Press earned a bachelor’s degree in fermentation science from the University of California, Davis, and both a master’s degree in public policy and Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University. He is the recipient of UCSC’s Golden Apple Teaching Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award. He raised $13 million for UCSC’s sustainable agriculture program; helped establish the Environmental Studies Ph.D., master’s in Coastal Science and Policy and Agroecology bachelor’s degree program there.
Press served as UC Santa Cruz’s executive director of the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems. The educational, research, and public service organization is dedicated to increasing ecological sustainability and addressing social justice in the food system.