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College of Arts and Sciences

Tara Pisani Gareau

earth and environmental sciences

Tara Pisani Gareau

Tara L. Pisani Gareau, Lecturer
M.A., Ph.D. Environmental Studies, University of California- Santa Cruz (2004, 2008)
B.S. Crop and Soil Environmental Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1995)

Phone: 978-552-3640


Sustainable food systems; Plant-insect interactions; Role of biodiversity in farming systems; Biological control and pollination services; Participatory Action Research and Education


EESC3310 Agroecology
EESC5580 Environmental Seminar
BIOL4560 Insect Ecology
BIOL1450 Ecology of a Dynamic Planet
SOCY3347 Environmental History of Globalization

Current Research Projects

The effects of tillage and cover crop rotations on the epigeal insect community
The impact of native plant hedgerows in California on biological control services

Professional Experience

Lecturer in Earth and Environmental Sciences Department (2012 – present)
Lecturer in Biology (2010 – 2011)
Post-doctoral Researcher in Entomology, Penn State University (2009 – 2010)
Research/Teaching Assistant, Department of Environmental Studies, University of California- Santa Cruz (2001-2008)
On-Farm Education Coordinator, University of Idaho (2000 – 2001)
Peace Corps Volunteer, Hillside Farming Program, Honduras (1997 – 1999)
Intern, School for Field Studies, Atenas, Costa Rica (1995 – 1996)

Selected Publications

Pisani Gareau, T. L., Letourneau, D. K., and Shennan, C. (Forthcoming) Relative densities of natural enemy and pest insects within California hedgerows. Environmental Entomology.

Smith, R. G., Pisani Gareau, T., Mortensen, D. A., and Barbercheck, M. 2011. Assessing and Visualizing Agricultural Management Practices: A Multivariable Hands-On Approach for Education and Extension. Weed Technology. 25: 680–687

Pisani Gareau, T. and Shennan, C. 2010. Can Hedgerows Attract Beneficial Insects and Improve Pest Control? A Study of Hedgerows on Central Coast Farms. The Center of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. University of California, Santa Cruz. Research Brief #13, Fall 2010.

Pisani Gareau, T., Smith, R. G., Barbercheck, M. and Mortensen, D. A. 2010. Spider Plots: A Tool for Participatory Extension Learning. Journal of Extension. 48 (5)

Shennan, C., Pisani Gareau, T., and Sirrine, J. R. 2004. Agroecological Interventions in the USA. In Pretty, J. (ed.) The Pesticide Detox: Solutions for Safe Agriculture. Earthscan, Publications Ltd, London.


Gardening, cooking, hiking, cross-country skiing, yoga, and knitting


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