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Are your students interested in how the climate crisis can be addressed by promoting more sustainable food practices? Do they know what agroecology is? Do they want to learn how small farmers and local food systems can be supported? If so, do not miss the opportunity to know more about what is like to work as a Technician and Researcher in Agroecology. This job consists of researching, systematising and promoting ways to transition towards a more sustainable and fairer food system – paying due attention to the needs of small farmers and local food systems. This career profile requires people with great communication, negotiation and organisation skills, as well as proactive and creative individuals with a strong desire to work towards social and environmental justice. Are you interested in learning more about this fascinating career path? Meet Erik Hobbelink, Technician and Researcher in Agroecology de Terra, a cooperative in the field of agroecology.

Interview for the STE(A)M IT Repository of STEM Jobs profiles with Erik Hobbelink, a Researcher and Technician in Agroecology.


Find out about the key skills to become a Researcher and Technician in Agroecology.


Active listening, social skills and collaboration are For Technicians and Researchers in Agroecology, the ability to communicate is a must. They spend a lot of time liaising with farmers, local administrations, academics, or social movements. As such, it is important to be open-minded, flexible and understanding when talking to people from diverse backgrounds, with different interests and views.


Negotiation skills are also a key aspect. As Technicians and Researchers in Agroecology work with people representing different needs and interests, the ability to reconcile diverging views and accommodate different positions is essential.


Since Technicians and Researchers in Agroecology perform both field and desk work, they need to manage their time properly. Thus, the ability to detect the most urgent tasks and assign the right priorities is highly required.


Technicians and Researchers in Agroecology need to be proactive. They have to keep looking for imaginative and creative ways to solve ecological problems, trying to anticipate them and leading the initiative all the time.

Logical Thinking

Since Technicians and Researchers in Agroecology are trying to transform the food system, deep and logical thinking about how organic products can be brought to a broader public or how farmers can make their products reach big cities is needed.

Commitment to Social and Environmental Justice

Working for more sustainable food systems means being committed to a fairer society, one that is less driven by economic profit and stands up for climate justice and equality.s.

Meet Erik Hobbelink, Researcher and Technician in Agroecology

Erik holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and a master’s degree in Agroecology from Universidad Internacional de Andalucía. Before joining Arran de Terra, he worked for two years in Brazil with local communities, helping farmers to improve the ways they sell and transport food to big cities. In addition, he has worked as a researcher at the Universitat de Vic, where he investigated the situation of extensive livestock farming in Spain and the adaptation strategies of Mediterranean beekeeping. Apart from that, he has also been involved in social movements and informal experiences related to agroecology, such as community gardens, activist groups or short commercialization food cooperatives.


In this 19th episode of our STE(A)M IT STEM Careers Podcast, Rocío Benito from European Schoolnet spoke with Erik Hobbelink, a Researcher and Technician in Agroecology at Arran de Terra.

Erik Hobbelink has always been passionate about environmental and social sustainability. As a Researcher and Technician in agroecology, he works to transition towards fairer and more sustainable food systems and societies. In this podcast interview, Erik explains what his working days look like, what are the essential skills to work in his field, and how by joining the climate movement he learnt about and became interested in agroecology. Listen to the full podcast interview to find out more about this fascinating career!

CC BY 4.0: all the materials and content presented on this STEM Job profile have been co-created by STE(A)M IT, a project funded by the European Union’s ERASMUS+ programme project STE(A)M IT (Grant agreement 612845-EPP-1-2019-1- BE-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD), in collaboration with the Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) phase 2, a pilot project initiated and funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. European Schoolnet (EUN) oversees the interviewing and creating of the NBS Career Sheets, with the support of VO EUROPE.

Rocío Benito

Rocío Benito

I am a Digital Media Officer in the Science Education Department of European Schoolnet (EUN). I studied mass media, and graphic and web design. I love photography and video editing.