Brett R. McLeod, Ph.D., is a 2015 graduate of the PhD Program in Environmental Studies at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Alesia Maltz, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Joy Ackerman, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Tatiana Abatemarco, Ph.D., Committee Member


homesteading, Adirondack Park, cooperative extension, working landscapes, resilience, sustainability, sustainable development, environment

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This study uses action research as a tool to present an alternative model for reconstructing and promoting a resilient and durable rural landscape in the Adirondack-North Country of northern New York State. Standing in sharp contrast to traditional rural sustainability strategies that repeatedly focus on economic development or capital infusion as the sole means of revitalization, this research suggests a nested, bottom-up approach that capitalizes on the region’s diverse and burgeoning population of neo-homesteaders. This dissertation argues that, collectively, neo-homesteaders serve as an important catalyst in the construction of durable communities, and the promotion of working landscapes at the bioregional level. This study concludes by linking the durable community paradigm with practice through the establishment of the Adirondack Center for Working Landscapes, an institute developed by the author using Participatory Action Research (PAR) to promote working landscape policies, teach practical skills related to neo-homesteading, and serve as an innovation and dialogue hub for bioregionally significant topics and initiatives.


Brett R. McLeod, Ph.D.

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-4133-263X