Spring 2019 Courses

The following graduate courses in food and agriculture will be offered this Spring 2019 semester. Undergraduate courses that enroll graduate students may also be of interest.

course title professor description
ARCG 762: Observing Earth from Space  Xuhui Lee; Ronald Smith

A practical introduction to satellite image analysis of Earth’s surface. Topics include the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, satellite-borne radiometers, data transmission and storage, computer image analysis, the merging of satellite imagery with GIS and applications to weather and climate, oceanography, surficial geology, ecology and epidemiology, forestry, agriculture, archaeology, and watershed management (Also EMD 548/G&G 562/F&ES 726).

CDE 562: Nutrition and Chronic Disease Leah Ferrucci This course provides students with a scientific basis for understanding the role of nutrition and specific nutrients in the etiology, prevention, and management of chronic diseases. Nutrition and cancer are particularly emphasized. Other topics addressed include cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and aging. Implications for federal nutrition policy, such as dietary guidelines, dietary supplement regulations, and food labeling, are discussed.
F&ES 255: Global Food Challenges: Environmental Politics and Law John Wargo

Exploration of the politics, policy, and law associated with attempts to manage environmental quality and natural resources. Themes of democracy, liberty, power, property, equality, causation, and risk. Case histories include air quality, water quality and quantity, pesticides and toxic substances, land use, agriculture and food, parks and protected areas, and energy.

 
F&ES 285: Political Ecology of Tropical Forest Conservation Amity Doolittle 

Study of the relationship between society and the environment focusing on tropical forest conservation. Global processes of environmental conservation, development, and conflicts over natural resource use and control; approaches to conserving trees and forest cover using strategies that support biodiversity and rural agricultural livelihoods; specific focus on tropical forest landscapes dominated by agriculture and cattle ranching practices using Panama and Colombia as a case studies. The course includes an optional field trip during Spring Break: March 17-March 23 in Panama at the ELTI’s focal training site (Also F&ES 615).

F&ES 584: Agricultural Climate Change Mitigation Eric Toensmeier 6-week course, beginning January. Agriculture and land use change (primarily to clear land for agriculture) are responsible for roughly a quarter of anthropogenic emissions. This course explores the range of solutions that have been proposed, some of which are new while others are already implemented on hundreds of millions of hectares. These include both demand reduction (diet change and food waste) and supply-side strategies. Agricultural production approaches include biosequestration (i.e., conservation agriculture, agroforestry systems), emissions reduction (i.e., nutrient management, low-methane rice), and intensification, both agrichemical and agroecological. Climate change adaptation is also a critical need. Controversial issues like livestock and biofuels are discussed.
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, the intersection of water and land management, agriculture, climate adaptation, and sustainable urban planning. Students work with the instructor to develop papers, research memorandums, presentations, and publications on a selected topic for a client. The average project requires 10–12 hours of work outside of class per week. The instructor and guest speakers lecture on specific skills and topics related to student projects during a weekly class meeting. Students select from a project list or meet with the instructor to design a relevant project at the beginning of the term. Attendance at the first class is mandatory to learn about project options. A part of the course is a one-week field trip during spring break. Enrollment limited to twelve, with priority given to F&ES students. Due to high demand, the course requires a short application. Students are selected during the fall term.

HIST 600: Jewish Everyday Life in the Middle Ages Micha Perry Medieval Jewish history has been based primarily on written sources and hence has tended to concentrate on the intellectual male elite, institutions, and events. In recent years, historians are increasingly interested in everyday, or quotidian, history, looking beyond the intellectual elite to society as a whole and using, alongside texts, archaeology and the material world. Following the “material turn,” this seminar focuses on Jewish material culture, using archaeology and art history in the service of cultural history. Among the subjects considered are the Jewish quarter and street; the synagogue; the ritual bath (mikve); the cemetery and gravestone; book culture; charters; jewelry; fashion; and food (Also JDST 802/MDVL 670).
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.