Molly Anderson
Office
Robert A. Jones '59 House 202
Tel
(802) 443-3644
Email
mollya@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Tuesday 12:00 pm-2:30 pm and by appointment.
Additional Programs
Academic Affairs Food Studies

Molly Anderson directs the Academic Program in Food Studies at Middlebury College in Vermont and teaches about hunger and food security, fixing food systems, and sustainability. She is especially interested in multi-actor collaborations for sustainable food systems, sustainability metrics and assessment, food system resilience, human rights in the food system, and the right to food in the US and other industrialized countries.  She is also interested in bridging interests and concerns of academicians, community-based activists and social movements.  She is involved in food system reform and planning at the local, state and regional scales; participates in the regional Food Solutions New England network and the national Inter-Institutional Network for Food, Agriculture & Sustainability; and is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food).  She was a Coordinating Lead Author on the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science & Technology for Development (IAASTD) and served on the Board of the Community Food Security Coalition for 6 years. She has worked as a private consultant for domestic and international organizations, with Oxfam America, and at Tufts University, where she was the founding Director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment Graduate Program in the School of Nutrition Science & Policy and directed Tufts Institute of the Environment for 2 years.  Molly earned an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Systems Ecology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.S. and M.S. in natural resource management and a certificate in Latin American Studies from Colorado State University.

Courses Taught

Course Description

Senior Independent Study
In this course, seniors complete an independent research or creative project on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. During the term prior to enrolling in ENVS 0700, a student must discuss and agree upon a project topic with a faculty advisor who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program and submit a brief project proposal to the Director of Environmental Studies for Approval. The expectations and any associated final products will be defined in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students may enroll in ENVS 0700 as a one-term independent study OR up to twice as part of a multi-term project, including as a lead-up to ENVS 0701 (ES Senior Thesis) or ENVS 0703 (ES Senior Integrated Thesis). (Senior standing; Approval only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

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Course Description

Senior Integrated Thesis
This course is the culminating term of a multi-term independent project, resulting in a senior thesis on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment and that meaningfully integrates perspectives, methodologies, and/or approaches from multiple academic divisions (e.g., humanities/arts, natural sciences, social sciences). Approval to enroll is contingent on successful completion of at least one term (and up to two) of ENVS 0700 and approval of the Environmental Studies Program. The project, carried out under the co-supervision of two faculty advisors from different academic divisions of whom at least one is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program, will result in a substantial piece of scholarly work that will be presented to other ENVS faculty and students in a public forum and defended before the thesis committee. (Open to Senior ENVS majors) (Approval Only)

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

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Course Description

Middlebury's Foodprint: Introduction to Food Systems Issues
Food systems encompass all activities, people and institutions determining movement of food from input supply and production (on land and water) through waste management. The dominant U.S. food system is responsible at least in part for some of the nation’s most troubling environmental and health challenges. What do we eat at Middlebury? What difference does it make? How do we know? We will examine impacts of how Middlebury sources and consumes its food, and disposes of food waste, as a lens to understand sustainable food systems and how they can be achieved. (formerly INTD 0280) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Food Power & Justice
Students in this course will learn to analyze power and justice in relation to the food system. We will explore cases in which groups of people are experiencing injustice in opportunities to make a living through food production or other food system activities, inequitable access to food and resources, inequitable health outcomes related to diet (e.g., diabetes, obesity), and silencing or lack of political participation. Students will investigate organizations of their choice that are working to remedy inequitable power relations in the food system, and will present their findings to the rest of the class. (formerly INTD 0281) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Agroecology
In this course students will learn about agroecology as a set of practices, a philosophy, and a social movement. Agroecology takes advantage of natural processes to the greatest extent possible, using biological inputs rather than purchased pesticides and fertilizers. In addition to having major benefits for poor farmers in developing countries, it is attracting increased attention as an alternative to industrialized agriculture in wealthy countries. The course will include field trips to farms, films, and discussion of readings. We will leave between noon and 12:30 for some of the field trips, so don’t register for a class immediately before. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Students must also register for the discussion section.)

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Food Policy
Food policy is about how decisions are made in the food system, affecting who eats what, who grows food and how.  In this course, we will investigate important current topics in food policy, such as issues under consideration by the U.S. Congress (e,g., the Farm Bill, Child Nutrition Reauthorization); the United Nations; or other organizations.  Using a range of readings and academic background sources on food policy, students will debate contentious issues affected by policy (antibiotic resistance due to livestock feeding practices, incentives for healthy eating, limits on concentration in agribusiness, food safety rules, etc.).(formerly INTD 0312) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

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Course Description

Hunger, Food Security & Food Sovereignty
Why have no countries—including the U.S.—been able to ensure universal food security, even though more than enough food is produced for everyone? To examine this question, we will analyze historical famines, the "food price crisis" of 2008, and debates about how to address hunger and food insecurity including calls for food sovereignty. We will read Julian Cribb's The Coming Famine as well as other sources. Students will select international or domestic food security as their emphasis, and examine an organization trying to tackle hunger and food insecurity. This course is open to juniors and seniors. (formerly INTD 0480) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Independent Study
Approval Required

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Middlebury's Foodprint: Introduction to Food Systems Issues
Food systems encompass all activities, people and institutions determining movement of food from input supply and production (on land and water) through waste management. The dominant U.S. food system is responsible at least in part for some of the nation’s most troubling environmental and health challenges. What do we eat at Middlebury? What difference does it make? How do we know? We will examine impacts of how Middlebury sources and consumes its food, and disposes of food waste, as a lens to understand sustainable food systems and how they can be achieved. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

Requirements

SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Food, Power, & Justice
Students in this course will learn to analyze power and justice in relation to the food system. We will explore cases in which groups of people are experiencing injustice in opportunities to make a living through food production or other food system activities, inequitable access to food and resources, inequitable health outcomes related to diet (e.g., diabetes, obesity), and silencing or lack of political participation. Students will investigate organizations of their choice that are working to remedy inequitable power relations in the food system, and will present their findings to the rest of the class.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Agroecology
In this course students will learn about agroecology as a set of practices, a philosophy, and a social movement, with an emphasis on the first two perspectives. Agroecology takes advantage of natural processes to the greatest extent possible, using biological inputs rather than purchased pesticides and fertilizers. In addition to having major benefits for poor farmers in developing countries, it is attracting increased attention as an alternative to industrialized agriculture in wealthy countries. The course will include field trips to farms, lab exercises, and discussion of readings. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

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Course Description

Fixing Food Systems
This course addresses the innovation in food systems and how it is changing the ways that we eat; how we produce, process, and distribute food; how we manage food system inputs and waste; and how we imagine food alternatives. We will unpack what is meant by "innovation" and why technological innovation frequently gets more attention than social, cultural, and political innovations at scales from the community to the international. We will explore how to assess the risks and value of innovations and their implications for social justice and participation of emerging streams of innovation. (INTD 0280 or INTD 0310). 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

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Course Description

Grassroots Perspectives on Sustainable Development
Whose sustainability is threatened now, and why does it matter? How do the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 perpetuate existing power asymmetries that hurt marginalized people and block systemic transformation? We will critique the rise of “sustainable development" and explore the emphases of sustainability science to assess whether it is addressing the needs of marginalized people. Then we will turn to the articulation of alternatives to neoliberalism from social movements and post-development advocates. Are alternatives arising that offer radically different and more sustainable patterns of production and consumption to meet life needs? The course involves critique of original scientific literature and reports and interactive discussion. 3 hrs. seminar

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

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Course Description

Independent Study
Approval Required

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023

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