Our Agroecology Program alumni are working to change agriculture across the country and globe.  They have found homes in both the public and private sector engaging in wide-ranging topics from urban agriculture to commodity crops, from  farm-to-school to international development, and from county extension and outreach to managing international research portfolios.  Please browse the accordion panels below for more details on our individual alumni across the years.

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Nicholas Gallagher

Thesis Title: Composite Indicators for Incorporating Environmental Externalities into On-farm Economic Decision-Making using Farm Management Information Systems PDF

Margaux Crider

Thesis Title: “The Entire Creation is Within Them”: Gender, Ecology, and Viriditas as Lived Religion Video  PDF

Stefania Cartoni Casamitjana

Thesis Title: “Kernza perennial grain and legume dual purpose polycultures in Wisconsin: effects of row spacing, fertilization, weed management, and legume intercrops” PDF

Corey Blant

Thesis Title: “Connected Consciousness: Movement-Advancing Education in Farmers’ Cooperatives”

Dana Johnson

Thesis Title: “Soil Bacterial Response to Fire Under High and Low Moisture Conditions in the Canadian Boreal Forest” PDF

Ambar Carvallo Lopez

Thesis Title: “Participatory Tomato Improvement For Organic Systems Focused on Production and Culinary Traits” PDF

Korede Olugbenle

Thesis Title: “Optimal planting date and populations in dual-use Kernza intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium)-legume intercropping systems in Wisconsin” PDF

Kelsey Kruger

Thesis Title: “An Exploratory Analysis of Edge-of-Field Phosphorus Losses” PDF

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Karen Hill

Thesis Title: Stakeholder Roles in Participatory Plant Breeding: Perspectives from the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative PDF

Laura Judge


Alex Kazer


Erin Lowe


Cathleen McCluskey


Patrick Merscher


Rachel Schindler

Public Practice Report: Contemporary New Farmer Programming in Wisconsin PDF

Miranda Sikora


Hanna McIntosh


Hannah Francis


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Cherrie Nolden

Thesis Title: “Goat Dietary Selections, Performance and Browsing Effects on a Brush-invaded Oak Savanna in Southwest Wisconsin.” 2020 Nolden Goat Browsing MS Thesis

  • Cherrie is pursuing a Ph.D. in UW-Madison Department of Animal and Dairy Science, and managing her goat herd.

Alden Dirks

Thesis Title: “The Ubiquitous Unseen: Nitrogen Amendment of Switchgrass Has Site-specific Effects on Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Diversity and Relative Abundance”

  • Alden is continuing for a PhD at the University of Michigan

Jamie Bugel

Thesis Title: “Developing culinary corn: Establishing a collaborative process for breeding savory vegetable corn”

  • Jamie is working for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, coordinating the “Snapshot Wisconsin” Program

Leah Potter-Weight

Thesis Title: “Right Relation: Embodying Justice Through Polycultural Re-Visioning”


Tracy Campbell

Thesis Title: “Impacts of increased perennial grass cover and reduced crop nutrient applications on ecosystem services in the Yahara watershed, Wisconsin” PDF

  • Tracy is continuing on for a PhD in Agronomy at UW-Madison

Maria Chavez

Thesis Title: “Wisconsin Cranberry Marshes Support Diverse Communities of Odonate Biocontrol Agents” PDF

  • Maria is continuing on for a PhD at Colorado State

Keo Corak

Thesis Title: “Exploration of population structure and genomic-based strategies for screening and selection in a carrot (Daucus carota) germplasm collection” PDF

  • Keo is continuing for a PhD in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison

Jacob Grace

Thesis Title: “Kill Them with Cattle? An evaluation of cattle grazing as a method of reducing woody shrub encroachment on Wisconsin public grasslands”

Laura Jessee

Public Practice Project (joint with Alexandra Steussy-Williams):  “Development of the Organic Vegetable Farm Manager Apprenticeship Program for Wisconsin” PDF

  • Laura is continuing for a PhD in Environment and Natural Resources in the Nelson Institute at UW-Madison

Marisa Lanker

Thesis Title: “Continual Growth: Farmer Perspectives and Experiences Introducing the Perennial Grain, Kernza” PDF

