Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sustainable food systems class

Well, I'm going back to school, or at least, I'm taking a course for credit. Craig Gerlach is teaching a course at UAF, Comparative Farming and Sustainable Food Systems. This is a 400-level undergraduate class cross-listed in geography, natural resources management, and cross-cultural studies. As you may have surmised, I am very interested in food systems and agriculture and food issues these days, and when, in the course of my work for the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, Craig asked me to make a poster for the class, I decided that it sounded so interesting that I wanted to take it. Here's the description:
This exciting course explores the principles of food systems geography and food security, with cross-cultural examinations of dietary traditions, poverty, hunger, equity, and food access and distribution. What can be done about “real world” food, farming, and agricultural problems? Where is the contemporary agroecological system strong or weak with respect to restoration and renewability? How can we be better educated and more innovative in dealing with food production, distribution, access, and the promotion of ecosystem health? We will compare agricultural systems in the context of social, ecological, and economic sustainability. Alaska and other high-latitude food systems will be considered, including country food, wild game harvest, and rural to urban nutrition transition.
The booklist is pretty cool, too:
There are several other interesting texts on the syllabus.

I am a little intimidated about the work and reading load that this course will require to do right, but the topic is of such interest and is so pertinent to my job at the U that I am plunging on with it. I've decided that I will blog about the course as it goes along, too—it will be a good way to organize my thoughts and work for the class, I think.

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