Former Lab Greeting Page (includes dead links)

This webzone, formerly known as the webpage of the Laboratory of Agroecology and Urban Ecosystems at Washington State University Vancouver, is switching over to be a yet-to-be-defined blogspace for “Agroecopeople”.  Jahi Chappell, formerly assistant professor of environmental science and justice at WSUV, is now Director of Agriculture Policy at the Institute for Trade and Agriculture Policy (IATP) in Minneapolis, MN.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t still check out our page here. Are you an Agroecoperson? Well, ask yourself:

  1. Is agroecology a set of practices, a movement, or a science?
  2. Is all good science neutral?
  3. Did you used to be a student of mine at WSU?

If you answered “yes” to all three, then… you might be a bit confused. But if these questions interest you, stay tuned to Dragonball Z Agroecopeople!

The information for the Erstwhile Lab is, for the time being, kept here for laziness’s nostalgia’s sake.

Although this WordPress site is now our primary site, our WSU lab webpage (irregularly updated) can be found here. Professor Chappell’s official, up-to-date faculty page is here.

Chappell Lab 2012 (L-R: Jude Wait, Amber Heckelman, Jamie Stepniak, Jahi Chappell, Janel Skreen, Michael Lege, Brittany Winston, Sage; not pictured: James Moore, Becca Neville, Johan Oldekop)

Our lab focuses on sustainable development issues as they intersect with the basic human right to food and environmental conservation. This includes empirical and theoretical investigations of food security policy, social and environmental justice, agroecology, urban agriculture, urban ecology, and conservation biology. Specifically, we study the design, development and implementation of food and conservation policies at various scales, examining how one may influence (and hopefully support) the other while maintaining effectiveness in both areas. To do this, we apply tools from political science, action and participatory research, sociology, anthropology, science and technology studies and economics through to metapopulation and metacommunity theory, theoretical biology, agroecology, and conservation and community ecology. It is impossible to comprehensively work in all of these areas simultaneously; our lab specializes in synthesizing research from these varying arenas and making their perspectives and approaches mutually intelligible. We continually seek to cultivate and maintain collaborations with diverse groups of scholars and practitioners.

Current field sites include the greater Belo Horizonte metropolitan region in southeast Brazil, and urban agricultural areas in Portland, Oregon.  Our practical focus for measuring environmental conservation is the diversity and distribution of ground-foraging arthropods; chiefly Formicidae (ants) and Coleoptera (beetles). (As Robert May famously said, “To a good approximation, all species are insects.”) Policy foci include food sovereignty and agrarian movements, national and local food security policies, and the intersections of land use policies and incentives with biodiversity and food security issues.