Erika Berglund, MS expected in 2020

erika berglund

Shaping food policy

Home:

Erika grew up in Santa Barbara California but has now been living in Missoula for the last 3 1/2 years.

Her Focus:

Local food systems and government policy.

Her Passion:

Erika really discovered her passion at EVST—food! “Everyone has to eat food,” she says, “but food is also connected to social justice, climate change, waste, and sustainability. There are so many connections that food draws.” Erika also sees climate change as an overwhelming issue but sees a lot of opportunity to move society to a more just and sustainable society.

Accomplishments:

"Receiving the Brainerd scholarship has allowed me to work with the Community Food & Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) on local food and agricultural issues,” says Erika. “This was the spark for my professional paper.” Working with CFAC has allowed Erika to get to know local farmers in Missoula, identify problems they are challenged with, and find solutions to support them and the local food movement. She has been working with a local food policy group initiated by County Commissioner, and former EVST faculty, Josh Slotnick. The group, which includes the health department, Climate Smart Missoula, CFAC, Garden City Harvest and others, is tasked with figuring out how the county can better support local food systems. The group is drafting a food policy resolution and her professional paper will focus on how best to implement it.

What Others Are Saying:

EVST Professor Len Broberg says, “Erika is a leader who lends her time and talents to various public service and community organizations. She served in an Energy Corps position with the Clark Fork Coalition, and received the Volunteer of the Year Award for 2018 from Home ReSource, a Missoula non-profit that recovers and sells reusable building materials, benefitting the community by diverting waste and providing low-cost building supplies. Because of her interest in promoting scientific literacy among the general public, Erika got involved with the Union of Concerned Scientists and is serving as a Local Team Leader, developing a Missoula UCS chapter. Erika was accepted to the UM Bridges graduate trainee program for excellent students working at the food-water-energy nexus. In all her work, Erika has been tremendously energetic and effective in developing her research skills and community-engaged leadership skills."

What Erika Says About EVST:

“EVST helped me focus. I’ve had so much support from faculty and staff. They care about each student.” Erika says she feels nurtured and challenged by the faculty. “They have really pushed me to develop real goals and meet them. The possibilities feel more real and achievable. I’m more confident about what I can accomplish.”