Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
A Curriculum in Urban Agriculture and Sustainability and Lessons Learned
Large cities, like Houston, are growing fast and they face numerous environmental and food distribution problems. These problems require collaborative and multi-disciplinary approaches to solve. Furthermore, many city residents are interested in more locally grown food, better water quality and more sustainable city practices. However, most residents (and many college graduates) do not have access to the information which would allow them to help solve complex issues needed to engage in sustainable practices and urban agriculture. This paper describes the curriculum and an experiential learning program developed within the Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability (CUAS) at the University of XXX. All XXX undergraduates have access to four new courses that can be taken as individual electives or collectively (with a couple of additional XXX courses) for a minor in Sustainability. Unlike many universities where sustainability is only in environmental engineering or biology, this minor is open to every students. Undergraduates interested in sustainability can also apply for Experiential Learning in CUAS (EL CUAS). Through EL CUAS, 8 to 10 undergraduates per year work collaboratively in a yearlong program where they complete courses, participate in professional development and carry out a project with a sustainability or urban agricultural focus. Students selected for the experiential learning (both science and non-science majors) gain valuable project management skills, communication skills and the ability to scientifically analyze project data. The benefits of this program are more educated citizens with the skills to tackle the complex food and environmental issues facing cities. Our goal is for this curriculum to eventually be expanded so that it may be offered to members of the Houston community as a certificate in Sustainability.
This paper presents the new curriculum and minor in sustainability, discusses experiential learning projects developed by undergraduate students and summarizes learning experiences and skills developed by students.
Morano, L. D., & Tzouanas, V. (2020, June), A Curriculum in Urban Agriculture and Sustainability, and Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--33994
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