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A researchers and farmer working together on sustainable agricultural production in Ethiopia

Investigate Farmers’ Traditional Practices for Sustainability and Climate Resilience

Join an exciting collaborative research project on traditional grain mixtures funded by the Rockefeller Foundation’s Periodic Table of Food Initiative.

Our research explores the potential benefits of a time-tested practice that has been displaced by monocultures in most of the world but continues to sustain communities in rural Ethiopia. Ethiopian farmers’ knowledge and practice hold promise to enhance food security and climate resilience — both locally and globally.

As a member of the Clark University team, you will work closely with esteemed faculty and graduate students from the New York Botanical Gardens, Cornell University, City University of New York, Addis Ababa University, Wollo University, and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute.

Ethical Impactful Research

Program Details

  • Study alongside faculty engaged in innovative research, with a focus on sustainability, social justice, and community engagement
  • Develop critical skills for cutting-edge data collection and analyses through courses on qualitative methods, system dynamics modeling, spatial analysis, and more
  • Collaborate with Ethiopian experts to design research projects that directly benefit farming communities
  • Immerse yourself in rural Ethiopian life during six to eight weeks of fieldwork
  • Share your findings through local radio programs and international conferences

Multiple Degree Options

hands with seeds
Photos by Alex McAlvay

Our experiential learning opportunity is aligned with our highly regarded master’s degree programs:

M.S. in Environmental Science & Policy: Assess how traditional mixtures contribute to climate resilience

M.S. in Geographic Information Science: Conduct spatial analysis of value chains for traditional mixtures

M.A. in International Development: Investigate how the use of traditional mixtures is influenced by gender and land tenure.

M.S. in Sustainable Food Systems: Join the first cohort of this new degree to explore how traditional mixtures contribute to food justice.

Fellowships Available

Two research fellows will be granted awards covering 50% of tuition charges for the 12-course research track (four semesters) of their degree program.

Both research fellows will receive part-time research assistantships (six to eight hours per week) for three semesters, as well as funding for six weeks of field research in Ethiopia during Summer 2025.

Application Process

To learn more about the project, how to apply, fellowship opportunities, and completion timetables, contact Dr. Morgan Ruelle at

Contact Information

Department of Sustainability and Social Justice

Office Location