Team Members

Our team is made up of a group of educators and researchers with diverse and interesting experiences contributing to the breadth of activity.



Isobel Contento, PhD

Mary Swartz Rose Professor of Nutrition and Education,Teachers College

Isobel Contento

Isobel’s research is on factors influencing food choice and decision-making among children and adolescents; children’s and adolescents’ understanding of the impact of food and food systems on the environment; and development and evaluation of nutrition education curricula. She is a co-developer of Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE), and author of the textbook, Nutrition and Education: Linking Research, Theory and Practice. She has been a member of several national advisory committees including the committee of the Institute of Medicine that produced Nutritional Standards for Food in Schools. She has been on the Board of Directors of the Society for Nutrition Education and has received many grants from agencies such as National Institutes of Health and United States Department of Agriculture. She has published numerous articles and book chapters, and has served on the editorial boards of several journals. She leads the research activities related to LiFE.



Angie Calabrese Barton, PhD

Professor of Teacher Education,Michigan State University

Angie Barton

Angie’s research focuses on issues of equity and social justice in science education, with a particular emphasis on the urban context. Drawing from qualitative and critical/feminist methodologies, she conducts ethnographic and case study research in urban community and school based settings that targets the science teaching-learning experiences of three major stakeholder groups: upper elementary and middle school youth, teachers learning to teach science for social justice, and parents engaging in their children’s science education. She also engages in curriculum research and development that links nutrition and science literacies in the upper elementary and middle school classroom. Angie is a co-developer of Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE). She is currently co-editor for the Journal of Research in Science Teaching.


Pam Koch

Pam Koch, EdD, RD

Executive Director,Center for Food & Environment

Pam’s main research focus is on evaluating the impact of educational interventions on eating behaviors and related determinants or influencers on behavior change, such as conceptual understandings, attitudes, and ability to create and monitor action plans. She is the primary author and developer of Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE) curriculum series, and has coordinated the evaluation studies on LiFE. Pam is a frequent presenter at National Science Teachers Association annual meetings, the Society for Nutrition Education meetings, and other professional meetings. She also takes the lead on the policy and system change efforts and on collaboration with other groups.


Heewon Lee

Heewon Lee, PhD, RD

Research Scientist,Center for Food & Environment

As the lead statistician at the Center for Food & Environment, Heewon manages, organizes and analyzes all of the data generated by the research studies at the Center. This includes outcome evaluation studies, process evaluation research, and community-based policy and system change evaluation studies. Heewon also has extensive experience developing, piloting, and revising measurement instruments for eating and physical activity behaviors and for measuring the determinants or influencers of behavior change. Heewon is a regular presenter at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Society for Nutrition Education.


Kathleen Porter

Kathleen Porter, MS, RD

Research Assistant,Center for Food & Environment

Kathleen coordinates the outreach education and related research at CFE. She has expanded and organized this area of the Center’s work through developing new sets of lesson series —based on the LiFE Curriculum Series — that are appropriate for after school and summer camp settings. Kathleen has taken the lead on developing and revising evaluation tools that measure eating behaviors and determinants of behavior change. She also coordinated research to investigate children’s perceptions of themselves as a gardener, chef, and vegetable eater. For her doctoral dissertation, Kathleen is conducting interviews to investigate the extent and impact of nutrition education curricula and programming in three New York City Boroughs.