2018 Schedule and Materials

Hello - Welcome. This page provides a roadmap (modules, topics for each class period). In addition you can access resources (reading materials, web pages) that are necessary for you to complete the pre-class quiz and the pre-class blog. Your post-class reflection will be posted on the "Post-class" blog pages. Note that for modules I to IV, the Tuesday classes will be conducted as a series of activities and discussions whereas the Thursday (R) classes will focus primarily on building skills needed to complete the class project including (but not limited to): team work, critical thinking, analytical evaluation and communication skills.

PdDateModules and TopicsPre-class
Quiz (ID req.)
blog (ID req.)
blog (ID req.)
Module I: Setting the StageIntroduce Yourself !
1T. 01/23Introductions | Food and PopulationQuiz-01Pre-blg-01Post-blg-01
2R. 01/25Team & Discussion skills | Sustainability as a "wicked" problemQuiz-02Pre-blg-02Post-blg-02
Module II: Food / Environment / Health
3T. 01/30Global diets, environmental sustainability, and healthQuiz-03Pre-blg-03Post-blg-03
4R. 02/01(a) How to read a paper | (b) Your carbon footprint NonePb-041 | Pb-042Post-blg-04
5T. 02/06Livestock, human nutrition and poverty reductionQuiz-04Pre-blg-05Post-blg-05
6R. 02/08Paradigm Change in Agricultural ResearchQuiz-05Pre-blg-06Post-blg-06
7T. 02/13Crop diversity, biodiversity and food securityQuiz-06Pre-blg-07Post-blg-07
8R. 02/15Library resource | Project topic exploration -- Prjt-Ideas-08Post-blg-08
Module III: Socio-economic / Policy Aspects
9T. 02/20Adoption of sustainable farming practicesQuiz-07Pre-blg-09Post-blg-09
10R. 02/22Finalizing teams and projects -- Pre-blg-10Post-blg-10
11T. 02/27Fairness in food production systemsQuiz-xxPre-blg-11Post-blg-11
12R. 03/01Problem-framing and policyQuiz-xxPre-blg-12Post-blg-12
Module IV: Biological Aspects
13T. 03/06Land use: producing animal feed or human foodQuiz-xxPre-blg-13Post-blg-13
14R. 03/08Learn basic HTML coding --Pre-blg-14Post-blg-14
15T. 03/13Milk carbon footprint in the U.S.A.Quiz-xxPre-blg-15Post-blg-15
16R. 03/15Case-Study example: Organic vs. Conventional milkQuiz-xxPre-blg-16Post-blg-16
Module V: Project Presentation: Part I
17T. 03/20Teams A-B-C-D--Feedback:A | B | C | D
18R. 03/22Teams E-F-G-H--Feedback:E | F | G | H
T. 03/27 and R. 03/29: Spring break
Module VI: Responses to the Challenges
19T. 04/03Work day on team project------
20R. 04/05Work day on team project------
21T. 04/10Work day on team project------
22R. 04/12Work day on team project------
Module VII: Project Presentation: Part II
23T. 04/17Teams A-B--Feedback:A | B
24R. 04/19Teams C-D--Feedback:C | D
25T. 04/24Teams E-F--Feedback:E | F
26R. 04/26Teams G-H--Feedback:G | H
Module VIII: Reflection and Evaluation
27T. 05/01Looking back at the Journey------

Important Note: To access the pre-class readings you have to log in first. Please click here to log in the restricted site area if necessary.

Module I: Setting the Stage

  • 01 - Tu 01/23
    • Synopsis: For the first day of class, our objectives are (a) to get to know each other, (b) to understand the overall structure and expectation for this class, and (c) to discuss the parts of food systems and where we will focus our attention this semester.
    • Pre-class: Introduce yourself to your classmates (Please use the "Introduce Yourself" link above, or click here).
    • Pre-class reading: Erisman et al. (2008) How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.
    • Optional reading: Tilman et al. (2002) Agricultural Sustainability and intensive production practices.

  • 02 - Th 01/25
    • Synopsis: What is "sustainability"? What is a "wicked problem"? Why is sustainability a wicked problem? In today's class we'll explore definitions and concepts using "discussion" as our main class activity. Because you are likely to be unfamiliar with "discussion" as a mode of teaching and learning, we will spend some time sharing with each other what we believe makes for a successful class discussion.
    • Pre-class reading: Peterson (2013) Sustainability: A wicked problem.

Module II: Food / Environment / Health

  • 03 - Tu 01/30
    • Synopsis:Today we will analyze a wake-up call paper, which argues that current trends in food consumption is not sustainable from an environmental perspective and from an human health perspective.
    • Pre-class reading: Tilman and Clark (2014) Global diets link environmental sustainability and human health.
    • Optional reading: Eshel et al. (2014) Land, irrigation water, greenhouse gas, and reactive nitrogen burdens of meat, eggs, and dairy production in the United States.
    • Class Activity: Diet-related emissions versus global emissions.

  • 04 - Th 02/01
    • Synopsis: We are going to focus on two skills today. The first on focuses on how to CRITICALLY read a (scientific) article or a book. The second one focuses on evaluating your (partial) carbon footprint.
    • Pre-class reading : Please read the guidelines on how to read a book or an article and complete Pre-class blog 041.
    • Pre-class assignment: What is your partial carbon footprint? Calculate your personal carbon footprint using two of the carbon footprint calculators listed below. Take notes about the data each calculator uses and the results you get, paying special attention to any differences between the two calculators. Write your reflections using the Pre-class blog 042.

