Gliessman, S.R. 1997. Agroecology: ecological processes in sustainable agriculture. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
Credits: 3 credits
Prerequisites: BO 200 or BO 250 or BIO 105 or BIO 181 or BIO/ZO 160 or CS 213 or HS 201
Class meeting times: Fall Semester, T TH 10:15 - 11:30 (*offered online every spring)
Class meets in: Room 2405, Williams Hall
Office Hours: Email for appointment
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
Critically evaluate various agricultural systems and practices for their sustainability, balancing the ecological and environmental impacts and effects on producers, society and economics.
Analyze how current agricultural practices impact the environment and rural society and predict future trends if continued in the same way.
Define agroecology, sustainable agriculture, agroecosystems and systems-level thinking and describe why these concepts are valuable.
Demonstrate effective teamwork in evaluating and discussing controversial topics or with individuals representing different opinions.
Enhance communication skills and develop ability to facilitate class discussions.
Improve writing and revision skills and develop skills for evaluation of peer writing.
Demonstrate ability to communicate and apply agroecology knowledge in a real-world situation through working with a local community group.
Typical lecture topics might include:
- Ecological Principles of Agroecology and the Impact of Modern Agriculture
- Energy Flow in Agricultural Systems
- Soil Management in Agroecosystems
- Integrated Pest Management in Agroecosystems
- Biotechnology and Genetically Modified Crops in Food Production
- Special Issues in Tropical Agroecosystems
- Integrating Animals in Agroecosystems: Focus on Grazing Management Systems
Typical assignments might include:
- Student-led Discussion papers
- Agroecology Topic Paper –
Students will write a topic paper focusing on a subject of agroecology that they choose and that is approved by the instructor. Students will be given a handout describing topic paper details and expectations. Topic papers describe current and contrasting ideas of an aspect of agricultural design and management practices. The papers conclude with the student's opinion and presentation of new alternative aspect of the agroecology topic. Students are paired in peer review groups and meet outside of class to review each other's topic paper. The revised paper, including a copy of the peer reviewer's comments, is due on the last lecture day of the course. The minimum page requirement is 5 pages.