Ecology, Agriculture, and Society
This course looks at agriculture as a set of ecological systems and issues. It refers to ecology in both the sense of interactions between organisms (e.g., crops, pests, and predators) and their environment, and in the larger-scale sense of environmental impacts and related social and political issues. A broad range of topics will be covered, including pesticides and alternatives, soil fertility and erosion, the role of animals, genetically modified crops, biofuels, global vs. local trade and more. The course work will consist of readings, discussion, written assignments (with revisions as needed), work at the Hampshire farm, group and independent projects, guest lectures and films, and field trips. Given the field work, always be prepared to walk and be outside (e.g., sun screen/rain gear, sensible shoes). Some field work may include other times and days to be arranged in class.