Professor of Agroecology and Environmental Studies, Department of Plant and Soil Science

V. Ernesto Méndez is Professor of Agroecology and Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont’s Environmental Program and Department of Plant and Soil Science, where he leads the Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC). His research and teaching focus on agroecology, agrifood systems, participatory action research (PAR), and transdisciplinary research approaches.

At UVM he is also an active member of the Food Systems Initiative and a fellow of the Gund Institute for Environment.  He has almost 20 years of experience doing research and development work with smallholder farmers in Latin America, with an emphasis on coffee farmer cooperatives. He is also working with a team of faculty and extensionists to address agricultural resilience in the face of climate change in Vermont and the U.S. Northeast. He has authored or co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, as well as three edited books. Most recently, he was the lead editor of the book Agroecocology: a transdisciplinary, participatory and action-oriented approach, published in 2016, which explores how the field of agroecology can contribute to attain more ecologically sound and socially just agrifood systems. Ernesto was born and raised in El Salvador and has worked extensively in Latin America, California and Spain.

Research and/or Creative Works



Awards and Recognition

  • Hubert W. Vogelmann Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship (2016). College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Vermont.
  • Lynne Bond Outstanding Faculty Service Learning Award (2015). Community and University Partnerships Office (CUPS), University of Vermont.

Associations and Affiliations

  • Faculty Fellow and Steering Committee Member, Gund Institute for Environment, UVM
  • Steering Committee Member, UVM Food Systems Initiative
  • Affiliated Faculty, Food Systems Graduate Program, UVM
  • Adjunct Professor, M.S. in Agroecology and Sustainable Rural Development, Universidad Internacional de Analucía (UNIA) and Ph.D. in Environment and Society, Universidad Pablo de Olavide (UPO), Spain
  • Affiliated Researcher, Community Agroecology Network (CAN)
  • Advisory Committee Member, Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP), Mcknight Foundation
Ernesto Mendez

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Agroecology. Participatory Action Research (PAR), agricultural livelihoods, agrifood systems, agricultural resilience, climate change


  • PhD, Agroecology and Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • MS, Agroforestry, Tropical Agriculture Research & Higher Education Center, Costa Rica
  • BS, Crop Science, California Polytechnic State University


  • 802-656-2924
Office Location:

Jeffords Hall Room 225

Office Hours:

Mondays and Tuesdays 2:00-3:00pm. Please call Anne-Marie Resnik at 802-656-2630 to schedule an appointment.