EEB 318 - Food, Land, and Society
Section: 001
Term: WN 2010
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 at a time when many of its major trends are in flux. Course topics include the ecology of agricultural ecosystems, the cultural and environmental history of food production, and the current ecological and economic crises in agriculture, especially as they affect native species and ecosystems, climate change, rural communities, and the interconnections between food and agriculture in rich countries and rural livelihoods in the global south. The course integrates scientific, economic, and historical dimensions of modern food production, consumption, and food policies.

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 Saturday field trips are required parts of the course. Assignments include three short (4-5 page) essays, a 15-page research paper with oral report to class, and two group projects. Texts for the course include Agroecology (Gliessman), Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice (Holt-Gimenez and Patel), and articles posted on the Ctools website.

Expense level for text books: $50-100
Lab fee for field trips: $25

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 requirements include intensive participation and two short essays. Partial expenses of this trip will be covered by the Office of International Programs.

EEB 318 - Food, Land, and Society
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MWF 1:00PM - 2:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0849328454
Agroecology : the ecology of sustainable food systems, Author: Steven R. Gliessman., Publisher: CRC Press 2nd ed. 2007
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 1906387303
Food rebellions! : forging food sovereignty to solve the global food crisis., Author: Eric Holt-Gimenez and Raj Patel ; with Annie Shattuck., Publisher: Central Books 2009
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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