Staib, Patrick

Dr. Patrick W. Staib, Associate Professor of Social Sciences

Affiliated Faculty, Sustainability Studies

photo - Patrick Staib


  • Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Anthropology and Latin American Studies, University of New Mexico
  • Dissertation: Coffee and Countryside: Small Farmers and Sustainable Development in Las Segovias de Nicaragua.
  • BA in Spanish and Religion from Dickinson College.

Sustainability Studies Courses

  • SUS 321, Cultural & Place-Based Equity
  • SUS 322, Foodshed Sustainability
  • SUS 387, Sustainability Internship
  • SUS 421, Fostering Sustainable Behavior

Dr. Patrick W. Staib most recently served as a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Northern Arizona.  He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience not only in Anthropology, but other areas that Colorado Mountain College is embracing and expanding.  It is extremely fortunate for us and our students that he has expertise in Farmer/Rancher Outreach programs, Civic Engagement, First Year Learning and Ethnic Diversity initiatives at the University.

“I am an applied anthropologist with interests in organic agriculture and sustainable development. I am a first generation American and grew up in suburban Philadelphia. My mother is from Nicaragua and my father from the Black Forest region of Germany. My parents and relatives impressed the value of agrarian lifestyles early on my life. I spent summers in New Hampshire on my Uncle’s year-round organic farm and in the 1990s my parents opened the City Tavern restaurant in Old City Philadelphia. This historical recreation abides by historical authenticity in all aspects of its operation. I worked with my father who sought to source his products locally and support local Amish farmers.

“My initial scholarly interest was in US-Latin American relations in the Post-Cold War era. I took interest in free trade accords instituted with the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 and the effect on Latin American peasants (or campsinos) and their livelihoods. I worked on organic farms in the Rio Grande valley in preparation to work as an observer and evaluator for USAID-funded sustainable development projects that focused on organic crop production. Eventually, I spent two years in the Segovian highlands of Nicaragua living and working with a community of small-scale coffee farmers whose territory was the battleground of the 1980s Contra War. I worked on small family farms, I assisted in crop transport, I translated and marketed exportable product, and I assist in routine tasks. I researched these farmers’ receptivity and embrace of organic production schemes that were imposed on their local industry.

Most recently, I’ve worked in development projects to increase access and production of local produce, meats, dairy, and processed foods. I coordinated the formation of a small farmer-owned brokerage in Albuquerque, NM. We established year-round farm production with passive solar cold frame structures and instructed traditional communities in high value, specialty crop production. I also worked in Farmer and Rancher Outreach in the New Mexico Acequia Association. In this role I assisted farmers in obtaining subsidies and supports for infrastructural improvements in their production and irrigation operations.
In my personal life, I enjoy spending time with my wife Kelly, who is a bilingual elementary school teacher, and two sons Sebastian (4) and Diego (2). We are avid skiers. Our boys are just getting on the slope. I also enjoy camping, biking, hiking, trail running, cooking and gardening. We are really thrilled to move to Steamboat and join the community at Colorado Mountain College!”

Contact information

Location: Steamboat Springs
Phone: 970-870-4448