Dr. Öztan holds a B.S. and M.S. in hydrogeology, and he did his Ph.D. work on GIS-enabled groundwater modeling of Michigan’s watersheds. In 2013, he transitioned from his engineering career into becoming a full-time seed grower, steward, and heirloom seed advocate.
Dr. Öztan’s areas of interest and work involve preservation and documentation of heirloom seeds and their human-oriented stories, seed sovereignty, racism and discrimination in seed industry, advocacy of food diversity, small-scale seed and vegetable production, sustainable farming practices, community-based plant breeding for open-pollinated vegetable varieties, and value-added artisanal food production in the context of West Virginia, Appalachia, and beyond the region.
You can find more information about him, his ideas, and his projects at https://seedkeepers.faculty.wvu.edu/