Agroecology Field Course: Agroecosystems Analysis

March 9, 2018

July 20 - 27, 2018

The course will give students hands-on experience with agroecosystems. The joint effort between Dordt College, the University of Nebraska, the University of Minnesota and Iowa State University brings students from across the Midwest together for a week of intensive discussion and study.

Upon completion of this course, students will have:

  • defined and described the properties of agroecosystems.
  • created and utilized an investigative framework for analyzing the origin, impact and sustainability of agricultural practices used on farms in the region.
  • defined, assessed, and interpreted factors which contribute to greater sustainability of agroecosystems.
  • reviewed and reflected on the basic ecological principles that undergird and shape agricultural systems.
  • considered how worldview affects people's (their own and others) views of agroecosystems and of sustainability
  • interacted directly with farmers, faculty, and other students who share expertise and interest  in agroecosystems and their sustainability.

Pre-class reading material will provide you background about agroecology, methods of agroecology analysis, and information about landscapes of Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa. Supplemental information is also available. 

Evaluation: Final grades will be assigned on the basis of five criteria:

  • Preliminary reading assessment (15% of final grade)
  • Preliminary reading narrative (10% of final grade)
  • Participating during the week in Sioux Center (15% of the final grade)
  • Oral presentations (20% of final grade)
  • Written paper (20% of final grade)
  • Student learner document (maximum 3 pages, 15% of final grade)

The 2017_schedule provides a reference for 2018 activities.

Dr. Mary Wiedenhoeft, Iowa State University (Agron497)
Dr. Paul Porter, University of Minnesota (Agro5999)
Dr. Jeremy Hummel, Dordt College (Agri393)
Dr. Charles Francis, University of Nebraska (Agro496/896)
Dr. Robb DeHann, Dordt College (Agri393)