Daniel Press, CASFS Executive Director

“CASFS is the country’s leading university program in sustainable agriculture and food systems. Here you will find talented scholars and instructors from a wide range of natural and social science disciplines joining together in one of the most beautiful agricultural landscapes California has to offer. Our diverse perspectives create new knowledge and provide transformative, experiential education—all in pursuit of food justice and sustainable agricultural practices.”
- Daniel Press, CASFS Executive Director 

Professor Daniel Press became the Executive Director of the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS, the Center) in July 2012. A member of UCSC’s Environmental Studies Department since 1992, he served as department chair for seven years and holds the Olga T. Griswold Endowed Chair in Environmental Studies.

Dr. Press received his BS in Fermentation Science at UC Davis, then went on to earn a Masters in Public Policy and a PhD in Political Science from The Claremont Graduate University. 

With wide-ranging interests in environmental policy, Dr. Press has conducted research on land and open-space preservation efforts, water and air quality, and the greening of US manufacturing as related to policy decisions. His teaching reflects a similar breadth of interest and includes courses in Environmental Policy, Policy Analysis, Water Quality Policy and Management, and Politics and Conservation. His dedication to teaching earned Dr. Press UCSC's Excellence in Teaching Award in 1996 and the Social Sciences Division's Golden Apple Award in 2008. He has also been an ongoing supporter of the Center’s work, and served as a faculty advisor to the CASFS Apprenticeship program.

As the Executive Director of CASFS, Dr. Press led a major expansion of the UCSC Farm onto new production fields and an effort to renovate the historic Cowell Ranch Hay Barn, which is now the new headquarters for CASFS and other South Campus programs. He is also working to develop new opportunities for undergraduate students to get involved at the UCSC Farm & Garden through an growing slate of classes and internships. Dr. Press’s long-term goal is to help make CASFS financially self-sufficient so that it may support agroecological research and training into its next half century and beyond.