F&ES 721b / 2015-2016

Sustainable Agriculture Systems

Credits: 3

Spring 2016: M,W, 10:30-11:50, Marsh Classroom
Spring OCI Listing    
Agricultural systems are human-constructed systems that both depend on and impact the environment. Designing and implementing agricultural systems that minimize environmental harm and benefit people is necessary to sustainable development. Because these ecosystems are human-constructed, understanding them requires approaches from the natural and social sciences/humanities, including ecology, economics, sociology, philosophy, and other fields. This course will cover material spanning these multiple perspectives to try to answer the question: What is a sustainable agricultural system?

Upon completion of the course, students will be equipped to understand and apply knowledge of (1) the biophysical and social requirements and consequences of producing food, (2) the major debates surrounding environment and agriculture, and (3) potential approaches for achieving sustainable agricultural systems. This course will be discussion-based, focus on reading primary literature, and students will write a paper that integrates perspectives from natural and social sciences to consider the sustainability of a particular agricultural system. 
Limited to 20
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