2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Global Agricultural Crisis: Agroecology and Political Economy


Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 quarters

Martha Rosemeyer agricultural ecology, food systems , David Muehleisen sustainable agriculture, entomology , Peter Dorman economics, political economy, statistics
Fields of Study
agriculture, economics, international studies, political science and sustainability studies
Preparatory for studies or careers in
agriculture, political economy, and social and environmental justice.

We are living through the greatest change in human livelihood since hunter-gatherers became agriculturalists. Hundreds of millions of small farmers are being driven off the land around the world as the global food system is transformed according to an industrial model. In this program we will explore the meaning of this transformation as a sweeping social upheaval, an aspect of the crisis of poverty and development, a fundamental alteration of agricultural methods, and a challenge to global ecological sustainability.

We will look at the tropical agricultural systems being abandoned as well as those replacing them and the political and economic justifications given for policies that are driving these changes at national and international levels. We will examine the many alternatives emerging from sustainable agricultural and environmental movements, as well as the rediscovery of traditional methods and resurgence of food communities in both poorer and wealthier countries. A study of agroecology in fall and of basic soil science in the winter will support our understanding of these developments and policies that promote them.  Program activities will include seminars on books and papers, lectures, workshops, Excel labs, botany labs, international rural meals, farm visits, field trips, and attending conferences.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
Fall $185  for the Washington Tilth Symposium and food for international rural meals; Winter $525 for the Eco Farm Conference in Calif. and food for international rural meals.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
April 1st, 2011 David Muehleisen has joined the faculty team; description, fees, and enrollments have been updated.