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Brian Donahue, PhD

Associate Professor
Biography

Brian Donahue, PhD, is an associate professor of American Environmental Studies at Brandeis University and the director of the Brandeis Environmental Studies Program. He was the lead co-author of A New England Food Vision (2014) which examines the ability of New England to produce 50% of its own food by the year 2060, in order to support healthy food for all, viable farming and fishing, protected soils, forests and waterways, and thriving communities. He is also co-author of Wildlands and Woodlands: A Vision for the New England Landscape (2010), which calls for a deliberate, long-term conservation effort to retain at least 70% of the region in forestland, which would nurture a vibrant forest economy, support continued recreational uses, help ensure clean and abundant water, furnish a continental-scale wildlife habitat corridor, and provide a globally important source of renewable energy and carbon sequestration – key factors in slowing the rate of climate change.

Donahue teaches courses on sustainable farming and forestry, early American culture, environmental issues and environmental history. His main research interests are the history and prospects of human engagement with the land, especially in New England. His publications have received acclamation and many awards, especially his books, Reclaiming the Commons: Community Farms and Forests in a New England Town (1999) and The Great Meadow: Farmers and the Land in Colonial Concord (2004).

Donahue co-founded and for twelve years directed Land’s Sake, a community farm in Weston, Massachusetts, and was director of education at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. He and his family co-own and operate Bascom Hollow Farm in Gill, MA, which raises pastured beef and pork, pumpkins, timber, and bobolinks.