2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Agriculture and Conservation in the Pacific Northwest

Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 quarters

Michael Paros veterinary medicine , Steven Scheuerell ecology, botany, plant pathology
Fields of Study
agriculture, ecology, environmental studies, geography and philosophy
Preparatory for studies or careers in
agriculture, conservation, science, philosophy and policy.

"The question of all questions for humanity, the problem which lies behind all others and is more interesting than any of them, is that of the determination of man's place in nature and his relation to the cosmos." - T.H. Huxley

Crop agriculture and animal production dominate human-managed ecosystems. Both provide forms of human sustenance yet simultaneously disrupt natural ecological functions. Tensions often exist between nature conservationists and agricultural communities. How do we balance biodiversity conservation and modern agricultural production? Is it possible to have both? Should public policy emphasize agricultural intensification to spare land for wildlife areas and keep conservation areas separate from human production activities? Can our planet afford to preserve culturally and biologically diverse agricultural systems? Are traditional agricultural practices vital to our sustainable future?

Faculty and students will challenge and develop their own personal ethical framework in an attempt to address the many questions that arise when we alter natural systems through agriculture. This will be accomplished through experiential field trips, reading, writing, scientific analysis and open discussion. Students will visit a variety of Washington and Oregon farming operations and conservation areas that illustrate the agricultural and environmental ethical dilemmas that society currently faces. Multiple perspectives from land stakeholders will be presented. Fall quarter will focus on the fundamental principles of conservation biology and ethical theory, while familiarizing students with basic agronomic practices. In winter quarter, students will develop a personal land ethic while analyzing tensions between agriculture and conservation specific to a particular locale.

This program will interest students who are open-minded and want to think critically about the agricultural sciences, conservation biology, and ethics.

Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online
Greener Store
Required Fees
$250 for overnight field trips in fall.
Offered During