Core Curriculum of the Agroecology Program
Our program consists of two core courses, a seminar and a weeklong summer field study course. These courses are required of all students in the Agroecology Program, and are open to senior undergraduate and graduate students from participating academic departments and the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.
Agroecology 701: The Farm as Socioenvironmental Endeavor
Any farm can be usefully analyzed as an intentional entity shaped by the opportunities and constraints presented by its social and biophysical contexts. This course provides the analytic tools for understanding how the diversity of farms across the world emerges from these opportunities and constraints. (Fall or Spring semester, 3 credits)
Agroecology 702: The Multifunctionality of Agriculture
Agroecological systems provide a variety of social, economic, and ecological function to society, which often conflict in varying degree and ways. This course explores methods of evaluating these diverse functions and perspectives, with a special focus on participatory methods for the wise renegotiation of agriculture's conditions. (Fall or Spring semester, 3 credits)
Agroecology 710: Seminar in Agroecology
Offered both fall and spring semester, the fall semester seminar is organized around some important issue in Agroecology (e.g. eutrophication, the Farm Bill, biodiversity, land use policy, organic production). Spring seminar takes a brownbag format, with occasional guest speakers. (Fall and Spring semester, 1 credit)
Agroecology 720: Agroecology Field Study
This course provides a graduate-level, field-based introduction to the agroecology of farming systems in Wisconsin, including both diversified and industrialized approaches. The bulk of the class time is a week-long sequence of field trips to farms, mostly as day trips out of Madison but also including one overnight stay. (Fall semester*, 1 credit)
* Note: this class takes place the last week of August but students enroll as part of the fall semester.