Wendell Berry famously said "Eating is an agricultural act." This quote alludes to the social, economic and environmental impacts of our daily consumption of food. Through food and agriculture we will explore societal connections to the biological fields of evolution, ecology, botany and human nutrition.
This course will engage students in an interactive, discussion- and project-based course that will consider how our food choices and national agricultural policies affect our health, the natural environment and the lives of others.
This course explores the idea that enduring environmental awareness and a full appreciation of the challenge of sustainability is rooted in extensive first-hand experience of the natural world—wildlife, woods, fields, rivers, estuaries, the night sky and so forth.
This course will expose students to four major writers — Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Jane Goodall, and E. O. Wilson — all scientists whose careers are based on field work and all with a love of language and a knowledge of literature and philosophy, who shaped twentieth and twenty first century awareness of the nature of nature and of the relationship of human culture to nature. We will also be reading Bill McKibben’s 1989 The End of Nature which introduced the public to the reality of climate change and the philosophical idea that “we live in a post-natural world,” an era dubbed “the Anthropocene” to mark this reversal between man-made forces and the state of nature.