  • Marisa is pursuing a PhD in Agronomy at UW-Madison

Julia Reynolds

Thesis Title: “Emerging from the Roots: Perennial Development and the Black Wattle Stand in Manzimdaka Village, South Africa” PHD

  • Julia is pursuing a PhD in Land Resources at UW-Madison

Greg Richardson

Thesis Title: “The influence of farm management practices and soil properties on soil organic matter pools”

  • Greg is now the Director of Research and Monitoring at Paicines Ranch in California

Alexandra Steussy-Williams

Public Practice Project (joint with Laura Jessee):  “Development of the Organic Vegetable Farm Manager Apprenticeship Program for Wisconsin”

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Laura Adams

Thesis Title: “Quantifying cover crop and reduced tillage impacts on dairy forage production and water quality”  PDF

Sam Asper

Thesis Title: “Grassland bird species abundance on grazed and non-grazed land at Buena Vista Wildlife Area”  PDF

  • Sam is now the Youth Coordinator at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Poweshiek County

Monica Daane

Thesis Title: “Crop-specific management impacts on soil aggregation and microbial communities in a Wisconsin organic grain rotation” PDF

  • Monica is now a Regulatory Specialist for the Pesticide Registration and Inspection Programs with the WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection

Kalyn Diederich

Thesis Title: “Temporal and Cropping System Effects on Labile Soil Carbon and Nitrogen pools in Long-Term Agroecosystems”

  • Kalyn is pursuing a PhD at Colorado State

Spencer Evans

Thesis Title: “‘Is No-Till Enough? Adapting Approaches to Tillage in the Midwest under Future Climate”

  • Spencer is now pursuing a PhD at the University of British Columbia

Kiley Friedrich

Thesis Title: “Perennial Bioenergy Cropping Systems and Pollinator Habitat: Understanding the relationship between conservation strips and native bee communities”

  • Kiley is now a Research Scientist and Lab Technician at the University of Minnesota’s Bee Lab

Amanda Hoffman

Thesis Public Practice Title: “Anatomy of an Urban Farm”

Kavya Krishnan

Thesis Title: “Short term benefits of cover crops on labile C and N pools in soil”

  • Kavya is now pursuing a PhD at Cornell University

Marlie Wilson

Public Practice Title: “The Farm to Institution Procurement Strategy: Aligning supply with demand for local food in Wisconsin’s cafeterias” PDF

  • Marlie is now the Illinois Farm to School Network Coordinator at Seven Generations Ahead


Marc Amante

Thesis Title: “Characterization of Five Species of Native Roses and Their Hips” PDF

  • Marc is now the Lead Grower at the DeKalb County Community Gardens.

Kate Ivancic
Thesis Title: “Spring Planted Cover Crop Impact on Nitrogen Management and Sweet Corn Production on Sandy Soil.” PDF

  • Kate is now pursuing her PhD in Agronomy under Dr. Valentin Picasso at UW-Madison

Greta Landis

Thesis Title: “Evaluating Grazing Management on Wisconsin’s Public Grasslands: Adaptive Collaboration in Agroecology Research.”

  • Greta is now pursuing her PhD in Agronomy under Dr. Randy Jackson at UW-Madison  PDF

Paige Leytem
Thesis Title: “Assessing the Potential of Pearl Millet as a Cover Crop in the Wisconsin Central Sands.” PDF

  • Paige (Frautschy) is now an Agricultural Strategy Fellow at the Nature Conservancy

Elizabeth McNamee

Thesis Title: “Unpacking the Soil Water Characteristic Curve: Measurement Techniques, Property-Transfer Predictions, and Implications for DayCent Model Simulations.” PDF

  • Elizabeth is now pursuing a PhD in Agronomy under Chris Kucharik at UW-Madison

Katheryn Prince

Thesis Title: “Wild Bee Communities in Central Wisconsin Vegetable Crops.” PDF

  • Katheryn is now the Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner with the Xerces Society

Courtney Robinson

Thesis Title: “Opportunities and Challenges with Grazing Public Grassland in Wisconsin: The Producer Perspective.” PDF

  • Courtney is an Impact Evaluation and Learning Manager with Engineers Without Borders Canada, and is the founder and Evaluation Specialist of Robinson Evaluation

