Michael joined the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives in 1996 and is a faculty member with the Department of Sociology, where he teaches the sociology of communities and community development, rural sociology, environmental sociology, and the sociology of agriculture and food. He is an associate member of the School of Environment and Sustainability and serves on the management board of the Community-University Institute for Social Research as well as on the advisory committee for the interdisciplinary program in Regional and Urban Planning. He has served in various capacities with the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation and the Rural Sociological Society.
Michael’s research focuses on organizational innovations and knowledge practices that support sustainable resource use, livelihoods, and communities. Through participation in field research in Canada, the USA, Haiti, Costa Rica, and Mongolia, he has contributed to the study of many kinds of co-operatives, agro-food industry restructuring, the organic sector, and rural diversification. His current research focuses on the political economy of organic farming, on the restructuring of community pasture systems, and on co-operative arrangements for managing the grazing commons.