Dr. Peggy Barlett

Dr. Peggy F. Barlett

Goodrich C. White Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Emory University

Dr. Peggy F. Barlett is the Goodrich C. White Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Emory University, specializing in agricultural anthropology and sustainability in higher education. Dr. Barlett was the driving force behind Emory University’s Piedmont Project. A curriculum change model based on Northern Arizona University’s Ponderosa Project, the Piedmont Project has helped almost 300 Emory faculty engage sustainability issues through developing new courses or modules in existing courses since its start in 2001. 

Based on this experience, she teamed up with Dr. Geoff Chase, a leader in the NAU’s Ponderosa Project, to further develop and disseminate the Piedmont/Ponderosa Model of Faculty Development. As a result of their efforts, it has emerged as a leading model for faculty development and curricular innovation around sustainability. Over many years of offering workshops through AASHE and independently, they trained more than 640 faculty members from more than 350 institutions in this model. Many of these faculty went on to create versions of the Piedmont/Ponderosa Project at their own institutions, resulting in thousands of additional faculty gaining inspiration and support for integrating sustainability into their teaching. Though she retired from Emory in 2020, Dr. Barlett has continued to spread the model though regular workshops and by facilitating AASHE’s Global Sustainability Across the Curriculum Program Development Support Group.

Dr. Barlett’s influence is not limited to the curriculum. Building on her academic interests in agriculture and rural development, she also served as co-chair of Emory’s university-wide Sustainable Food Committee. Her work in this role led to: adoption of pioneering Sustainability Guidelines for Food Service Purchasing; creation of the Oxford Organic Farm; establishment of the weekly Emory’s Farmers Market; initiation of the Emory Educational Garden Project; and organization of an annual Sustainability Food Fair. Due in significant part to her efforts, Emory Dining had achieved over 40% of purchases from either sustainable or local sources in campus dining halls when she retired in 2020.

Dr. Barlett chronicled the emergence and growth of sustainability in higher education as co-editor of two notable books on campus sustainability: Sustainability on Campus: Stories and Strategies for Change (2004) and Sustainability in Higher Education: Stories and Strategies for Transformation (2013). Dr. Bartlett has also published a number of significant academic articles on aspects of higher education sustainability, including: Long-term Impacts of Faculty Development Programs: The Experience of TELI and Piedmont (with Ann Rappaport), Reason and Reenchantment in Cultural Change: Sustainability and Higher Education, Campus Sustainable Food Projects: Critique and Engagement, and Campus Alternative Food Projects and Food Service Realities: Alternative Strategies.

Dr. Barlett served for seven years on the National Research Council Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources and as president of the Society for Economic Anthropology. Her work has been supported by the National Institutes of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, and the National Geographic Society.