Gerber, John

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Professor, Department of Plant, Soil & Insect Sciences, College of Natural Sciences
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Plant Sciences
Sustainable Food and Farming
John is a member of the Board of Directors of Living Routes, Inc., an educational collaborative that helps students earn college credit for the study and practice of sustainable living in Ecovillages around the world. He also serves on his local town Conservation Commission and the Board of Directors for the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. John has served as Executive Director of the Consortium for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, a national consortium of universities and research institutes, and is a founding Board member of the Loka Institute, a non-profit institute dedicated to the democratization of technology.

John was Director of the University of Massachusetts Extension System from 1992 to 2000. He served as leader and manager for this major outreach effort of the University of Massachusetts with programs in agriculture, natural resources, youth and family development, and nutrition education. He has also served as Associate Dean in the College of Food and Natural Resources at the University of Massachusetts. He was Assistant Director in the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, and Program Leader for Sustainable Agriculture in the Illinois Cooperative Extension Service (1989-1992). He was responsible for the establishment and administration of the University of Illinois Agro-Ecology Program. He served as a faculty member and Extension Program Leader from 1979 - 1989 at the University of Illinois, Urbana.

John’s research interests include ecological cropping systems, plant nutrition, seed and flowering physiology. He is former Extension Division Vice-President of the American Society for Horticultural Science, and former President of the National Agricultural Plastics Association. He has written and lectured nationally and internationally on participatory research and education, the integration of research and extension education, and the role of citizen input in land grant universities.

John currently focuses on teaching at the University of Massachusetts where he is active in helping to create a new undergraduate program in Sustainability Studies. He continues to investigate ways in which students are encouraged to explore personal growth and community responsibility through dialogue, meditation and contemplation.

John has an M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University and a B.S. from the University of Rhode Island.

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