Daniel Smith

Thesis Title: “Cover Crop and Herbicide Interactions.” PDF

  • Daniel is now the Southwest Regional Specialist for the Nutrient and Pest Management Program at UW-Madison

Rachel Weil

Thesis Title: “Sustaining those who sustain us: valuing labor inputs in small-scale agriculture.” PDF

Chelsea Zegler

Thesis Title: “Legumes in Pastures: Productivity, Persistence and Milk Production.” PDF

  • Chelsea is now an Associate Research Specialist with the Ruark Lab at UW-Madison


Katherine Brewer

Thesis Title: “Potential of Flue-gas Desulfurization Gypsum for Reducing Soil Phosphorus Losses in Runoff.”

Claire Campbell

Thesis Title: “Assessing the Impacts of Tannin Diets on Land Application of Dairy Manure” PDF

  • Claire is now working as a Soil Scientist with the US Forest Service in Missoula, Montana

Stacey Marion

Thesis Title: “Characterization of Wisconsin Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida L.) Resistance to Cloransulam-Methyl in Wisconsin”

  • Stacey is now working as an ecological restorationist with Adaptive Restoration

Ginny Moore

Thesis Title: “Cover Crop Adoption on Wisconsin’s Organic Vegetable Farms”

  • Ginny is pursuing a PhD in Agronomy at UW-Madison working with Dr. Bill Tracy

Sarah Page

Thesis Title: “Water and nitrogen management opportunities with drip irrigation in potato production ” PDF

  • Sarah is currently working as an International Development Fellow with Catholic Relief Services in Tanzania

Emma Pelton

Thesis Title: “Risk factors of Drosophila suzukii infestation in Upper Midwest fruit crops” PDF

  • Emma is currently an Endangered Pollinator Conservation Biologist with the Xerces Society.

Eric Bietila

Thesis Titles: “Fall-sown cover crops as mulches for weed suppression in organic diversified vegetable production” and “Prevalence and characterization of culturable acetoin-producing rhizobacteria in organic no-till vegetable production.”

  • Eric is currently working as a food safety microbiologist.


Anna Cates

Thesis title: “Corn Performance, Nitrogen Use Efficiency, Particulate and Aggregate Organic Matter After 25 Years of Different Crop Management” PDF

  • Anna is now pursuing a PhD in Agronomy in the Jackson Grassland Ecology Lab at UW-Madison

Megan Chawner

Thesis title: “Assessing Radish as a Cover Crop”

  • Megan is now the Nitrogen Use Efficiency Project Coordinator at Discovery Farms

Meredith Coulson

Thesis Title: “Introducing the Topic of Organic Veterinary Practice Into the Veterinary School Curriculum” PDF

Richard Gaillard

Thesis title: “Soil N2O Emissions From Corn and Soybean Agriculture in Wisconsin: Simulated Causes of Spatial and Temporal Variability” PDF

  • Richard is now pursuing a PhD in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison

Anders Gurda

Thesis title: “Comparing Effectiveness of Mob-grazing and Chemical Herbicides in Controlling Canada Thistle and Other Weeds” PDF

  • Anders is now an Associate Researcher in Organic and Sustainable Cropping Systems at UW-Madison

Caitlin Henning

Thesis title: “The Iberian Ham Sector’s Perpetual Crisis: Overcoming the Legacy of Latifundismo and Globalization through the Use of Origin Labeled Products”

  • Caitlin is now pursuing a PhD in Life Sciences Communication at UW-Madison

Keefe Keeley

Thesis title: “Thoughts on the back forty: diverse farmer perspectives on woodlands drawn from in-depth interviews in the Driftless area of Wisconsin” PDF

  • Keefe is now pursuing a PhD in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison

Anna Lee

Thesis title: “The Roles of Identity and Community in Information-Seeking among Alternative Farmers on the North Central Coast of California” PDF

  • Anna is now pursuing a PhD in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) at Stanford

Margie Lempert

Public Practice Track Title: “The Grazing Ambassadors Project: Connecting Consumers and Pasture-based Farmers”

Tobias Lunt

Thesis title: “Nematode-fungal Interactions on Corn Seedlings” PDF

  • Toby is now a Fulbright Fellow with the Institute of International Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Lihlani Skipper

Public Practice Track Title: “Wisconsin’s Harvest Medley: Healthy Blends for WI Schools” PDF

  • Lani is the Program Officer for Management at the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at the Vermont Law School

Tamara Wattnem

Thesis title: “Seed Laws as Tools for the Criminalization of Informal Seed Systems and as Threats to Agro-biodiversity in the Global South” PDF.

