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Preparing passionate leaders driving change in sustainability and stewardship of the environment.

  —Our Mission

Dr. Nicholas Babin

Nicholas BabinDr. Nicholas Babin

Phone: (805) 756-2373
Office: 10-239

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Office Hours: TW 3-5pm
In person or email to Zoom

Dr. Babin's Areas of Focus

Agroecology · Sustainable Food Systems · Natural Resources Policy and Planning · Watershed Management · Political Economy

About Dr. Nicholas Babin

Nick holds a PhD in agroecology, an MA in environmental studies and a BA in global economics, all from UC Santa Cruz. He utilizes interdisciplinary approaches to understand and promote sustainable land management and community development in both tropical and temperate landscapes. His research has evaluated the impacts of Fair Trade marketing networks and the adoption of agroecological farming practices on reducing smallholder coffee farmer vulnerability in Costa Rica. Partnering with local coffee cooperatives and an international NGO, the results are used to improve smallholder agricultural systems and marketing strategies. Nick’s recent research evaluates the obstacles and opportunities for the adoption, maintenance and diffusion of sustainable agriculture and climate change best management practices in the United States. The same commitment to community-based approaches, policy-relevant and applied topics, and sustainability that inspires his research also drives his work with students in the classroom and the field. His aim is to encourage students to become lifetime, active learners and engaged citizens. He works to accomplish this in his teaching and mentoring through hands-on, experiential and field-based service learning opportunities.

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Student comments about Dr. Babin


Professor Babin is clearly well informed about this subject and is very passionate about it, and this really helped the class be interesting. It was my favorite class this quarter because of the enthusiasm of the professor and the variety of assignments we had.

Such a great instructor. I could tell he really cared about his students. He provided us with really interesting and important reads making homework feel less of a chore. He was very clear in what the expected from us, and gave us really good opportunities to succeed in his class.

Professor Babin's course was extremely informative as he is clearly very knowledgeable and experienced on his subject area. He did a great job of not only explaining current happenings of environmental management, but how our majors might change and where our careers are headed in the future which is extremely helpful in planning for future courses/goals.

Dr. Babin is extremely passionate, well versed, and understanding towards his students. He has hands on and research experience which helps to guide the class and make lessons interesting and entertaining. The labs were well planned and each were just as important as the lectures.

Dr. Babin creates a great class environment and I would take another one of his courses just to have him as the professor.

Professor Babin was very effective at teaching the course and was highly enthusiastic about the material. I liked all the field trips to various locations around SLO and enjoyed the information given at each site.


Selected Publications

Horne, L., Manzanares, A., Babin, N., Perry, D., Thomas, B., Toomey, A., Panday, P., Blavascunas, E., Muchnick, B., Doner, L., Washington-Ottombre, C., Druckenbrod, D., Jarchow, M., Vincent, S., Anderson, S., & Romulo, C. (2023). Alignment among environmental programs in higher education: What Food-Energy-Water concepts are we covering in introductory courses? Journal of Geoscience Education.

Church, S., Wardropper, C., Usher, E., Bean, L., Gilbert, A., Eanes, F., Ulrich-Schad, J., Babin, N., Ranjan, P., Getson, J., Esman, L., & L. S. Prokopy (2022). How does co-produced research influence adaptive capacity? Lessons from a cross-case comparison. Socio-Ecological Practice Research.

Babin, N., Klier, C., Singh, A. (2022). Understanding and Promoting Adoption of Irrigation Efficiency Practices in Paso Robles, California Vineyards: The Importance of Farm Typology and Grower Sustainability Networks. Current Research in Environmental Sustainability.4.

Babin, N., Guerrero, J., Rivera, D., Singh, A. (2021). Vineyard Specific Climate Projections Help Growers Manage Risk and Plan Adaptation in the Paso Robles AVA. California Agriculture. 75 (3).

Sampson, D., Cely, M., Gemmill-Herren, B., Babin, N., Bernhart, A., Kerr, R., Blesh, J., Bowness, E., Feldman, M., Goncalves, A., James, D., Kerssen, T., Klassen, S., Wezel, A. and H. Wittman (2021). Food Sovereignty and Rights-based Approaches Strengthen Food Security and Nutrition Across the Globe: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. 5, 1-20.

Wanger, T.C et al. (366 signatories from 42 countries including N. Babin) (2020). Integrating agroecological production in a robust post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Nat Ecol Evol 4, 1150–1152.

