Professor of Environmental Studies
I am primarily interested in social change with respect to environmental problems and sustainability. Much of my work focuses on the impacts of the conventional agriculture and food system and on local, sustainable alternatives to that system. I am also interested in the history and practice of the environmental movement, civic engagement, sustainable communities, ecological design, toxics, and feminist perspectives. I use and teach social qualitative research methods and participatory action research.
Josh Slotnick and I coordinate the empahasis on sustainable food and farming systems within Environmental Studies. I work with many EVST students on projects related to building a more secure, local food system in Montana. I try to provide opportunities for students to learn-by-doing and to contribute to the community in the process.
Most recently, through a graduate course offered through the UM Environmental Studies Program during Fall 2012, sixteen students and I carried out a multi-dimensional case study of the Western Montana Growers Cooperative. Students presented their findings to the Co-op's Board and to key partners; they also produced a report, available at: http://www.lakecountycdc.org/_Resources_%26_Case_Studies
Also, EVST students and I have been involved in the nationally-recognized Farm to College Program in University Dining since its inception in 2003. In 2006, ten graduate students and I completed a study of the economic, social, and transportation-related impacts of Farm to College. That project was done in partnership with Grow Montana, a statewide coalition; see: http://www.growmontana.ncat.org/.
During 2002-2004, I co-facilitated a Community Food Assessment for Missoula County. This comprehensive study of our local food system was guided by a 15 member, multi-stakeholder committee from the community; over 50 students were involved in the research process. The CFA led to the creation of a food policy council called the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition. The assessment is available at: www.missoulacfac.org.
My scholarship has focused on these same themes. My book, Changing the Way America Farms: Knowledge and Community in the Sustainable Agriculture Movement was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 1999. That book traces how alternative farmers in two organizations, the Ocooch Grazers Network and the Wisconsin Women's Sustainable Farming Network, have exchanged their own personal, local knowledge as a basis for moving toward an agricultural system that is ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially just agriculture.
My more recent scholarship focuses on the concept on "food democracy," the idea that people can and should actively participate in shaping the food system, rather than remain passive consumers on the sidelines. Food democracy is about citizens, not multinational corporations, having the power to determine agri-food policies and practices locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.
On sabbatical 2014-2015 Academic Year.
ENST 225 – Community and Environment
ENST 480 – Food, Agriculture, and the Environment
ENST 494 – Women, Environment, and Social Change
ENST 520 – Environmental Organizing
ENST 555 – Research Methods for Social Change
ENST 580 – The Politics of Food
EVST 594 – Assessing the Food System
During my free time, I like to hike, garden, hunt mushrooms, practice yoga, canoe, backpack, and cross-country ski.
Ph.D.,1997, Land Resources, Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin - Madison
M.S.,1989, Environmental Studies Program, University of Oregon
B.A., 1985 Environmental Studies and Government, St. Lawrence University
For many years, I have worked both professionally and as a volunteer for non-profit organizations. From 1997-2000, I coordinated a broad-based effort to pass a landmark law securing the public's right to know about pesticide use in Oregon for the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides. I worked for the Northern Plains Resource Council as an organizer and lobbyist from 1989-1992. I served as President of the Agriculutre, Food, and Human Values Society during 2010-11. I continue to be active in conservation, food, and other community-based organizations.
2013 - Artsmith Scholar of the Year
2005 - Sustainable Agriculture Education Award, Alternative Energy Resources Organization, Montana
2005 - Helen and Winthrop Cox Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Montana.
2004 - Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Campus-Community Partnership, for UM-EVST’s Program in Ecological Agriculture and Society (PEAS)
and Garden City Harvest, with Josh Slotnick.
2004, 2005, and 2006 - Recognition by the UM Division of Student Affairs for support of students
2000 - Volunteer of the Year, Oregon League of Conservation Voters
Hassanein, Neva, Laura Ginsburg, Kimberly Gilchrist, Caroline Stephens, and Eva Rocke, editors. 2013. Local Is Delicious, But It’s Not Always Easy: A Case Study of the Western Montana Growers Cooperative. University of Montana, Environmental Studies: Missoula.
Hubbard, Kristina and Neva Hassanein. 2013. Confronting coexistence in the United States: Organic agriculture, genetic engineering, and the case of Roundup Ready® alfalfa. Agriculture and Human Values 30(3): 325-336. DOI 10.1007/s10460-012-9394-6
Hassanein, Neva. 2011. Matters of scale and the politics of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Presidential Address, presented at the 2011 Annual meeting of the Agriculture Food, and Human Values Society, held at the University of Montana, June 2011. Agriculture and Human Values 28:577-581.
Hubbard, Paul and Neva Hassanein. 2010. Losing Ground: The Future of Farms and Food in Missoula County. Missoula, MT: Community Food and Agriculture Coalition.
Hassanein, Neva. 2008. Locating food democracy: Theoretical and practical ingredients. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 3(2-3): 286-308.
Kloppenburg, Jack and Neva Hassanein. 2006. From old school to reform school? Agriculture and Human Values 23(4): 417-421.
Hassanein, Neva. 2003. Practicing food democracy: A pragmatic politics of transformation. Journal of Rural Studies 19(1):77-86.
Hassanein, Neva. 2000. Democratizing agricultural knowledge through sustainable farming networks. Chap. 3 in Science, Technology, and Democracy. Edited by Daniel Lee Kleinman. Albany: SUNY Press.
Hassanein, Neva. 1999. Changing the Way America Farms: Knowledge and Community in the Sustainable Agriculture Movement. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Hassanein, Neva. 1997. Networking knowledge in the sustainable agriculture movement: Some implications of the gender dimension. Society and Natural Resources 10(2):251-257.
Hassanein, Neva, and Jack Kloppenburg, Jr. 1995. Where the grass grows again: Knowledge exchange in the sustainable agriculture movement. Rural Sociology 60(4):721-740.