EEB 318 - Food, Land, and Society
Section: 001
Term: WN 2008
Subject: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB)
Department: LSA Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
One year of college-level Biology, Environmental Science or Environmental Studies; General Ecology recommended.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The course is an introduction to the modern food system. Subjects include the ecology of agricultural ecosystems, the cultural and environmental history of food production, the current ecological and socio-economic crises in agriculture, especially as they affect biodiversity and the sustainability of rural communities, and the global food system. The course integrates scientific, socio-economic, and historical dimensions of modern agriculture and the food system. The course applies principles of ecology to agricultural systems, surveys diverse components of the current food system, evaluates sustainable alternatives to modern industrial agricultural practices, and examined the interconnections between agriculture in the rich countries and rural livelihoods in the global south. The course is taught through lectures, discussions, and field trips to local farms and food-related organizations. The course emphasizes (1) principles of ecology as they apply to agricultural ecosystems and the effects of agricultural activities on native ecosystems, (2) local agricultural ecosystems through visits to farms in southern Michigan, (3) the history of agricultural practices and the ecological, social, and economic consequences of modern industrial agriculture, (4) principles of sustainable agriculture, and (5) rural and urban dimensions of agriculture. In addition to regular class meetings, three full-day weekend field trips are required parts of the course. Assignments include three short (4-5 page) essays, a 15-20 page term paper with oral report to class, and leading a discussion. Texts for the course include Agroecology (Gliessman), Food Wars (Land and Heasman), and Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Transformation of World Food ProductionSmil), as well as articles posted on the Ctools website.

An optional, two-credit field course will follow in the spring term (UC 399). This course will include five days of field work in Michigan and a two-week trip to Chiapas, Mexico, to study agriculture in urban and rural Mexico. Course assignments include conducting a field problem and an essay. Partial expenses of this trip are covered by the Office of International Programs.

Expense level for text books: $50-100
Required fee for field trips: $50

EEB 318 - Food, Land, and Society
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
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