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Teaching - The Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) at UMD

Teaching

Duluth

SAP@UMD is dedicated to bringing classroom and experiential learning around food, agriculture and gardening issues and activities. Courses in Geography, Environmental Studies, and Anthropology will be integrated into operating the market garden and heritage apple orchard. Please contact us if you are interested in any of these activities within the classroom, internships and volunteer opportunities.

We are developing a ten acre field and renovating a five acre heritage apple orchard at the Field and Research Studies Center (a.k.a. the UMD Farm). This field site, the former Northeast Experimental Station, has been abandoned since 1976 (see History tab on this website). Our multi-year developmental plan includes the following: cover crop initial plot (2010); plant an one acre vegetable garden and market produce through multiple venues, including UMD Farmer's Market, Mount Royale, and other venues (2011); initiate a three year renovation plan in heritage apple orchard (2009). This field site will give students hand's on opportunity to plan, grow and market food.

 

Restorative Pruning Workshop, Feb 13Restorative Pruning Workshop, Feb 13


Courses taught related to SAP:

ANTH 4633: (David Syring) Ethnobotany - past two years course projects have focused on SAP - Advanced survey and study of interrelations between humans and plants, including material, symbolic, ritualistic and other aspects of human-plant interactions. Combines cultural anthropology and botany to investigate the roles of plants as food, medicine, natural resources and/or gateways to culturally sanctioned religious experiences.

ANTH 4653: (David Syring) Senior Seminar - past two years projects have focused on food systems and SAP - Contemporary topics in selected branches of anthropology. Active participation in group research project to develop and enhance anthropological research skills.

BIOL 1010: (Deb Shubat) Home Horticulture - Concepts of plant identification, growth and culture with practical application to home landscape, house plants and fruit, flower and vegetable gardening. Labs include plant propagation, grafting, computer landscape design and one field trip.

BIOL 4731: (Rachel MaKarrall) Entomology - Structure, life history, ecology, classification, evolution, principles of control, and significance of insects in our society. Field collections.

BIOL 4803: (Cindy Hale) Field Ecology - Provides undergraduates with an introduction to field ecology, including field identification of northern Minnesota terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna and basic field methods to quantify distribution and abundance of plants and animals. Sampling methods taught include releves, variable radius plots, point-counts, random plots, line transects, calling surveys, dip nets and tow nets. Fieldwork will include exploration of issues related to project design and data collection, summarization and evaluation.

ES 2095: (Cindy Hale) Sustainable Agriculture I - Field Experience in Planning, Planting & Maintenance for Small-Scale Farms - Students will gain hands-on experience and explore the academic issues related to the early season dimensions of small scale sustainable agriculture. Course activities will involve students directly in the planning and planting of market gardens and orchards including topics such site selection, assessment and layout; establishing plants using transplants and direct seeding, companion planting, nutrient management, irrigation methods, cover cropping, etc. Emphasis placed on field dimensions with student lead group projects as the central learning focus. Students will work in groups, in all weather conditions and actively engage in field activities related to seasonal management of small scale market gardening/farming.

ES 2095: (Cindy Hale) Sustainable Agriculture II - Field Experience in Maintenance, Pest Management, Harvest and Marketing for Small-Scale Farms - Students will gain hands-on experience and explore the academic issues related to the mid-late season dimensions of small scale sustainable agriculture. Course activities will involve students directly in the management of market gardens and orchards including topics such crop and pest monitoring, tool use and maintenance, nutrient management, irrigation methods, organic and integrated weed and pest control, and direct and wholesale marketing of produce. Emphasis placed on field dimensions with student lead group projects as the central learning focus. Students will work in groups, in all weather conditions and actively engage in field activities related to seasonal management of small scale market gardening/farming.

ES 3100: (Randel Hanson) Sustainable Food Systems - Historical and contemporary food systems within sustainability framework. Understands food within social, political, economic and environmental contexts. Looks at sustainable production, consumption and processing issues.

GEOG 3481: (Randel Hanson) Urban Ecology - Introduction to theoretical, practical and policy aspects of urban ecology. Discusses methods of sustainable cities and ecologically responsible planning. Includes study of relevant field techniques and policy issues, including public participation in planning process and development of sustainable growth strategies.

GEOG 5573: (Stacey Stark) GIS in Regional Sustainability Applications - This course serves to provide students wtih an opportunity to explore the many applications of geographic information systems in environmental sustainability, renewable energy, and community planning for the future. Students will learn how GIS can be used to effectively carry out short term GIS projects. Focus will be on current topics such as energy use calculations, sustainable community development, watershed planning and transit planning in the regional area.