January 12, 2011
PhD Candidate, Ohio State University
Professor, Environmental Entrepreneurship, College of Wooter
Alumni, 2005 Public Policy Internship Program
I have been feverishly working to finish up my dissertation at Ohio State University, as I need to defend by early August so that I can clear my plate for a 2-year visiting professorship in Environmental Entrepreneurship at the College of Wooster starting fall semester. So my family and I get to remain local and remain on our little 7-acre hobby farm — Luca is now 4, and we have a daughter Clara, 1 1/2.
My dissertation is on the subject of water quality trading, and specifically those trading programs that involve farmers as the “sellers” of nutrient credits. My research looks beyond the economics-dominated literature on water quality trading programs and shows that there is a critical element in the success of these programs that economic accounts miss: the ability of the programs to work through a local intermediary who has deep trust relations with farmers.
I would say that my public policy internship with Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and Margaret Krome, Director, Public Policy opened my eyes to the policy world in general, one result of which has been this choice to study a topic closely tied to environmental policy. It will also be evident as I teach a course on the Sociology of Agriculture this fall and another on Environmental Entrepreneurship. My love for market gardening also continues as Debora and I sell small quantities of produce at the Wooster Farmers Market. We hope to remain in this home for the rest of our lives, but who knows what the future will bring? At least with the College of Wooster and the agricultural research arm of Ohio State both here in Wooster, my chances are decent.