Research Asst Professor
Kilgore Hall 224
Rebecca has been involved in agriculture for more than 30 years, earning a bachelors in Economics from Birmingham-Southern University and a MS in Agricultural Economics from Auburn before spending a dozen years as an aquacultural economist: first for a large integrated shrimp farming operation in Ecuador, and then as business support for the fish and shellfish farming industry in Eastern North Carolina as an employee at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. In 2007 she completed a PhD in Sociology at Duke University, and before joining the NC State Horticultural Sciences Department and Center for Environmental Farming Systems she was a lecturer in sociology and ethics at Duke and Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics. In her present position Rebecca conducts applied socioeconomic research on local/regional food systems and food supply chains, specifically focused on collaborative supply chains between small and mid-scale primary producers and larger-scale intermediaries and end buyers.
In Summer Session II, 2018, Rebecca will teach the “Ethics of Agricultural Biotechnology” (ARE 495 Special Topics, listed as “Bioethics”) . This asynchronous 5-week online course will introduce students to the ethical debates surrounding various agricultural biotechnologies, the underlying moral principals and moral reasoning, and the moderating role of social and historical context. Why do people disagree about the acceptability of genetically modified foods? How can we have a productive conversation with those we disagree with? What is the value of emotion vs rational thought in making policy decisions about biotechnologies? Students will learn to recognize the ethical issues and practice articulating different points of view, with the goal of being able to converse knowledgeably and empathetically about the topic.