by Ellen Bombella, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service
One of Andy VanLoocke's biggest accomplishments has been creating Global Agriculture in a Changing World, a course he created when he came to Iowa State.
"I wanted to create a course that would tell people what agronomy is about and about the pressing issues facing our growing population," said VanLoocke, assistant professor in agronomy. "I want to teach students the basic processes and underlying biology, math and physics to appreciate what the headlines are telling them."
A new class is requiring agronomy students to give up part of their summer. While it might sound like a bummer, they are looking forward to it. Dubbed Agronomy 279, the new class is one sophomores majoring in Agronomy will have to take to graduate. The class will meet for the first time during the fall 2017 semester. The catch? Their first class will be Aug. 7, according to the agronomy department.
The addition came after the agronomy department said it decided to redesign the curriculum. Agronomy 279 will be an application of material students learned in Agronomy 181 and 182. Students will go outside in the fields to learn about soil and crops.
“Students really like hands-on activities,” Erik Christian, lecturer in agronomy, said. “Students do a lot of training in the summer when they go work on their internships and that’s going to be out in the field. [Currently], we don’t offer them those experiences.”