Assistant Professor of Sociology

Stephen has a longstanding interest in the development and maintenance of sustainable regional food systems, both within and outside the U.S. His past research has included work on the social aspects of Community Supported Agriculture in Iowa, on sustainable agriculture farmers in the Midwest, on alternative regional food systems in rural Illinois, and on food supply chains and nutrition in the Palestinian territories. His more recent research has been on social networks, local food systems, and urban farming systems in Michigan, and the nexus between food security, nutrition, community building, and urban farming. He is interested in the researching the nexus between community capacity and the development of local food systems, and the role of social capital in development of local food systems. His research is often at the community level and as such he uses a participatory assessment approach that works with local stakeholders to development assessment systems that can be used to assess change over time.

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