Associate Director

Martha Caswell serves on the leadership team of the Institute for Agroecology as Associate Director.

Her work focuses on community mobilization and pedagogy that considers whole systems and searches out the entry points for meaningful engagement. With a belief in the power of collective action, Martha is often a bridge between academic and community participants, working to establish reciprocal relationships that facilitate exchanges of knowledge and experience toward food systems transformation. Through a commitment to critical analysis and inviting in multiple ways of knowing, her research and teaching currently investigate power and possibilities within agroecological transformations. A connector by nature, Martha looks for the synergies and opportunities that are possible across constituencies, geographies, and experience.

Martha Caswell at Public EventMartha teaches on the Certificate for Graduate Studies in Agroecology and is engaging in various community efforts around political and popular education. She is also involved in a range of research programs including: agroecology transformations, territorial food systems, food sovereignty and more.

Headshot of Martha Caswell

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Transformative agroecology, food sovereignty, critical participatory action research (PAR), multiple ways of knowing, scholar activism


  • Masters in Public Policy, with a focus on Poverty and Inequality from the University of Chicago
  • BA, American Culture, University of Michigan
  • PhD student in the Transdisciplinary Leadership and Creativity for Sustainability program


Courses Taught

Intro to Agroecology (PSS 6110)

Agroecology, Food Sovereignty and Social Movements (PSS 6140)