Social-Ecological Resilience and Food System Sustainability

When and Where

Monday, December 07, 2020 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm


Professor Hallie Eakin, School of Sustainability, College of Global Futures, Arizona State University


It is well recognized that the resilience of our food system varies substantially across space and time, and that optimism regarding national food security may mask important socio-ecological vulnerabilities at finer scales of analysis. Such vulnerabilities have surfaced across the globe in response to commodity price spikes, rising input costs, climatic extremes and, most recently, in relation to COVID-19. In this talk, Professor Eakin presents core concepts associated with a social-ecological resilience approach to food systems. Using examples from empirical research, Professor Eakin discusses what such an approach implies for understanding food system vulnerabilities, and how we might use such concepts in support of policies designed for food system sustainability.

Speaker Bio

Hallie Eakin is a professor in the School of Sustainability and affiliated professor in the School of Urban Planning and Geographical Sciences and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Professor Eakin's research interests include household vulnerability and the sustainability of adaptations to global change, social-ecological resilience and integration of risk into development planning, the governance of telecoupled systems, rural development, sustainable food systems, agricultural change and food sovereignty. Dr. Eakin’s research and collaborations have focused in Mexico, Latin America and the American Southwest. At ASU, she teaches Food System Sustainability and Adaptation, Resilience and Transformation, and Sustainable Food and Farms. She acquired her PhD in geography from the University of Arizona and she completed postdoctoral fellowships at the U.S.-Mexican Studies Center, University of California-San Diego (2002) and the Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (2003-2005). She joined ASU in 2008 from the University of California-Santa Barbara.

This is a School of Cities Seminar Series "Building Resilience in Food and Health Supply Chains"

Supply chains are the primary societal infrastructure for the production, delivery, and recycling of goods and services. Though sometimes invisible, supply chains are the systems that ensure that flour is available in your grocery store, that hospitals have sufficient personal protective equipment, and that there are enough trained staff to administer medical tests, deliver babies, and check-out your groceries. While much of the effort in supply chains over the past 50 years has been to make them agile, fast, and cheap, there is a growing realization that supply chains must be able to adapt to disruptions from local events such as the inability for a plane to land due to weather to global changes such as the closing of the US-Canada border due to COVID-19.

This seminar series seeks to develop a multi-disciplinary understanding of resilient supply chains by examining two which are of critical importance to everyday life: food and health supply chains. The talks in this series look at these supply chains, both independently and together, through the inclusion of diverse speakers representing at least the following perspectives:

  • Supply Chain Optimization 
  • Northern and Remote Food and Health Security
  • Urban Food Systems
  • Systems of Food Production
  • Healthcare Systems

Register here