Syllabus (and home page)
Homepage for the Food Systems, Sustainability, and Climate course
Spring 2017 Course Guide Information
|Course Title:||Food Systems, Sustainability, and Climate Change|
|Course Guide Listing:||Agroecology 875, Agronomy 375, Dairy Science 375, Environmental Studies 400, Food Science 375, Geography 475, and Plant Pathology 375|
|Prerequisites:||Junior, Senior, Graduate standing|
|Date/Time:||Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4-5:15 pm|
|Location:||Sterling Hall, room 2301|
Michel Wattiaux, 434 Animal Sciences Building,
Erin Silva, 593a Russell Labs, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alfonso Morales, Music Hall 104, email@example.com
|Teaching Assistant:||Sarah Stefanos, 434 Animal Sciences Building, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Description:||This trans-disciplinary course delves into aspects of biological, social, and agricultural sciences underpinning the assessment of food production systems as related to mitigation and adaptation to climate change. After engaging students in an example multidisciplinary case-study of milk carbon foot-print, instructors will guide students through the development of their own food production and climate change case-study research projects culminating with students creating multi-media web-pages, giving audio-visual presentations, and (for grad students) writing a peer-review style article. Students will engage in collaborative projects with people from disparate disciplinary paradigms.|
Overarching objective: Students will develop the skills to critically evaluate food production systems as they relate to sustainability and climate change using recent findings from biological, physical, and social sciences.
Theme 1: Reading and discussion of core research in food systems and climate change, for a milk production case study
- Students will learn to integrate knowledge from crop science, livestock science, environmental science, and social science about distinct production systems, including urban and rural, local and global, and small to industrial scale.
- Students will learn about distinct food production systems':
- contribution to climate change: greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, CH4, N2O)
- mitigation of climate change: carbon sequestration and emissions reduction
- adaptation to climate change: adapting management of production systems to changing weather patterns
- Students will learn how social structures profoundly affect not only people, but also biology, ecology, and our very climate (contribution to/mitigation of climate change). And the complement: how people's race/class/gender/occupation/nation status within the global social structure, as well as the nature of the global social structure itself, profoundly impacts their ability to cope with changing climate (adaptation to climate change).
Theme 2: Student Group Projects
- Students will develop the capacity to critically assess the greenhouse gas emissions of food production and distribution systems, including:
- contributing your personal effort as a member of a goal-oriented learning community;
- identifying a researchable question;
- searching for sources of information and evaluation methods and tools relevant to your project; and
- developing analytic and problem solving skills as you use the information and evaluation tools.
- Students will develop their ability to communicate information to multiple audiences through multiple media, including:
- creating multi-media web pages;
- co-authoring a peer-review style article (for grad students); and
- audio-visual presentation of your findings.
Additional Learning Objectives for Graduate Students
- Students will develop skills working with mixed teams including undergraduate students.
- Students will hone their research and writing skills in drafting academically rigorous literature reviews.
- Students will learn to assess the broader impacts of research beyond the academic setting.
Expectations: What am I expected to do to get good grades?
1. Class Participation
- Be prepared for class and team work: Allocate enough time to read the papers carefully before class. Think of the reading and homework assignments as a way of helping yourself find out what you know and what you don't know or don't fully understand. For making sense of the course material, you have to continually question yourself, your teammates, your classmates and your instructor.
- Another important aspect of being prepared for class is synthesizing the material from the readings through your own summaries and notes before the class. In addition, you should be taking notes during class to be able to study and have a record of your thinking (and how it changes) through the course of the class. To facilitate both the pre-class and in-class learning and synthesizing, we will require that each student keep a weekly journal summarizing and reacting to the pre-class assignments and in which each student will add his/her in-class notes. This journal will be one Word document to which students add information every week as the semester progresses. Please see the Journal Entry Template.docx. In addition to this, students will be expected to submit a 70-80 word pre-class blog post which offers a highlight of the student's journal entry for that week.
- Be an active participant in class: Active participation in class means listening, thinking, taking notes and asking questions. There are (almost) no stupid questions in this class. As long as you have a genuine interest in learning the subject matter, all questions will be valid questions! Be honest with yourself and you will find out what your current level of knowledge really is, and what your misunderstandings might be.
- Use your NetID to log onto the "restricted" (internal) Schedule and Materials page of the website
- Read the posted paper(s) and/or view posted videos
- After reading (and/or watching videos, synthesize what you've learned by completing a journal entry and posting a pre-class blog.
- Deadline to complete the journal and the pre-class blog is 1:00 PM the day of class.
During class we may engage in any of the following class activities:
- Group discussion of the readings
- Introduction of the topic with a mini-lecture (if needed)
- Small group activities
- Discuss a case study
- Take the post-class quiz, if there is one appointed for that day. The quiz will test your knowledge and understanding of the pre-class assignments (readings, videos, etc.)
- Students are allowed two attempts at each quiz, however the quiz grade will be assessed by averaging the scores of every attempt, rather than taking the high score and then final points will be assigned for the quizzes based on the following scale:
- 80-100% = 10/10
- 70-79% = 9/10
- 60-69% = 8/10
- 50-59% = 7/10
- 40-49% = 6/10
- 30-39% = 5/10
- 20-29% = 4/10
- 10-19% = 3/10
- 1-9% = 2/10
- Deadline to complete the post-class quiz is 4:00 PM the day after class (i.e. 24 hours after class).
- If necessary, make an appointment with a member of the Instruction team for help
Note that the blog entries and the quizzes should be completed as your own effort reflecting your understanding of the topic. If you have access to materials from previous offerings of the course, the act of copying/pasting answers or partially editing answers from others is an instance of academic misconduct, the definition of which includes "any act aimed at making false representation of one's academic performance." The University has strict rules and provides for disciplinary action on this issue. Please see the UW academic misconduct page for more details.
- To define the course topics and relative importance of various subject matters,
- To provide you with the information and resources you need to learn,
- To communicate with you in a way that facilitates your learning,
- To set the level of expectations and evaluate your progress and your work.
2. Short Essay Assignments
3. Team Research Project
3(a): Multi-media Website (Undergraduate)
3(b): Peer-Review Style Article (Graduate)
3(c): Audio-visual Presentation (Team)
At the end of the semester, students will complete a grading rubric to rate the effort and involvement of their other team members in the final project. This will adjust the student's final grade for the sum of all the team project deliverables by up to 5 points.
Deadlines and Grades (tentative)
|Individual Graded Elements|
|Class participation 1: Journal and pre-class blogs on assigned material||ongoing||20 points||20 points|
|Class participation 2: Quizzes (to be completed after some classes)||ongoing||15 points||15 points|
|Short Essay 1||03/02||10 points||10 points|
|Short Essay 2||04/20||10 points||10 points|
|Team Project Graded Elements|
|Team-led class discussion of case study project||3/9-3/14||10 points||10 points|
|Team annotated bibliography and analysis outline||03/16||5 points||5 points|
|Initial peer-review style article (graduate level expectations)||4/21||15 points|
|Final peer-review style article (graduate level expectations)||5/11||5 points|
|Initial web page (undergraduate level expectation)||4/21||15 points|
|Final web page (undergraduate level expectation)||5/11||5 points|
|Class presentation of team project case study||4/27-5/4||10 points||10 points|
|Total||100 points||100 points|
- A: 90-100%
- AB: 87-89%
- B: 80-86%
- BC: 77-79%
- C: 70-76%
- D: 60-69%
- F: 0-59%