Vic Izzo Educational Coordinator and Lecturer
- Ph.D. Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont 2014
- M.S, Bioscience and Biotechnology, Drexel University 2003
- B.S., Chemistry, State University of New York at Geneseo, 1999
Areas of Expertise: Evolutionary Ecology, Entomology, Sustainable Pest Management, Agroecology, Conservation Ecology
For the better part of my career I have spent my time exploring the evolutionary dynamics of biological systems in the broadest sense. I believe that by understanding how populations evolve in the face of changing environmental conditions we can develop long-term solutions to just about any problem. Whether it is a farmer looking to adapt to the effects of climate change or a newly arriving insect species colonizing a foreign agricultural landscape, evolutionary solutions to ecological problems are constantly emerging.
While I am formally trained as an evolutionary ecologist and agricultural entomologist, my research interests are quite diverse. I simply enjoy working with great people on pressing issues at the nexus of agriculture and the environment. I am also fully committed to the use of Participatory Action Research (PAR) methods for all of my projects. Top down research is quickly becoming an antiquated paradigm. Most recently, my projects have centered upon developing novel techniques (with farmers!) for sustainable pest management in Vermont, but that is just the tip of iceberg. There are interesting questions in every milpa and solutions to be found in every collaboration.
In the support of my PAR work, I am also the co-founder of the Vermont Entomology and Particpatory Action Research Team (VEPART). In collaboration with co-founder Scott Lewins (UVM Extension), VEPART looks to engage local growers in the research process from hypothesis generation to farmer-to-farmer workshops. It is our belief that lasting change can only be accomplished through equitable and horizontal research processes.
As the educational coordinator in the ALC, a faculty member within the Plant and Soil Science Department and the Environmental Studies Program here at UVM, I spend a lot of my time in the classroom. The diversity of my interests is reflected in my course offerings. You can find more information about these courses on the learning tab.
“I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer…So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.”
~ Aldo Leopold
p.s. I also have a music radio show on Sunday nights 8:30-9:30pm Check it out!