Carol Ramos Gerena

As a trained biologist and environmental planner from Puerto Rico, Carol has found in food system planning, the intersection of both her advocacy and research. Hoping to contribute to Puerto Rico’s food sovereignty, her current research focuses on access to farmland, zoning, and farmer’s agroecological training. She studies recent unprecedented and “fast-track” land use policy deregulation in Puerto Rico, centered in the perspective of local food producers. With her dissertation, Carol plans to promote effective, equitable, and sustainable food and land use policies informed by farmers on the ground, particularly those practicing agroecology. By working over the last decade with agroecological farmers, Carol learned how the lack of access to fertile land and resources, burdens small scale agroecological farmers and increases food system vulnerability in Puerto Rico. Her dissertation will document how policy impacts small-scale agroecological farmers’ networks and how they can inform land use policies to better serve them.

Born in Puerto Rico, Carol has supported agroecological projects at K-12 public schools and at vacant lots. Through her action-research she has supported the transformation of abandoned and underused spaces with community members, artists, planners, teachers, and farmers. Now a PhD student pursuing a degree in Urban and Regional Planning at SUNY-UB, she researches how land-use policies, agroecology, and a culture of health can support food sovereignty for Puerto Rico.


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