Spring 2018 Courses

The following graduate courses in food and agriculture will be offered this Spring 2018 semester. Undergraduate courses that enroll graduate students may also be of interest.

course title professor description
F&ES 727: Food: Science, Law, and Policy John Wargo This seminar explores significant challenges posed by the global food supply to environmental quality and human health. The primary obligation is a research paper, dissertation chapter, master’s project, or senior essay draft. We read critically 150–200 pages per week, and students should be prepared to discuss or present analyses. Challenges examined include fresh vs. processed foods, nutritional sufficiency and excess, radionuclides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, animal feeds, plastics, flame retardants, flavors, fragrances, ingredient fraud, genetic modification, waste, energy input and yield, locality, processing technologies, packaging, and carbon emissions. Corporate case histories are considered in a number of sessions. Private innovations in the production and management of food are analyzed, including trends in certification and labeling initiatives. Most sessions examine one or several foods. Examples include cow’s milk, human milk, infant formula, grapes, wine, corn, bananas, tomatoes, salmon, cod, tuna, sodas, fruit juice, water, coffee, and olive oil.
F&ES 646: Foundations of Agriculture and Environment Stephen Wood Agricultural systems have a profound impact on the environment, but also depend on environmental processes—such as climate and nutrient cycling—for continued productivity. Because of this two-way relationship, there has been a growing integration of environmental and agricultural sciences over the past several decades with growing recognition that designing and implementing agricultural systems that minimize environmental harm and benefit people is necessary to sustainable development.
BIS 575: Introduction to Regulatory Affairs Robert Makuch This course provides students with an introduction to regulatory affairs science, as these issues apply to the regulation of food, pharmaceuticals, and medical and diagnostic devices. The course covers a broad range of specialties that focus on issues including legal underpinnings of the regulatory process, compliance, phases of clinical testing and regulatory milestones, clinical trials design and monitoring, quality assurance, post-marketing study design in response to regulatory and other needs, and post-marketing risk management. The complexities of this process require awareness of leadership and change management skills. Topics to be discussed include: (1) the nature and scope of the International Conference on Harmonization, and its guidelines for regulatory affairs in the global environment; (2) drug development, the FDA, and principles of regulatory affairs in this environment; (3) the practice of global regulatory affairs from an industry perspective; (4) description/structure/issues of current special importance to the U.S. FDA; (5) historical background and FDA jurisdiction of food and drug law; (6) the drug development process including specification of the important milestone meetings with the FDA; (7) risk analysis and approaches to its evaluation; (8) use of Bayesian statistics in medical device evaluation, a new approach; (9) use of data monitoring committees and other statistical methods for regulatory compliance; (10) developments in leadership and change management; and (11) food quality assurance including risk analysis/compliance/enforcement. Through course participation, students also have opportunities to meet informally with faculty and outside speakers to explore additional regulatory issues of current interest.
F&ES 971: Land Use Clinic Jessica Bacher This clinic explores a variety of specific community land use topics of current concern and relevance to the field, to the curriculum, and to society. Potential project topics include renewable energy, natural resources, rural-based land uses, agriculture, and sustainable urban planning. Students work with the instructor to develop papers, research memorandums, presentations, and publications on a selected topic. The instructor or guest speakers lecture on specific topics related to student projects. Additionally, students attend field trips relevant to the curriculum and may participate in project meetings with clients. Students select from a project list or meet with the instructor to design a relevant project.
HIST 818: Commodity Production and Environmental History in Latin America and the Caribbean  Stuart Schwartz, Reinaldo Funes Monzote This course presents readings across the past six centuries that examine the human impact on the environment of the region from a geographical and ecological perspective. Topics include the transformation of landscapes by plantation agriculture; the introduction of exogenous plant and animal species; and the impact of extractive industries, natural disasters, climate change, conservation, and tourism. Open to undergraduates with permission of the instructor.
YLS 21769-01: Food Law and Policy Allison Zieve Within the scope of “food law and policy,” one could conceivably cover aspects of administrative, health, agricultural, environmental, antitrust, international, intellectual property, and immigration law, among other topics. Without attempting fully to cover such broad ground, this course will provide students with background in federal and, to a lesser extent, state regulation of food and food production and will explore the ways in which other governmental concerns affect food law and policy. In so doing, the course will explore the intersection of food policy with agricultural policy and trade policy and conclude by looking at the very different concerns of the poor and of the not-poor in accessing an adequate supply of healthy food.