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News and Events

Healing Grounds

BFF Colloquium Series:  Healing Grounds - Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming

Featuring Liz Carlisle, Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara

Friday, November 17, 2023, 3:30 p.m. in AL 101

Professor Carlisle will be sharing insights from her book, Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming. In Healing Grounds, she tells the stories of Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian American farmers who are reviving their ancestors’ methods of growing food— techniques long suppressed by the industrial food system. These farmers are restoring native prairies, nurturing beneficial fungi, and enriching soil health. While feeding their communities and revitalizing cultural ties to land, they are steadily stitching ecosystems back together and repairing the natural carbon cycle. This, Carlisle shows, is the true regenerative agriculture – not merely a set of technical tricks for storing CO2 in the ground, but a holistic approach that values diversity in both plants and people.

Liz Carlisle is an Associate Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at UC Santa Barbara, where she teaches courses on food and farming. Born and raised in Montana, she got hooked on agriculture while working as an aide to organic farmer and U.S. Senator Jon Tester, which led to a decade of research and writing collaborations with farmers in her home state. She has written three books about regenerative farming and agroecology: Lentil Underground (2015), Grain by Grain (2019, with co-author Bob Quinn), and most recently, Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming (2022). She is also a frequent contributor to both academic journals and popular media outlets, focusing on food and farm policy, incentivizing soil health practices, and supporting new entry farmers. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography, from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in Folklore and Mythology, from Harvard University. Prior to her career as a writer and academic, she spent several years touring rural America as a country singer.

The Development of Algae as a Source of Alternative Protein

BFF Colloquium Series: The Development of Algae as a Source of Alternative Protein

Featuring Miller Tran, Founding Director of Triton Algae Innovation
Friday, October 27, 2023, 3:30 p.m. in AL 101

Dr. Miller Tran co-founded Triton, an algae biotechnology company, in April of 2013. Currently serving as Triton’s Vice President of Research and Development, he leads the pioneering efforts to transform microalgae into future food and sustainable ingredients.

Dr. Tran received his doctorate in Biology from the University of California, San Diego under the guidance of Dr. Stephen P. Mayfield. There he developed genetic tools and scale-up strategies that would facilitate the production of the next generation of bio-products. Dr. Tran has published 20 peer reviewed articles and has been granted dozens of patents worldwide.


USDA-funded Scholarships and High-Impact LearningInformation Session: USDA-funded Scholarships and High-Impact Learning

Wednesday, October 18, 2023, 12 p.m. in Music 245

Scholarships, travel grants, and more to support undergraduate and graduate students interested in food and agriculture.  Exciting educational opportunities coming to SDSU!

New Courses

Interdisciplinary team-taught courses:

  • CAL400: Transnational Approaches to Sustainable Food Futures
  • ENV S 496: Sustainable Agriculture

Paid Internships

  • Paid summer bi-national internships in San Diego, Baja California, and Oaxaca, Mexico with Professors Flores-Renteria, Love, Liu, and Perez)
  • Paid internships in San Diego or Imperial Valley with Profs. Biggs, Quandt, and Joassart

Research Experiences

  • Interdisciplinary research experiences in sustainable food and agriculture


  • Faculty and peer mentoring for undergraduate and graduate students in food-related disciplines



Press Coverage for Our Research

BFF co-director Pascale Joassart-Marcelli discusses her research on the relationship between food, ethnicity, and gentrification in an interview with David Broncaccio on MaketPlace Morning Edition on National Public Radio MarketPlace.

BFF faculty Dr. Changqi Liu and Dr. Jing Zhao are recognized in an article in SDSU NewsCenter for their research in sustainable superfood. Read about “Galatic Guacomole.”

Coverage for Our USDA Grant

The Center received a $1 million USDA Grant to support sustainable food and agriculture training for Latinx students.  The grant is a partnership between SDSU and San Diego Mesa College and will provide career pathways to students from community college through graduate school.

Read the stories on CBS8 and SDSU NewsCenter.