Agroecology has a broad scope and includes many different meanings. The term has been used to describe an interdisciplinary scientific field, to characterize a set of farming practices, and to name convergent social initiatives. In this course we will identify their common root (the agroecological lens) and learn how to use it as a transformative tool for social and environmental justice. The agroecological lens will be used to reflect step by step, traversing perspectives from a narrow scope (the field) to the broadest level (the food system). Throughout this process, diverse themes ranging from soil care to food sovereignty will be explored. Case studies from initiatives around the globe will be used to inspire enhanced understanding of the actions and perspectives necessary to successfully develop one’s own agroecological project. Successful stories with positive effects can radiate their energy and contribute to the improvement of society beyond their locality.
Upon completion, participants will be able to:
• Understand the various meanings of agroecology and its specificities in order to address relevant food and farming system issues,
• Jump the gap between theory and action by exploring crucial themes and agroecological approaches,
• Use the ‘agroecological lens’ to critically evaluate the sustainability of current practices both in conventional and alternative systems,
• Link agroecological tools and designs with inspirational real-life situations in order to learn how to apply agroecological principles in daily life.
Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.
Due to the condensed time frame for this course, students cannot withdraw and receive a refund once the course begins.
David is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology. His B.A. and M.A. degrees are in anthropology. He is the director of program development for Village Earth: The Consortium for Sustainable Village-Based Development, and an instructor in CSU's anthropology department.
David's areas of expertise include community capacity building, social capital theory, participatory action research, survey and evaluative research methods, development with indigenous communities, and application of information communication technologies in rural development.
Cristina Gil Ruiz