Patrick Baur

  • Assistant Professor
  • Sustainable Agriculture/Food Systems
  • Phone: 401.874.7083
  • Email:
  • Office Location: CBLS, Rm 481
  • Website


Broadly, Dr. Baur’s research centers on environmental governance, which he approaches through a disciplinary blend of public policy, rural sociology, science and technology studies, and political ecology. Specifically, he studies agriculture and food systems to observe how people collectively navigate, at different scales, the complex dynamics of ecological sustainability, social justice, economic production, and human health. Much of his work aims to assess the ways in which policy mechanisms and other governing institutions intersect with environmental feedback dynamics to affect different kinds of farms and farmers differently, with particular attention to small- to mid-scale farms, organic/biodiversified farms, beginning farmers, and farmers of color. He seeks to document practitioner perspectives and experiences in navigating the competing demands on food production, to learn from the strategies and tools that farmers in these groups use to navigate this complex landscape, and to identify research, policy, and outreach opportunities to better support diverse and equitable opportunities for sustainable food production.


Diversifying agrifood systems; food justice and food sovereignty; automation technologies in agrifood systems; food safety governance; urban agricultural intensification


  • Ph.D., Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, 2016
  • A.B., Environmental Science and Public Policy, Harvard University, 2007

Selected Publications

Baur, Patrick, and Alastair Iles. 2022. “Replacing Humans with Machines: A Historical Look at Technology Politics in California Agriculture.” Agriculture and Human Values.

Carlisle, Liz, Kenzo Esquivel, Patrick Baur, Nina F. Ichikawa, Elissa M. Olimpi, Joanna Ory, Hannah Waterhouse, et al. 2022. “Organic Farmers Face Persistent Barriers to Adopting Diversification Practices in California’s Central Coast.” Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 46 (8): 1145–72.

Baur, Patrick F. 2021. “Missing the Outbreak for the Germs: Institutionalized Non-Knowledge and Industrial Power in Agrofood Safety Governance.” Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 9 (1): 00041.

Esquivel, Kenzo Emiliano, Liz Carlisle, Alison Ke, Elissa M. Olimpi, Patrick Baur, Joanna Ory, Hannah Waterhouse, et al. “The ‘Sweet Spot’ in the Middle: Why Do Mid-Scale Farms Adopt Diversification Practices at Higher Rates?” Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 5.

Petersen-Rockney*, Margiana, Patrick Baur*, Aidee Guzman, S. Franz Bender, Adam Calo, Federico Castillo, Kathryn De Master, et al. 2021. “Narrow and Brittle or Broad and Nimble? Comparing Adaptive Capacity in Simplifying and Diversifying Farming Systems.” Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 5. *Co-first authors.

Baur, Patrick, Janne Lundén, and Michele Jay-Russell. “Editorial: Conflicts and Compromises Between Food Safety Policies and Environmental Sustainability.” Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 5: 433.

Baur, Patrick. 2020. “When Farmers Are Pulled in Too Many Directions: Comparing Institutional Drivers of Food Safety and Environmental Sustainability in California Agriculture.” Agriculture and Human Values 37 (4): 1175–94.

Baur, Patrick, Christy Getz, and Jennifer Sowerwine. 2017. “Contradictions, Consequences and the Human Toll of Food Safety Culture.” Agriculture and Human Values 34 (3): 713–28.

View ResearchGate profile