Have you ever wondered where your food comes from? Do you want everyone to have access to healthy, affordable food? Do you care about environmental sustainability?

Feeding the world’s future population in a fashion that sustainably promotes environmental and human health is the most pressing problem facing the planet and its inhabitants. In response to this challenge, local food systems have become a rapidly-emerging sector of agriculture in major metropolitan areas. This fast-paced growth has created a demand for professionals that understand the science and practice of food production, processing, and security across urban environmental, economic, and social contexts, while being able to maintain our natural resources. In this Food Systems Summer Academy, you will learn the STEM-based knowledge, communication skills, and leadership abilities that are needed to become a logical and critical agricultural thought leader that takes a systems-level approach to decision making. You will also learn how your educational experiences can lead you into a career that allows you to be a part of a movement to create resiliency within our food system. These careers include, but are not limited to, positions in government, non-governmental organizations, investment firms, financial and insurance companies, food industry, retail, and food service. In addition, knowledge of food systems is becoming increasingly important in occupations such as that of an institutional food buyer, scientist, or lawyer.

This five-day intensive program is geared toward aspiring change-makers who want to learn more about the interrelatedness and interdependence of the components of our food system and how to generate creative solutions to problems in our food system.

The Academy will be led by Megan Dailey PhD, Director of Metropolitan Food & Environmental Systems in the College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Dailey has spent 20 years studying obesity and metabolic disorders, uncovering the impact of nutrition from the cellular to whole-body level. Beyond her research, Dr. Dailey has been actively engaged in learning the best techniques for teaching concepts both in and outside of the classroom through her 10-year affiliation as a Fellow in the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Institutes for Reforming Science Teaching. She is always excited about developing innovative ways to disseminate knowledge about the entire food system, from production to consumerism and human health, to students and the public.