  • Tamara is now pursuing a PhD in department of Community and Environmental Sociology at UW-Madison


Jack Buchanan

Thesis title: “Towards an Integrated Theory of Agroecology” PDF

  • Jack is now pursuing a PhD in Environment and Resources at UW-Madison

Julie Collins

Thesis title: “Student, Gamer, Scientist: Identies at Play Learning Ecology With ‘The NGame'”PDF

  • Julie is now an Assistant Faculty Associate with the Zoology Department at UW-Madison

Courtney Glettner

Thesis title: “Physiology, Growth, and Fecundity of Glyphosate-Resistant Giant Ragweed in Wisconsin” PDF

Katherine Keller

Public Practice Track Title: “What did you Learn on the Farm? A Resource to Enhance Farm Field Trips for Young Children”

Brady Williams

Public Practice Track Title: “Defining opportunities for WI hazelnut growers


Francis Eanes

Thesis title: “Lots to Plots: Building an Inventory of Vacant Land in Madison, Wisconsin”

  • Francis is now pursuing a PhD in Environment and Resources at UW-Madison

Allison Dungan

Project title: “Growing the Next Crop of Agricultural Scientists: A presentation of masters work to create linkages between secondary school agricultural education and agricultural science research at UW-Madison”

Shoshana Griffith

Thesis title: “Long-term survival of soil and water conservation practices in southern Mali”

Alex McCullough

Thesis title: “Neighborhood from the Ground Up: Improved Methods for Understanding Community Togetherness and Mapping Resident-Perceived Neighborhoods”

Will Osterholz

Thesis title: “Cropping System Affects Emissions of Nitrous Oxide but not Methane from an Arable Wisconsin Soil”

  • Will is now pursuing a PhD at Iowa State University


Courtney Berner

Project title: “Fifth Season Cooperative: The Role of Cooperatives in Rebuilding Regional Food Systems”

  • Courtney is now Outreach Specialist at UW Center for Cooperatives

Kolby Bray-Hoagland

Thesis title: “The Effect of Nitrogen Fertilization and Harvest Timing on Switchgrass Energy Yield and Combustion Quality”

  • Kolby is now Program Manager, BBI International

Noelle Harden

Thesis title: “Can Agriculture and Clean Water Coexist? A Participatory and Multifunctional Approach to ‘Total Maximum Daily Load'”

  • Noelle is now an Extension Educator – Community Food Systems, Northwest Minnesota

Kristina Hemstead

Project title: “Passing on Farm Knowledge: A Mentor-Intern Handbook for Dairy and Livestock Farmers”

  • Kristina is now a Farmers in Marketing Representative at Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative

Mark Sieffert

Project title: “Green Carts: Is Mobil Produce Vending an Answer for Madison’s Food Deserts?”

  • Mark is now a Program Analyst at USAID, Bureau of Food Security

Laura Smith

Thesis title: “Perennial Grass Systems for Bioenergy: Should we Fertilize with N?”

  • Laura is now pursuing a PhD in Environment and Resources at UW-Madison

Renata Solan

Thesis title: “The Influences of Plant Traits on Weed Management in Wisconsin Potato Production”

  • Renata is pursuing a PhD in Environment and Resources at UW-Madison

Christopher Stillion

Thesis title: “Around the Bend: Comprehensive Planning and Land Use in the Kickapoo Watershed”


Jennifer Blazek

Project title: “A Socio-Economic and Environmental Study of Dairy Production Systems in the Region of Los Altos in Jalisco, Mexico”

  • Jennifer is now a County Extension Agent in Polk County, Wisconsin

Thais Fonseca

Thesis title: “Net Energy Intensity and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Integrated Dairy and Bio-Fuels Systems in Wisconsin”

Lynne Haynor

Project title: “Twenty Years Later: Lessons from Three Sustainable Agriculture Center Pioneers”

