Tyler Swanson

Tyler Swanson

Graduate Research Assistant

I am a social science researcher at the University of Arizona pursuing my MA in Geography.  I work with Dr. Andrea Gerlak and Dr. Greg BarronGafford studying the social aspects of agrivoltaics. Prior to attending the University of Arizona, I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural and Consumer Economics with minors in Urban Planning and Sustainability, Energy, and Environment at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I have been conducting research since 2020, first through independent studies and then the Bock Agricultural Law and Policy Program in the Agricultural & Consumer Economics Department at the University of Illinois before joining the Barron-Gafford Lab at the University of Arizona. My primary areas of interest include agrivoltaics, agritourism, and energy policy. 

My work is driven by a desire to help rural communities achieve sustainable economic development without sacrificing the qualities that give them their identity. I believe the best way to pursue sustainable economic development is by first understanding the desires and social dynamics of community members. As such, I describe myself as a rural geographer and approach my research through the lens of sociotechnical transitions theory using mixed methods surveys as well as semi-structured interviews to understand community perspectives.