procedure: Please send as PDF files a letter of interest describing the candidate’s fulfillment of required and preferred qualifications, a CV or resume, transcripts, and names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of three references to either:

Dr. Fabián Menalled,  Land Resources and Env. Sciences
(406) 994-4783


Dr. Mary Burrows, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology
(406) 994-7612

Screening will continue until the position is filled and references will be requested prior to an interview.

ADA/EO/AA/Veteran’s Preference: In compliance with the Montana Veteran’s Employment Preference Act, MSU provides preference in employment to veterans, disabled veterans, and certain eligible relatives of veterans. MSU makes accommodations for any known disability that may interfere with an applicant’s ability to compete in the hiring process or an employee’s ability to perform the duties of the job. To claim veteran’s preference or request accommodation, contact Human Resources/Affirmative Action, Montana Hall, MSU, Bozeman, MT 59717-2430; 406-994-2042 (TTD: 406-994-4191).

Posted in Jobs, Opportunities | Leave a comment

Fields Best Seeds inaugural Field Day on July 15th

Organic Spring Wheat Field Day – July 15th, 2015

Fields Best Seeds, serving farmers and markets with high value local seed and grain products, invites you to attend its inaugural organic grains field day in Caledonia, Boone County IL on July 15th, from 9:00 am until noon. This field day on the Beaver Creek West Farm of David Walkershowcases 44 acres of Orleans, Red Fife and Wilken spring wheat. Fields Best Seeds is regionally adapting these varieties to better serve Midwest farmers and their markets. Also on the farm this spring are 1.5 acres of red clover seed and 3 acres of diversified vegetable production.

Fields Best Seeds serves farmers the highest value and quality seed selections, matching production directly with what the market wants to buy. “We actively develop working relationships with grain product suppliers and new customers in local and regional markets. In addition, through the ‘rotation effect’”, continues Ron, “farmers earn a $50 per acre nitrogen credit toward their next corn crop.”

Fields Best Seeds partner Ron Doetch is nationally recognized as the founder and managing partner of Solutions in the Land (2010), a company designing whole-farm systems that provide societal benefits, restores the land, and makes money. Ron was raised on a working dairy farm in Northern Illinois and has worked in food systems his entire career with a bias toward organic, sustainable and restorative agriculture. His skill set includes whole systems integrated agriculture, crop production, and crop/food product marketing.

Fields Best Seeds partner John Steven Bianucci is Director of Impact at Iroquois Valley Farms, LLC, (2007) where he constantly researches and networks to maximize the social and environmental returns Iroquois Valley Farms generates. B Certified, this triple-bottom-line food and farmland company is committed to providing land access opportunities to family farmers,preserving farmland, facilitating organic land management practices, supporting local food markets, and creating values-based agriculture investment opportunities.

Fields Best Seeds inaugural field day will be held on Beaver Creek West, an organic farm forover 20 years, owned by David Walker. Please visit! Beaver Creek West is located at 365 Wyman School Rd. Caledonia, IL 61011

Directions to Beaver Creek West: If without access to Google Maps, please contact Ron or John Steven. Ron Doetch – 815-742-3450 ron@fieldsbestseeds.com John Steven Bianucci -847-401-6050 johnstevenbianucci@gmail.com


Posted in Events | Leave a comment

California Department of Food and Agriculture is hiring


The California Department of Food and Agriculture is announcing three vacancies on the Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP)’s Technical Advisory Subcommittee. This subcommittee reviews and recommends fertilizer research and education proposals for funding and implementation to the department’s Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board.

The FREP funds and facilitates research to advance the environmentally safe use of fertilizing materials within the agricultural sector. The program serves growers, agricultural supply and service professionals, extension personnel, public agencies, consultants, and the public.

Applicants must demonstrate technical and scientific expertise in the fields of agronomy, soil science, plant physiology, production agriculture and environmental issues related to fertilizing materials use. This expertise can include, but is not limited to, issues related to nitrate in groundwater and greenhouse gas emissions associated with fertilizer use. The term of office for subcommittee members is three years. Members receive no compensation but are entitled to payment of necessary traveling expenses. The subcommittee and research program are funded entirely through mill assessments.

Individuals interested in being considered for appointment should send a resume to FREP staff at California Department of Food and Agriculture – FFLDRS Branch, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 or via email at FREP@cdfa.ca.gov. The application deadline is July 31, 2015.

For further information on the Fertilizer Research and Education Program, please contact FREP staff at (916) 900-5022 or visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/FREP.

Fertilizer Research and Education Program
Division of Inspection Services
California Department of Food and Agriculture
1220 N Street

Sacramento, CA 95814
HQ: (916) 900-5022
Fax: (916) 900-5349

Posted in Jobs, Opportunities | Leave a comment

Ceres Trust Organic Research Initiative


The Ceres Trust launches the sixth year of their Organic Research Initiative (ORI) program to support research that helps the region contend with “the loss of our beneficial weather patterns, severe degradation and loss of our soils, dwindling and contaminated water resources, widespread loss of pollinators, and the collapse of entire ecosystems.”

They fund organic projects that might show us a way forward by providing grants of up to $60,000 per year for up to three years in the region (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin). Grants must be submitted on or before September 25, 2015.

For more information see the RFP

Posted in Grants | Leave a comment