Aut 2011 – New Course – Food and the Environment (5, I&S/NW)

C ENV 110        Food and the Environment (5) (I&S/NW)

Instructor: Dr. Ray Hilborn

This course will provide a general introduction to environmental science using the production of food as the unifying theme. This course would satisfy one of the natural world requirements for non-science majors.

Everyone eats, and all food production has environmental consequences.  The course will also explore the interaction between individuals, societies, food production and the environment.  In particular the feedback between environmental change, both natural and due to food production and societies responses ranging from the decline of civilizations in response to topsoil loss to individual farmers efforts to cope with changing water supply.  Thus it should meet the Individuals and Society requirement.   A major student project will be the recording of students food diaries, and an analysis of the environmental consequences of their personal diet. This will provide a direct and personal connection to their impact on the environment through energy use, water consumptions, biodiversity loss, soil loss, pollution and contribution to climate change. No prerequisites.   Great for Freshmen!