Patrick Baur

  • Assistant Professor, Limited Joint appointment
  • Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Sciences; Marine Affairs
  • Phone: 401.874.7083
  • Email:
  • Office Location: 481 CBLS


As an interdisciplinary scholar of sustainable food system policy and sociotechnical innovation, my research and teaching examine social structural barriers to and incentives for sustainable and just transitions in food systems. I examine the ways in which agricultural and food policies, markets, technologies, laws, and other institutions intersect with the practical management of food production systems to produce outcomes that impact both people and environments. Through this work, I aim to promote better balance among livelihoods, ecosystems, and human health—put simply, how can people better work together to provide good food more sustainably and equitably?

Active areas of research:

  • Food Safety: governance, management, and unintended social and ecological consequences
  • Automation: historic and contemporary implications of replacing humans with machines in agricultural systems
  • Diversified farming systems: particularly adoption of sustainable agricultural practices
  • Urban food provisioning networks


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

Selected Publications

Baur, P. 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.

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.

Baur, P. 2020. When farmers are pulled in too many directions: comparing institutional drivers of food safety and environmental sustainability in California agriculture. Agric Hum Values 37, 1175–1194.

Olimpi, E. M.* and Baur, P.*, A. Echeverri, D. Gonthier, D. Karp, C. Kremen, C., A. Sciligo, and K. De Master. 2019. Evolving food safety pressures in California’s Central Coast region. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. DOI: 10.3389/fsufs.2019.00102. *Authors contributed equally to this publication.

Ansell, C. and P. Baur. 2018. Explaining Trends in Risk Governance: How Problem Definitions Underpin Risk Regimes. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy. 9(4): 397-430. DOI: 10.1002/rhc3.12153.

Baur, P., C. Getz, and J. Sowerwine. 2017. Contradictions, Consequences and the Human Toll of Food Safety Culture. Agriculture and Human Values. 34(3): 713–728. DOI: 10.1007/s10460-017-9772-1.

Baur, P., L. Driscoll, S. Gennet, and D. Karp. 2016. Inconsistent food safety pressures complicate environmental conservation for California produce growers. California Agriculture, 70(3): 142-151. DOI: 10.3733/ca.2016a0006.

Karp, D.* and Baur, P.*, R. Atwill, K. De Master, S. Gennet, A. Iles, J. Nelson, A. Sciligo, and C. Kremen. 2015. The Unintended Ecological and Social Impacts of Food Safety Regulations in California’s Central Coast Region. Bioscience. 65(12): 1173-83. DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biv152. *Authors contributed equally to this publication.