SRJC Course Outlines

7/21/2019 5:52:31 AMSUSAG 50 Course Outline as of Fall 2019

Changed Course
CATALOG INFORMATION

Discipline and Nbr:  SUSAG 50Title:  INTRO SUSTAIN AGRI  
Full Title:  Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture
Last Reviewed:1/28/2019

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled08 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total52.50
 
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

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:  SUSAG 100

Catalog Description:
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Designed to provide an introductory overview of the issue of sustainability in agroecosystems, this course introduces the concepts and principles of agroecology as applied to the design and management of sustainable agricultural systems. Includes an examination of case studies to connect sustainable agriculture principles to actual farming practices.  Course includes mandatory field trips to local farms and guest speakers.

Prerequisites/Corequisites:


Recommended Preparation:
Eligibility for ENGL 100 or ESL 100

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
Designed to provide an introductory overview of the issue of sustainability in agroecosystems, this course introduces the concepts and principles of agroecology as applied to the design and management of sustainable agricultural systems. Includes an examination of case studies to connect sustainable agriculture principles to actual farming practices.  Course includes mandatory field trips to local farms and guest speakers.
(Grade or P/NP)

Prerequisites:
Recommended:Eligibility for ENGL 100 or ESL 100
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP

ARTICULATION, MAJOR, and CERTIFICATION INFORMATION

Associate Degree:Effective:Fall 2005
Inactive: 
 Area:C
Natural Sciences
 
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 B1Physical ScienceFall 2019
 
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 2005Inactive:
 
UC Transfer:Effective:Inactive:
 
C-ID:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Both Certificate and Major Applicable



COURSE CONTENT

Student Learning Outcomes:
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Students will be able to:
1. Compare and contrast the properties of natural ecosystems, sustainable agroecosystems, and
    conventional agroecosystems.
2. Summarize the ecological roles of plants and their functional relationships to an
    agroecosystem.
3. Address current issues and identify solutions of sustainability within agroecosystems.

Objectives: Untitled document
Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:
1.   Relate the methods of scientific investigation to agricultural productivity.
2.   Define the nature of scientific inquiry.
3.   Describe the values, themes, methods, and history of sustainable agriculture regionally and
      worldwide.
4.   Define sustainable agriculture.
5.   Describe the characteristics of a natural ecosystem.
6.   Compare and contrast the properties of natural ecosystems, sustainable agroecosystems, and
      conventional agroecosystems.
7.   Define soil health and evaluate the role of management practices in building soil health in
      ecological agriculture systems.
8.   Discuss the principles and strategies of sustainable agriculture.
9.   Optimize the use of water to promote an ecological use of resources.
10. Summarize the ecological roles of plants and their functional relationships to an
      agroecosystem.
11. Assess an agroecosystem for its level of sustainability based on indicators of a sustainable
      system.
12. Prescribe ways of converting to a sustainable system through the redesign of a conventional
      agroecosystem.
13. Discuss the goals and components of a community food system.
14. Identify career opportunities and objectives in sustainable agriculture.

Topics and Scope
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I. What is Sustainable Agriculture?               
     A. Problems associated with industrial agriculture/food systems.         
     B. Characteristics of sustainable agriculture.         
     C. Defining sustainability         
     D. Regenerative agriculture         
     E. Contrast sustainable and regenerative agriculture systems         
     F. Case studies of regenerative farming systems         
II. Agroecology and the Agroecosystem Concept               
     A. Ecosystem definition         
     B. Ecosystem components - biotic and abiotic         
     C. Ecosystem processes         
     D. Ecological differences between natural systems, industrial agriculture, and sustainable
         agriculture systems.         
     E.  Ecosystem services and agriculture         
III. Soil Health and Management               
     A. Soil health defined         
     B. Material composition of healthy soils         
     C. Soil structure         
     D. Soil food web         
     E. USDA soil health principles         
     F. Management practices for improving soil health         
IV. The Evolution of Agriculture: Domestication and Genetics in Agroecosystems               
     A. Historical development and spread of agriculture         
     B. Centers of origin for crop and livestock species         
     C. Adaptation and natural selection         
     D. Plant traits selected by agriculture         
     E. Livestock traits selected by agriculture         
     F. Importance of Agrobiodiversity         
     G. Genetic vulnerability         
     H. Distinguish among open pollinated, hybrid, landrace, genetically modified and transgenic
         crops         
     I. Grassroots approaches to preserving agrobiodiversity         
V. Water Management in Agriculture               
     A. Soil water storage and availability         
     B. Soil plant atmosphere continuum         
     C. Reducing evaporation in agriculture         
     D. Principles of rainwater harvesting         
     E. Earthworks and tanks for rainwater harvesting         
     F. Calculating potential rainwater catchment on structures         
VI. Cropping Systems               
     A. Ecological relationships         
     B. Understanding ecological relationships among different plant types as a basis for cropping
         systems         
     C. Ecological interference         
     D. Ecological impacts of cover crops         
     E. Crop rotations         
     F. Agroforestry systems         
VII. Livestock Systems: Animals in Sustainable Agriculture               
     A. Roles of animals in natural ecosystems         
     B. Integrated livestock systems         
     C. Beneficial roles of animals on an integrated farm         
VIII. Ecological Pest Management                
     A. Biodiversity and pest management         
     B. Biocontrol         
     C. Economic threshold and pest management         
     D. Principles of ecological pest management         
IX. Alternative Agriculture Approaches               
     A. Factors that promote conversion to ecological management         
     B. Principles of ecological management         
     C. Levels of conversion to ecological management         
     D. Organic certification         
     E. Sustainable certification for wine grapes        
     F. Case studies of ecological conversion.         
X. Evaluating Sustainability in Agroecosystems               
     A. Indicators of sustainability in agriculture         
     B. Developing an on farm evaluation of agroecosystem sustainability         
XI. Food Systems               
     A. Food system defined         
     B. Food security         
     C. Food deserts         
     D. Community food systems: goals and components         
     E. Examples of regional food systems         
XII. Field Trips to Farms Practicing Regenerative Management in the Local Region

Assignments:
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1. Reading (15-30 pages per week)
2. Research project to develop an ecological design for an on-farm project
    A. PowerPoint presentation to class about research topic (12 - 15 minutes)
     B. Outline as first draft of research presentation
    C. Written summary of research topic
3. Lead a class discussion on scientific article or class reading in sustainable agriculture
4. Written evaluation of a local farm's level of sustainability, using the indicators of a sustainable
    system (3 pages)
5. Written case study on regenerative farming system (3 pages)
6. Written case study on community food systems (3 pages)
7. Prepare annotated bibliography of references for research on ecological farming practices
8. Quizzes, midterm, 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%
Case study reports, project outline and written summary, annotated bibliography
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
20 - 30%
Research and design project presentation, sustainability evaluation
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
0 - 0%
None
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
30 - 40%
Multiple choice, True/false, Completion, short essay
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
10 - 20%
Discussion leader, class participation


Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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Agroecology: The ecology of sustainable food systems. 3rd ed. Gliessman, Stephen. CRC Press. 2015
Web-based materials and various short readings/essays provided by instructor

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