One of our aims here at the Agricultural University of Iceland is to increase international collaboration. This semester we have Mary Hendricson with us as a visiting professor. Mary is located at the Hvanneyri campus and teaches a course on Sustainable Agriculture where she looks at the intersection of Agroecology and Sustainable Rural Development.
"I’m a rural sociologist whose passion is making the world a better place through food. The way we produce and consume food had been changing rapidly over the past few decades for both consumers and producers. For me, food and agriculture are at the nexus of critical 21st century issues of climate change, water scarcity, hunger and energy use." Says Mary about her aims.
Mary has spent 15 years working to create local food systems in the state of Missouri through University of Missouri Extension where she gained valuable on the ground experience in transforming food systems.
"I worked extensively with community groups to increase the amount of fresh, flavorful and nutritious food available by providing technical assistance on marketing, business planning, feasibility studies, policy, food safety and consumer preferences to farmers and community groups."
Mary studied the Kansas City Food Circle in its early stages, helped write grants for cooperatives, and was involved in the creation of the Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition. In 2012, Mary moved to research and teaching full-time. Mary currently teaches courses on sustainable food and farming systems at MU.
Christian Scultze, international coordinator at the AUI says "We are using many support schemes to enable our students and staff to take part in study and teaching mobilities. It is important for us to send our people out and enhancing our networks. On the other side it is just as important to invite international teachers and scientists to come here and work with us, because we have so much to offer as well."
“We see that the internationalization of Higher Education is getting more and more common in the university world. We are especially happy to have such a good cooperation with Fulbright in Iceland. They really support our cooperations with universities in the US. And we are very lucky to have Mary Hendrickson here in Hvanneyri for a whole semester.” Says Christian.