Health & Human Development

Toddler PointingHand weight with apple and measuring tapeWoman focused laying on lawnBasket of TomatoesSnowboarder in air grabbing the tail of the snowboardTeens smiling at a table

Carmen Byker, PhD

Carmen Byker

Assistant Professor
Food and Nutrition and Sustainable Food Systems
Program Leader, Food and Nutrition

222 Romney Gym
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3360 | 406.994.1952

Dr. Carmen Byker teaches courses that explore community nutrition, culinary methods and management, human development, and sustainable food systems. Her research investigates how local, national, and international sustainable food systems impact public health, especially in relation to programs, practices, and policies that affect nutrition and diet. Examples of Dr. Byker's research endeavors include: evaluating farmers markets and other food system outlets as an avenue to improve public health; partnering with international community‐based agricultural
organizations to measure health outcomes; examining potential dietary measurement tools; empowering communities to implement policies and practices that increase access to fresh, nutritious foods, and; investigating the influence of sustainable food system curriculum on students, communities, and universities. Improving community food security is a central tenet for all of Dr. Byker's outreach efforts. Graduate students working with Dr. Byker can expect to conduct projects or theses that advance the sustainability and security of the food system, evaluate
health outcomes, and directly collaborate with communities. In addition to her ongoing research and regular teaching activities, Dr. Byker is a member of the curriculum leadership team for the Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems degree program at MSU. She is also an advisor for the student organization MSU Friends of Local Foods and teaches a summer course at the campus farm, Towne's Harvest Garden.

Programs and Research Projects

  • Assessment of public health impacts of community-based food systems
  • Evaluation of local, national, and international programs, practices, and policies that affect nutrition and diet
  • Examination of food system measurement tools
  • Determine associations between community food security, food access, and health disparities
  • Explore student learning outcomes in local, national, and international sustainable food systems programs