Babin, N. (2020). Agrarian Questions, Neoliberalism and the Persistence of the Costa Rican Peasantry. In R. Fletcher, B. Dowd-Uribe and G. Aistara (Eds.), The Ecolaboratory: Environmental Governance And Economic Development in Costa Rica (pp. 58-74). University of Arizona Press.

Church, S., Bentlage , B., Weiner, R., Babin, N., Bulla, B., Fagan, K., Haigh, T., Carlton, S., L. S. Prokopy (2020). National print media vs. agricultural trade publications: Communicating the 2012 U.S. Midwestern drought. Climatic Change.

Babin, N. (2019). The Agrarian Question and Coffee in Costa Rica. Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy. 8 (3), 323-348.

Babin, N. (2019). Class Differentiation, Deagrarianization and Repeasantization Following the Coffee Crisis in Agua Buena, Costa Rica. Journal of Agrarian Change. 1-24.

Church, S.P., N. Babin, B. Bentlage, M. Dunn, J.D. Ulrich-Schad, P.Ranjan, J. Magner, E. McLellan, S. Stephan, M. Tomer, L.S. Prokopy. The Beargrass Story: Utilizing Social Science to Evaluate and Learn from the “Watershed Approach”. (2019). Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education. 167, 78-96.

Church, S., Dunn, M., Babin, N., Saylor Mase, A., Haigh, T., & L. S. Prokopy (2018). Do Advisors Perceive Climate Change as an Agricultural Risk? An in-depth examination of Midwestern U.S. Ag advisors' views on drought, climate change, and risk management. Agriculture and Human Values. 35 (2), 349-365

Church, S.P., Haigh, T., Widhalm, M., Garcia de Jalon, S., Babin, N., Carlton, S., Dunn, M., Fagan, K., Knutson, C., & L.S. Prokopy (2017). Agricultural trade publications and the 2012 Midwestern U.S. Drought: A missed opportunity for climate risk communication. Climate Risk Management. 15, 45-60

Ulrich-Schad, J.D., Garcia de Jalon, S., Babin, N., Pape, A., & L.S. Prokopy (2017). Measuring and understanding agricultural producers' adoption of nutrient best management practices. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 72(5)

Floress, K., García de Jalón, S., Church, S., Babin, N., Ulrich-Schad, J.D., & L.S. Prokopy (2017). Toward a Theory of Farmer Conservation Attitudes: Dual Interests and Willingness to Take Actions to Protect Water Quality. Journal of Environmental Psychology.53

Ulrich-Schad, J.D., Babin, N., Ma, Z., & L.S. Prokopy (2016). Out-of-state, out of mind? Non-operating farmland owners and conservation decision making. Land Use Policy. 54

Gao, Y., Babin, N., Turner, A.J., Hoffa, C.R., & L.S. Prokopy (2016). Understanding urban-suburban adoption and maintenance of rain barrels. Landscape and Urban Planning.153

Babin, N., N.D. Mullendore & L.S. Prokopy (2016). Using Social Criteria to Select Watersheds for Non-point Source Agricultural Pollution Abatement Projects. Land Use Policy. 55

Mase, A.S., Babin, N., Prokopy, L.S. & K. Genskow (2015). Trust in sources of soil and water quality information: Implications for environmental outreach and education. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). 51(6)

Prokopy, L.S., Carlton, J.S., Arbuckle, J., Haigh, T., Lemos, M.C., Mase, A.S. Babin, N., Dunn, M., Andresen, J., Angel, J., Hart, C., Power, R. (2015). Extension’s Role in Disseminating Information about Climate Change to Agricultural Stakeholders in the United States. Climatic Change.

Babin, N. (2015). The Coffee Crisis, Fair Trade and Agroecological Transformation: Impacts on Land Use Change in Costa Rica. Journal of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.39(1)

Babin, N. (2014). Agroecology Saves the Farm (Where Fair Trade Failed): Surviving the Coffee Crisis in Costa Rica. Institute for Food and Development: Food First Backgrounder. 20(4)

Carlton, J.S., Angel, J.R., Fei, S., Huber, M., Koontz, T., MacGowan, B.J., Mullendore, N.D., Babin, N., & L.S. Prokopy (2014). State service foresters’ attitudes toward using climate and weather information when advising forest landowners. Journal of Forestry.112(1)

L.S. Prokopy, D. Towery, & N. Babin (2014). Adoption of Agricultural Conservation Practices: Insights from Research and Practice. Purdue Extension. FNR-488-W

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