  • 05 - Tu 02/06
    • Synopsis: We have discussed articles that draw direct lines between diet, environment and (human) health at a global scale. Today we are looking more specifically at the role of livestock in developing countries. Livestock in many developing countries play multiple roles. You may be surprised to learn some of the bases upon which small holders value their livestock.
    • Pre-class reading: Herrero et al. (2012) Roles of Livestock in Developing Countries.
    • Optional reading: Randolph et al. (2014) Role of Livestock in Human Nutrition.

  • 06 - Th 02/08
    • Synopsis: Our scientific methods have been developed primarily to advance our knowledge within a discipline. Even scientists tend to take for granted the methods used in their field of investigation. Yet, when you are at the edged of scientific discoveries, news methods are required to gain new knowledge. You have probably heard of the saying" "if you don't measure it you cannot manage it." For today's class we could adjust this saying as applied to food production systems and sustainability as follows: "If you can't measure it, you can't quantify it and therefore you can't manage it."
    • Pre-class reading: Drinkwater et al. (2016) Systems Research for Agriculture. Please read Chapter 1: Introduction to Agricultural Systems and Agricultural Systems Research: A Paradigm Change (pp 5-23). 
    • Optional reading: Drinkwater article Chapter 2: Collaboration, Decision-Making and Organizational Structure for Agricultural Systems Research (pp 24-37). 

  • 07 - Tu 02/13
    • Synopsis: The narrowing of diversity in crop species contributing to the world’s food supplies has been considered a potential threat to food security. IN the last few decades, national food supplies worldwide became more similar in composition, correlated particularly with an increased supply of a number of globally important cereal and oil crops, and a decline of other cereal, oil, and starchy root species.
    • Pre-class reading: Khoury et al. (2014) Increasing homogeneity in global food supplies and the implications for food security.

  • 08 - Th 02/15
    • Synopsis: Today our goal is to learn from a librarian how to search library databases effectively. Please see Library Resource page, here.
    • Pre-class reading: Review previous year's class projects and post some ideas / topics you might be interested in exploring for your class project.
    • Module III: Socio-Economic and Policy Aspects

  • 09 - Tu 02/20
    • Synopsis: Today we focus on factors affecting technology adoption and changes in management practices that may foster productivity and sustainability of small-scale dairy farming in the central highlands of Mexico. With Mexican colleagues we found that smallholders gravitated towards easy to implement technologies that have immediate benefits. Nonusers of high investment technologies found them unaffordable because of cost, insufficient farm size, and lack of knowledge or reliable electricity.
    • Pre-class reading: Martinez-Garcia et al. (2014) Farm, household, and farmer characteristics associated with changes in management practices and technology adoption among dairy smallholders.

  • 10 - Th 02/22 NOTE: Today's class will meet 3:30-4:40 pm University Club (803 State Street) for a presentation in the Food and Wisconsin Idea seminar series titled: Food Systems for Nutrition and Health (presenter: Heidi Busse)
    • Synopsis:
    • Pre-class reading:

  • 11 - Tu 02/27
    • Synopsis:
    • Pre-class reading: Harrison and Gertz (2015) Farm size and job quality: mixed-methods studies of hired farm work in California and Wisconsin.

  • 12 - Th 03/01
    • Synopsis:
    • Pre-class reading: Garnett (2013) Food sustainability: problems, perspectives and solutions.
    • Optional reading: Garnett et al. (2013) Sustainable Intensification inAgriculture: Premises and Policies.

Module IV: Biological Aspects

  • 13 - Tu 03/06
    • Synopsis:
    • Pre-class reading: Thoma et al. (2012) Greenhouse gas emissions from milk production and consumption in the United States: A cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment circa 2008.

  • 14 - Th 03/08
    • Synopsis:
    • Pre-class reading: Wattiaux et al. (2018) Comparing the Carbon Footprint of Conventional vs. Organic Milk Production Systems.

  • 15 - Tu 03/13
    • Synopsis:
    • Pre-class reading: Davis and D'Odorico (2015) Livestock intensification and the influence of dietary change: A calorie-based assessment of competition for crop production.

  • 16 - Th 03/15
    • Synopsis: HTML Workshop
    • Pre-class reading: To be posted

Module V: Students Projects Part I

  • 17 - Tu 03/20
    • Synopsis: Preliminary presentations and discusion Teams A-B-C-D
    • Pre-class reading: To be posted

  • 18 - Th 03/22
    • Synopsis: Preliminary presentations and discusion Teams E-F-G-H
    • Pre-class reading: To be posted
T. 03/27 and R. 03/29: Spring break

  • 19 - Th 04/03
    • Synopsis: To be Announced
    • Pre-class reading: To be posted

Keywords:2018 Schedule and Materials Food Systems Sustainability Climate Change   Doc ID:79118
Owner:Michel W.Group:DS 471 Food Production Systems and Sustainability
Created:2018-01-10 10:39 CSTUpdated:2018-02-20 13:30 CST
Sites:DS 471 Food Production Systems and Sustainability
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