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Research Themes & Focus Areas

Research Themes & Focus Areas

Research Themes & Focus Areas

We Focus on Five Themes

Food/Energy/Water Nexus

How food, water, and energy systems are interdependent

Native American Food Systems

How indigenous knowledge and traditions can support sustainable food and health outcomes

Human Dimensions of Food Systems

How human behavior, culture, and the arts are inextricably linked to food and health


Consumer Health and Behavior

How food systems can support healthy food access and optimal health outcomes

Entrepreneurship in Food, Health, and Sustainability

How technology, innovation, and enterprise can help foster more resilient, sustainable food systems

Where we have impact

P1010671Research carried out within the Food Systems Transformation Initiative targets transformative improvements in health and the environment We do this by innovating new models of sustainable operations for small-scale farms, creating locally focused, market-based tools to broaden healthy food access, exploring leading-edge lifestyle behavior change processes and models, and exploring the benefits of plant-based diets. We are set apart from other universities because we seek to create efficiencies, from production to consumption, that maximize human and environmental health using an innovative, interconnected mix of disciplines, cultural approaches, lifestyle behaviors, and community-embedded agriculture.

Novel areas of research

The Food Systems Transformation Initiative supports research in the following ways:

Building Collaboration

We act as a hub for faculty, placing emphasis on cross-disciplinary work that is solutions- and impact-oriented.

Supporting Students

We support educational, entrepreneurial, and research opportunities for students across disciplines interested in food systems issues. Faculty associated with FSTI teach courses that emphasize the interrelated issues of health, environment, community, and entrepreneurship.

Engaging with the Community

We connect with a number of community partners through grant-funded projects as well as outreach and educational activities, working together to tackle food systems challenges here in our local community and globally.