College of Agriculture

Lee Altier

Professor & Organic Vegetable Project Director

Personal Information

Dr. Lee Altier grew up in Seattle and received undergraduate degrees in anthropology at the University of Washington and horticulture at Washington State University.  He farmed and did agricultural extension work in Washington State, New Mexico, and Nepal.  He received MS and PhD degrees in horticulture from Cornell University studying the design of ecologically sound cropping systems.

For three and a half years, besides growing collard greens and exploring swamps in south Georgia, Altier helped coordinate a multidisciplinary team of scientists at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Tifton, Georgia in the development of REMM, a computer model to simulate riparian ecosystems.

In July 1995, Altier drove a truck with his family and worldly possessions to a new home in northern California. Besides growing kiwis and exploring the Sierras, he has been teaching and doing research in agroecology at California State University, Chico.  Altier is the director of the Organic Vegetable Project at the Chico State University Farm.  His primary areas of interest are sustainable cropping systems and food security.  He is an advocate of the holistic management framework for planning and decision making.

Current Activities and Reseach

With support from a USDA-NRCS grant, Altier is investigating carbon sequestration in a no-till vegetable production system.  He has also started an aquaponics unit at the University Farm with leafy greens, coy fish and soldier fly production.  As part of a new spring course, students have an opportunity to study toward becoming a registered horticultural therapist.  During the summer, he leads an annual study abroad program in Asia. 

Courses

  • PSSC 309: Directed Work in Field/Row Crops
  • PSSC 345: Horticultural Therapy
  • PSSC 365: Sustainable Vegetable Crop Production