University of Vermont

Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont

Community Development and Applied Economics

Erin Buckwalter

Erin Buckwalter, M.S. Candidate, '11

B.S. SUNY Geneseo

Areas of interest

local foods, social justice, sustainable agriculture

Contact Information

Office: 004 Morrill Hall

Thesis Title:


Undergraduate and Professional Background:

I attended SUNY Geneseo and received my Bachelor's in Geology with minors in Women's Studies, Anthropology and Environmental Studies. After graduating, I was an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at the City of Winooski for 2 years and continued to work there for a third years as staff. There I developed a variety of different youth and community building programs including overseeing the Teen Center, the creation and direction of the Veggie Town Teen Farm and Garden, the Winooski Community Gardens, and Co-Coordinated the Winooski Coalition for a Safe and Peaceful Community. In the remaining year between working for Winooski and starting graduate school, I helped start a few community gardens in Addison County and spent time working on our farm and gardening a ton!

Graduate Courses:

Fall 2009
CDAE 295 Local Community Initiatives
CDAE 354 Advanced Microeconomics
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar
CDAE 291 Applied Consumption Economics

Spring 2010
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar
CDAE 351 Research Methods
NFS 295 Directed Study - Visioning a Sustainable
New England Food System under Prof. Amy Trubek
NR 385 Measuring Genuine Economic Progress in Iceland

Fall 2010
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar
CDAE 391 Thesis Research
NR 343 Fundamentals of GIS

Spring 2011
CDAE 391 Theis Research
CDAE 397 Comprehensive Exam
FOR 185 Intro to Wood Turning

Funding Grad School:

In the Fall of 2009 I was funded with a 20-hour/week assistantship; I was a Teaching Assistant for 10 hours and was a Research Assistant for the other 10 hours. In the Spring of 2010, I was funded for 20-hours/week; I was a TA for 10 hours and had an internship with the Vermont House Committee on Agriculture for 10 hours. My Fall 2010 semester will be the same as Fall 2009: 10 hours TA/10 hours RA

On Customizing Grad School to Fit Personal Interests:

My main interests are local foods, sustainable agriculture, and social organizing. As there are not graduate level courses in these topics, I have looked outside of the department to find Professors that are currently working on these topics. In Spring 10, I took a directed study with Amy Trubek which worked to create a potential framework for a Healthy and Sustainable Regional New England Food System for 2050. Also, when I learned about the Internship with the House Committee on Ag, I jumped at the chance to learn more about the politics of agriculture in Vermont and especially the Farm to Plate Initiative.

Words of Wisdom to Inquiring/Incoming MS Students:

  • Make sure that you like doing research and are interested in the research that is going on in the Department.
  • Check out the courses being offered and make sure that you will be able to find graduate level courses that match your interests.
  • Have some ideas about what you'd like to get out of Graduate School and ask specific questions to make sure that this program can get you there.
  • Apply for any sources of funding that are available to you - being a TA and/or Research Assistant are great ways to build relationships within the Dept. and learn more about what's going on in the Dept.
  • Don't come to Grad School right out of Undergraduate; take at least a year or two to work or volunteer in a field you think you think you might be interested in. It will help inform what your work goals are and ways that you can achieve them.

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