• PhD, Anthropology and Environmental Policy, University of Maine, 2016
  • MS, Forest Resources, University of Maine, 2012
  • BS, Anthropology and Environmental Studies, Western Michigan University, 2009

Scholarly and Creative Interests

Trained as an environmental anthropologist, my scholarship explores human-environment interactions within food systems, particularly the ways in which social, cultural, and political conditions influence on-farm practices. 


My dissertation research examined the factors that affect farmers’ adoption of pollinator conservation practices in the lowbush blueberry industries of Maine and Prince Edward Island (PEI). In collaboration with a team of interdisciplinary researchers, I examined how farmers are adapting their pollination management practices in the face of declining bee populations. In 2017 I began a new research project in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Maine. This project, Finding the Sweet Spot, is funded by a USDA-AFRI grant, and examines the scale challenges and opportunities for beekeeping and maple syrup production in Maine. As part of this project we’re training a new generation of undergraduate students as research fellows through a joint COA-UMaine Sustainable Food Systems Research Collaborative (SFSRC). 

More About Me

When not in the classroom or the field, you can usually find me reading, cooking, baking, playing with bees, or exploring the beautiful mountains of Maine with my husband, Patrick Lyons, and our dog, Ophelia (Ophy).  Our cat, Baxter, rarely joins but always tries. 

Recommendations: East of Eden, hot and sour soup, chocolate pecan pie, Bombus ternarius, and Katahdin (up Cathedral Trail, down the Northwest Basin). 

Community Engagement and Advocacy

  • Secretary-Treasurer, Culture & Agriculture section of the American Anthropological Association. 2017–present
  • Steering Committee Member, Maine Food Strategy. 2016–present
  • Technical Committee Member, Northeast SARE. 2016–present
  • Volunteer, Master Gardener Program, Maine. 2011–present

Honors and Awards

  • 2016 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Outstanding Graduate Student Award, University of Maine
  • 2015 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Graduate Student Excellence in Research and Creative Activity Award, University of Maine
  • 2013 Maine Studies Graduate Student Research and Creativity Award, University of Maine
  • 2012 School of Forest Resources Distinguished Service Award, University of Maine
  • 2009 Presidential Scholar Award, Department of Anthropology, Western Michigan University
  • 2007 AmeriCorps Education Award


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Hanes, Samuel P., Kourtney K. Collum, Aaron K. Hoshide & Francis Drummond. (2018) Assessing Wild Pollinators in Conventional Agriculture: A Case Study from Maine, USA’s Blueberry Industry. Human Ecology Review 24(1).
  • Collum, Kourtney K. & John J. Daigle.  (2015). Combining Attitude Theory and Segmentation Analysis to Understand Travel Mode Choice at a National Park.  Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism 9:17-25. 
  • Boston, P. Qasimah, M. Miaisha Mitchell, Kourtney K. Collum & Lance Gravelee.  (2015). Community Engagement and Health Equity.  Practicing Anthropology 37(4):28-32.
  • Jessee, Nathan, Kourtney K. Collum, & Richard D. Schulterbrandt Gragg.  (2015). Community-based Participatory Research: Challenging ‘Lone Ethnographer’ Anthropology in the Community and the Classroom.  Practicing Anthropology 37(4):9-13.
  • Hanes, Samuel, Kourtney K. Collum, Aaron Hoshide, & Eric Asare.  (2013). Grower Perceptions of Native Pollinators and Pollination Strategies in the Lowbush Blueberry Industry.  Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 28(4):1-8.

Book Chapters

  • Collum, Kourtney K. & John J. Daigle.  (2015). The Shift from Automobiles to Alternatives: The Role of Intelligent Transportation Systems.  In Sustainable Transportation in Natural and Protected Areas. Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group.  Edited by Francesco Orsi.