  • Lynne is now a Certification Specialist with Midwest Organic Services Agency (MOSA)

Kelly Maynard

Thesis title: “Cultivating Positive Change: Pathways of Conservation Agriculture Adoption in Paraguay”

  • Kelly is an Education Facilitator, Spring Rose Cooperative, Farley Center

Matt Raboin

Thesis title: “Pine Plantations and Extensive Grazing in the Peruvian Andes: The Importance of Context in Land Use Planning”

  • Matt is a Permacultural Specialist at the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, UW-Madison

Marie Schmidt Raboin

Thesis title: “The Effects of Increasing Grazing Height on Weed Suppression in Management-Intensive Rotationally Grazed Pastures in Wisconsin”

  • Marie is a soil conservationist for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service

Carl Wahl

Thesis title: “The Agroecology of Faidherbia albida on the Tonga Plateau of Southern Zambia”

  • Carl is currently working for the Irish (Ireland-based) international aid agency Concern Worldwide as their Technical Advisor for Agriculture Programming.


Christopher Anderson

Thesis title: “Discourse and Discord over Development: Redefining Urban ‘Development’ with ‘Urban’ Agriculture”

  • Christopher is now a Science Instructor at Washtenaw Technical Middle College

Nathan Bard

Thesis title: “Mechanical and Thermal Suppression of Kura Clover for Living Mulch in Corn Production”

  • Nathan is a Field Biologist at Dow AgroSciences

Rebecca Claypool

Project title: “Veggie Compass – A Tool for Whole Farm Management”

David Duncan

Thesis title: “Driftless Area Meadow Fescue: Introduction History, Genetic Structure, and Management Recommendations”

  • David is pursuing a PhD in Agronomy at UW-Madison

Hannah Gaines

Thesis title: “Conservation of Non-Crop Habitats and Ecosystem Services in Wisconsin Potatoes”

  • Hannah is pursuing a PhD in Entomology at UW-Madison

Laurel Gutenberg

Thesis title: “Dry Lakes and Irrigated Agriculture: A Narrative of Social and Agricultural Changes in the Central Sands of Wisconsin”

  • Laurel is pursuing a PhD in Earth Systems and GeoInformation Sciences at George Mason University after working as an assistant at the Asian Development Bank in Washington D.C.

Katelin Holm

Project title: “What you Didn’t Know about the Seedcorn Maggot: Enhancing Dialogue between Wisconsin Organic Growers and University Researchers”

  • Katelin is an Information and Education Coordinator and Water Quality Specialist at Polk County Land and Water Resources Department

Herika Kummel

Thesis title: “Potential C Sequestration Increases with C4 Grass Abundance in Restored Prairie of Southern Wisconsin”

Rachel Mallinger

Thesis title: “Insect Responses to Conventional and Organic Cropping Systems and the Use of a Plant Volatile, Methyl Salicylate, in Pest Management”

  • Rachel is pursuing a PhD in Entomology at UW-Madison

Martha Rideout

Project title: “Veterinarians and Organic Dairies: Meeting Informational Needs”

Matthew Robinson

Thesis title: “Homegrown Industry, or Unwelcome Neighbor? Social Implications of Corn Ethanol Production in Wisconsin”

  • Matthew is an Education and Outreach Coordinator at Northeast Organic Farming Assoc. of New York, Inc. (NOFA-NY)


Alexandra Lyon

Thesis title: “Learning as You Go: Farmers, Scientists, and the Creation of Knowledge for Management Intensive Grazing”

  • Alexandra is pursuing a PhD in Environment & Resources at UW-Madison

Andrew Barrett

Thesis title: “Contextualizing Rural Development: Stories from Honduras through the Lens of Holon Agroecology”

Andrew was a Craig Murphey Fellow at New York City Coalition Against Hunger, and is now a School Garden Operations Associate at Green Thumb

Julie Sinistore

Thesis title: “Corn Ethanol Production in the Wisconsin Agricultural Context: Energy Efficiency, Greenhouse Gas Neutrality and Soil and Water Implications”

  • Julie completed a PhD in Biological Systems Engineering and is a Senior Life Cycle Analyst at Virent, Inc.