University of Vermont

Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods Group

Kate Elmer Westdijk

Kate Westdijk

Kate Elmer Westdijk, Food Systems Research Specialist

  • M.S. in Natural Resources with a concentration in Ecological Planning and a Certificate in Ecological Economics from the Gund Institute, University of Vermont (2007)
  • B.A. in Biological Sciences, with minors in Chemistry and Environmental Science & Policy, Smith College (2003)
Areas of research

PAR, Service-Learning, Engaged Scholarship in Higher Education, Ecology, Conservation Biology

Contact Information

Kate Westdijk, M.S., is a Research Specialist with the Vermont Food Systems and Climate Change Project in the Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods Research Group. Kate grew up on an off-the-grid, subsistence farm in Cabot, Vermont, where her neighbors were involved in starting the Vermont Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement and the Deep Root Organic Co-op. A desire for interdisciplinary training in ecology, social sciences and economics led her to graduate studies at the University of Vermont. In 2007, she completed a Master's in Natural Resources through the Ecological Planning program with a Certificate in Ecological Economics. For the last five years, she worked with UVM faculty, students, and community partners to facilitate collaborative problem-solving through service-learning projects and applied research. These experiences developed her skills in Participatory Action Research, project management, and facilitation. She co-teaches Community Based Research with Ernesto at the graduate level. She lives in Burlington Co-housing with her husband, Bart, their son, Liam, and their dog, Maatje, and is an active volunteer in her local cohousing community and in Burlington. She is currently pursuing certification as a clinical herbalist through the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism in Montpelier.


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