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Viewing: AES 250 : Survey of Agricultural and Environmental Issues

Last approved: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 21:10:21 GMT

Last edit: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 21:10:15 GMT

Change Type
AES (Agricultural and Environmental Systems)
250
032133
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
No
Survey of Agricultural and Environmental Issues
Survey Ag & ENV Issues
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Biological and Agriculture Engineering (11BAE)
Term Offering
Spring Only
Offered Every Year
Fall 2014
Previously taught as Special Topics?
No
 
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
3
16
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Lecture3.0
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
No
 
 
Wenqiao Yuan, Mike Boyette
Associate Professor, Professor

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture4040Non/a
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote

Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
No
This course presents an overview of the history of technology in agriculture. Topics include how the adoption of agriculture affected society, how ancient Greek farmers gave the world the idea of the family farm, and how this notion saved the earliest attempts to colonize North America from disaster. Additionally, a broad overview of current agricultural and environmental problems and attempts to find solutions suitable not only to farmers and the agri-business community but to all urban and environmentally aware society will be covered.

This course seeks to improve students' understanding of the technological aspects of agricultural and environmental issues affecting our society. Students will learn that agriculture began as an attempt to limit the risk inherent in the hunter-gather lifestyle and particular acts of harvesting resulted, over time, in the domestication of wild plants and animals. Further, students will appreciate that because the practice of agriculture increases food security and reduces the time necessary for food gathering, it allows time for art and technology and the development of notions of private property and the exchange of one good or service for another. Agriculture makes society more secure but also more interdependent. This interdependence has resulted in what some have termed "society's pact with agriculture" which has been, until recently, the position of privilege farmers have enjoyed to practice their profession relatively unhampered. Students will also come to understand that primarily because of a new environmental awareness; society has recently come to question this pact such that the practice of agriculture and the direction of agricultural technology are not only the concern of farmers but all of society. It will present an overview of the history of agriculture from its first beginnings in the Middle East as well as six other independent beginnings throughout the world, how the adoption of agriculture had a profound effect on all aspects of society including politics, social organization, technology, religion, security and the arts, how the ancient Greek farmers gave the world the idea of the family farm and how this notion saved the earliest attempts to colonize North America from disaster. Additionally, a broad overview of current agricultural and environmental problems and the attempts to find solutions that are suitable not only to farmers and the agri-business community but that are satisfactory to all of our increasingly urban and environmentally aware society.


No

Is this a GEP Course?
No
GEP Categories

Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
&
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
 
 

 
 

 
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Requisites and Scheduling
 
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
 

 
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
 

 
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
 

 
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
 

Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
 
Title and author of any required text or publications.
 

 
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.
 

 
List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.
 

No new resources will be required. Current resources will be reallocated.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this course, each student will be able to:


1. Explain how and why agriculture was independently invented in at least seven different locations worldwide.


2. Given that fully modern humans have lived on the earth for at least 50,000 years, demonstrate what forces caused agriculture to spring up spring up within the relatively narrow window 5 to 7 thousand years


3. Discuss how the domestication worked over time to change the morphology of each domesticated species.


4. Explain how human activities as varied as politics, law, economics, family life, the sciences and arts all ultimately evolved from simple agricultural beginnings.


5. Analyze and discuss why agriculture has often had such a very negative impact on the environment and what steps have been or are being taken to ameliorate these impacts.


6. Consider the several different political systems under which agriculture has been organized throughout history. Compile a list of the instances of successes and failures for agriculture under each system and enumerate the factors common and not common between each.


Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Attendance70 pointsStudent attendance will be documented. Each class (10%) meeting weighs 2 points (up to 70 points in total).
Quiz100 pointsPop quizzes will be given in class by the lecturer or instructor without prior notice. Each quiz weighs 5 points
(up to 100 points in total).
Homework200 pointsStudent will be expected to complete 8 (28.6%) homeworks/papers individually. Each homework/paper weighs 25 points.
Multiple exams200 pointsTwo tests will be given during the semester. Each Test
200 will be timed to 50 minutes each. The format of the tests will be multiple choice, fill in the blank, short answer and some short essay questions. Each test weighs 100 points.
Project130 pointsThe class project will be organized as teams of 3-4
Project students depending on class enrollment. Both written paper and oral presentation will be evaluated. They weigh 130 points in total.
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
Week 11 weekCourse Introduction
The Beginnings of Agriculture in the Middle East
The Technology and Politics of Swine Waste
Reading - Chapter 1
Week 21 weekMLKHoliday
The Beginnings of Agriculture in East Asia
The Technology and Politics of Swine Waste II
Week 31 weekThe Beginnings of Agriculture in the Americas
The Technology and Politics of Ethanol Production I
The Technology and Politics of Ethanol Production II
Reading - Chapter 2
Week 41 weekThe Technology and Politics ofBiodiesel Production I
The Technology and Politics of Biodiesel Production II
Test I
Week 51 weekThe Spread of Agriculture to Europe
The Technology and Politics of Irrigation I
The Technology and politics of Irrigation II
Reading - Chapter 3
Week 61 weekThe Greek Roots of the Family Farm
The Technology and Politics of Aquaculture I
The Technology and Politics of Aquaculture II
Week 71 weekThe Vikings Attempt to Farm North America
The Technology and Politics of Turning Waste into Energy
Are Sweetpotatoes the Next Big Energy Crop?
Reading - Chapter 4
Week 81 weekThe Technology and Politics of Wetland Restoration I
The Technology and Politics of Wetland Restoration II
Test II
Week 91 weekThe Technology and Politics of Agricultural Air Quality
Are We Too Rich to Farm? The Politics of US Food Security
The Failure and Success of Farming at Jamestown
Reading - Chapter 5
Week 101 weekSpring Break
Week 111 weekThe Technology and Politics of Tobacco Production I
The Technology and Politics of Tobacco Production II
The Opening of the American West
Week 121 weekThe Technology and Politics of Storm Water Management I
The Technology and Politics of Storm Water Management II
The Failure of Collective Farms
Reading - Chapter 6
Week 131 weekThe Technology and Politics of Farm Mechanization I
The Technology and Politics of Farm Mechanization II
Factory Farms
Test III
Week 141 weekThe Technology and Politics of Agricultural Biotech I
The Technology and Politics of Agricultural Biotech II
The Current State of the US Farm
Week 151 weekFarming: Lifestyle or Livelihood?
Should we Care about the Family Farm?
Farmland Preservation: Good Thing or Bad?
Week 161 weekThe Future of Farming in the US
The Future of Farming in the World
Team project presentations
Course was sent to R&R for implementation on 12.10.2014. Course information has been added.
7.1.2015 GMN
Key: 5861