Natale Zappia is a graduate of Cornell University (BS), Claremont Graduate University (MA), and the University of California, Santa Cruz (Ph.D.). He is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Sustainability (IS) at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Before assuming the Director role at IS, Zappia served as the Nadine Austin Wood Chair of American History at Whittier College, where he also co-directed the Integrated Arts and Humanities Program (funded by the Mellon Foundation) and the Sustainable Urban Farm Lab (SUrF).
As a scholar trained in early American, environmental, and borderlands history, Zappia's work aims to better understand patterns of production and consumption between regions and communities across North America. His research and teaching also explores the ways that continental trading networks, food pathways, and ecologies transformed North America over the past three centuries. Zappia's work on long term environmental change intersects with his interest in modern food systems and community-based movements which are fighting to gain access to healthy environments in rural and urban areas.