Randy Hanson: I am trained in American Environmental Studies with a broad interest in sustainability, regional food and agricultural systems, global ecology and its regional manifestations, and institutional change/stability in relation to the global climate and ecological crisis.
I teach in the Department of Geography, Urban, Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. I am a Fellow at the Institute on the Environment; I am also the 2017-2018 Senior Fellow, Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems (both at the University of Minnesota, TC). I founded and direct the UMD Land Lab and SAP Farm, a thirty acre landscape scale farm/lab devoted to distributed food, water, energy and biodiversity action research (www.umdlandlab.org).
Currently my research follows two interrelated strands. First, I am examining theoretical and practical aspirations related to building regionally integrated foodsheds in the Western Lake Superior bioregion. Much of this work is reflected in the UMD Land Lab, whose broad goal is to leverage the social, cultural and scientific resources of UMD to reclaim agriculture as a key driver of regional sustainability, as a response to global ecological change, and as a synergistic way to address key regional social and ecological challenges of our time.
Secondly, I am interested in ways that global social ecological changes, often encapsulated in the concept of the Anthropocene, are manifesting in conflicts and conversations at various scales related to natural resources, sustainability, and emerging social and political movements. Responses to the Anthropocene on the part of diverse constituencies oscillate between a proverbial ‘race for what’s left’ (of a carbon fueled industrial praxis) and a ‘race for what’s next’ (decentralized post carbon futures).
Earlier in my career I focused on the politics of nuclear waste as shifting political economies of a post Cold War framework confronted the interminable waste of the American Century.