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Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Spring 2017-2018
* ENV 303 / EEB 303 (STN)   No Pass/D/Fail

Agriculture, Human Diets and the Environment

Daniel I. Rubenstein


Food fuels us and our diets connect us with nature at many scales. Yet most of us poorly understand how food is produced and how production processes impact our diets, health, livelihoods and the environment. By the course's end, students will better understand the ethical, environmental, economic, social and medical implications of their food choices. Food production methods ranging from hunting, fishing and gathering to small and large scale crop and animal farming will be examined through lenses of ethics, ecology, evolutionary biology, geography, political economy, social dynamics, physiology, climate change and sustainability.

Sample reading list:
Ruth DeFries, The Big Ratchet
Iain J. Gordon, Herbert H.T. Prins, Geoff Squire, Food Production and Nature Conservation
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
The course will consist of one 180-minute class and one 50-minute precept per week. Approximately 150 pages of reading per week will be drawn from books and the primary literature. Each week a movie will be previewed prior to class. Class will involve a mix of lectures, interactions with foods, role playing, writing and number crunching and discussions of the movies and conversations with authors of key readings.

Mid Term Exam - 20%
Final Exam - 30%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%
Other (See Instructor) - 30%

Other Requirements:
Not Open to First Year Undergraduates.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
ENV 200 or EEB 211 recommended or by application and permission of the instructor..

Other information:
Independent Group Project = Other 30%. This course will involve many 'hands on' components. Students will interact with key authors via Skype and analyze data collected from experimental farms near campus employing different farming techniques. Applications may be obtained by sending an email to ENV Undergraduate Administrator, Angela Petsis:

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43388 L01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm M   Lewis Library   138   Enrolled:47 Limit:60
43389 P01 03:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm T   McDonnell Hall   108   Enrolled:14 Limit:13 Closed
43390 P02 07:30:00 pm - 08:20:00 pm W   Lewis Library   306   Enrolled:12 Limit:15
43391 P03 11:00:00 am - 11:50:00 am Th   McDonnell Hall   108   Enrolled:13 Limit:13 Closed
43392 P04 11:00:00 am - 11:50:00 am Th        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled
44151 P05 07:30:00 pm - 08:20:00 pm T   Lewis Library   312   Enrolled:8 Limit:15