SRJC Course Outlines

9/27/2021 6:36:28 PMSUSAG 103 Course Outline as of Fall 2021

Changed Course
CATALOG INFORMATION

Discipline and Nbr:  SUSAG 103Title:  AGRICULTURAL COMPOSTING  
Full Title:  Composting for Organic Farming and Gardening
Last Reviewed:2/8/2021

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum1.00Lecture Scheduled1.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled17.50
Minimum1.00Lab Scheduled04 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total1.00 Contact Total17.50
 
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  35.00Total Student Learning Hours: 52.50 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade or P/NP
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 
Formerly:  AG 125

Catalog Description:
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Composting is the cornerstone of building healthy soils in all segments of organic agriculture production. Topics will include composting process, the role of microbes in thermophilic composting and a survey of a variety of composting methods. The course is applicable to composting for small commercial fruit, vine and vegetable operations, and the information will be of equal importance for dairy farmers or hay producers, landscapers, as well as for residential settings. This is an introductory course aimed at the professional or serious student of agriculture and horticulture.

Prerequisites/Corequisites:


Recommended Preparation:

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
Composting is the cornerstone of building healthy soils in all segments of organic agriculture production. Topics will include composting process, the role of microbes in thermophilic composting and a survey of a variety of composting methods. The course is applicable to composting for small commercial fruit, vine and vegetable operations, and the information will be of equal importance for dairy farmers or hay producers, landscapers, as well as for residential settings. This is an introductory course aimed at the professional or serious student of agriculture and horticulture.
(Grade or P/NP)

Prerequisites:
Recommended:
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP

ARTICULATION, MAJOR, and CERTIFICATION INFORMATION

Associate Degree:Effective:Inactive:
 Area:
 
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 
CSU Transfer:Effective:Inactive:
 
UC Transfer:Effective:Inactive:
 
C-ID:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Both Certificate and Major Applicable



COURSE CONTENT

Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
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1. Describe and apply proper technical skills required for composting settings and applications.
2. Discuss issues in compost management and recommend solutions.
3. Relate organics recycling to healthy soils, carbon sequestration and mitigation of climate change.
4. Identify and evaluate key factors that affect the composting process.
 

Objectives: Untitled document
Students will be able to:
1. Define the basic process of composting and identify key reasons/benefits for composting.
2. Evaluate the function of basic composting components (carbon, nitrogen, water and oxygen)
    as "essential ingredients" in the composting process.
3. Analyze a variety of composting methods, their purposes, strengths, weaknesses, and
    appropriate applications in residential, commercial, and agricultural settings.
4. Identify key factors affecting the composting process.
5. Evaluate a demonstration of proper composting techniques appropriate to Sonoma County.
6. Recommend specific compost uses for a variety of settings.
7. Analyze the qualitative characteristics of finished compost.
8. Evaluate proper technical skills required for composting settings and applications.
9. Evaluate issues in compost management and recommend solutions.

Topics and Scope
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I. Composting Process
    A. Identification
    B. Analysis
    C. Benefits for large and small-scale systems and operations
II.  Basic Composting Requirements
III. Composting Methods
    A. Residential settings
    B. Commercial settings
    C. Agricultural settings
IV. Key Factors that Influence the Composting Process
    A. Carbon to nitrogen ratio
    B. Surface area
    C. Aeration
    D. Moisture
    E. Temperature
    F. Microorganisms
V. Technical Skills Required for Composting
    A. Compare and contrast feedstock properties required for an efficient compost process
     B. Design optimum conditions for the microbial activity in the compost pile
     C. Compare and contrast composting methods to select the best system for a particular use
VI. Utilization and Application of Finished Compost and Mulches
    A. Understand the difference between a mulch and compost
     B. Understand standard application rates for agriculture and landscaping, as well as how to determine unique rates.  
     C. Match nutrient value of the compost with the corresponding nutrient needs of the plant.
    D. Utilizing compost for carbon farming and sequestration
VII. Management and Troubleshooting of Compost Piles
    A. Maintain records of composting process
     B. Utilize temperature and moisture measurements to make adjustments to optimize conditions in a compost pile

Assignments:
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1. Weekly reading (10-20 pages)
2. Weekly homework assignments (1-2 pages)
3. One research paper on one type of composting method (3-5 pages)
4. One compost monitoring project
5. Quizzes (2-3)
6. One final exam

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
20 - 30%
Research paper, homework assignments
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
0 - 0%
None
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
10 - 20%
Compost monitoring project
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
50 - 60%
Quizzes and final exam
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
0 - 0%
None


Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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The Rodale Book of Composting. Martin, Deborah and Gershuny, Grace. Rodale Press. 1992 (classic)

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