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Fostering Civic Engagement through Urban Agriculture Education in Schools

I am a principal investigator for a research and outreach projects in New York City titled "Urban Agriculture Education and Civic Engagement." Along with several partner organizations listed below, we explore how urban agriculture education in NYC public schools and farms are helping youth become civically engaged and address climate change, social justice, food justice, and sustainability issues. This project is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Collaborators include:

  • New York Sun Works

  • Teens For Food Justice

  • The Office of Sustainability, NYC Department of Education

  • New York Harbor School and multiple other public schools in NYC

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Preliminary findings: systemic impacts of hydroponic-based sustainability education in NYC public schools.

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Sustainability Education in Frontline Communities


Youth and adults in local communities can address the current environmental crisis through sustainability actions. For example, they can participate in environmental policy-making and political activism, critique and influence social norms, facilitate civic ecology education, and organize climate change mitigation projects. But many vulnerable communities have been denied equal participation in environmental action.

Cornell and Edinburgh conduct research to understand how environmental educators can support vulnerable communities to take sustainability action. This research will lay the foundation for a global online course for school teacher, conformal educators, and community leaders working in such communities. To inform this future course and to advance the field of professional development of environmental educators, our team will conduct a series of narrative interviews with civic and governmental informants in the U.S. and Scotland. This project is supported by the Cornell Global Hub.


  • Cornell University (PI: Alex Kudryavtsev)

  • The University of Edinburgh (PI: Beth Christie)

Sense of Place

I explored how urban environmental education programs in the Bronx, NYC influence high students' sense of place. They involved in year-long environmental education programs included urban ecosystem restoration, recreation on the Bronx River, citizen science, and learning about environmental justice. Although these programs did not strengthen students place attachment, they significantly improved their ecological place meaning. This research is finished, but because of my expertise in this area I regularly review refereed journal manuscripts related to environmental education and sense of place. 


  • Rocking the Boat

  • Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice

  • Bronx River Alliance

  • New York University

  • Satellite High School, and more


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