Prerequisites: BIOLOGY 171 and BIOLOGY 281/ENVIRON 281 or permission of instructor
Requirements: satisfies PitE practical field experience, BS, NS, Biology Lab
Instructor: Alison Bressler
This is a field-based agroecology course that links theory and practice and is designed to engage with the local farming community from small scale organic farmers who sell at the farmer’s markets, to large scale grain farmers who use ecological practices and sell to grain elevators.
You will learn foundational knowledge about soil science, plant functional groups and ecosystem functions, intercropping, cover cropping, crop rotation, and coupled animal and plant agriculture. Through inquiry-based learning, you will learn how to make your own observations on farms and formulate “why” questions and hypotheses to test about on-farm conservation practices. Based on your combined general knowledge that you will learn in the classroom and local knowledge that you will learn from the farmers, you will design projects, experiments, or plans to address farmer needs.
Students with a background in ecology beyond the introductory level (e.g. soil science, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, or sustainable agriculture) coursework will get the most out of this course.