As population continues to grow and demands for resources increase, understanding the nexus of Food-Energy-Water Systems is vital to ensure the reliability and equity of access to these crucial resources. The Interdisciplinary Training, Education and Research in Food-Energy-Water Systems (InTERFEWS) Program brings together PhD students from traditionally disparate disciplines to conduct research on key problems in the FEW nexus with a focus on water-scarce, arid regions. Learn more: https://erams.com/interfews/
Students will study the economics of food supply chain management including:
Food systems include the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of food, and associated waste management. In addition to the material flows, food systems are embedded within sociopolitical contexts, mediated by complex and uneven power relations, and changing in response to global and local challenges.
Students will engage in literature-based discussions that address the interdisciplinary complexities of food system challenges to identify promising strategies for improving the sustainability and resilience of food systems. Primary disciplinary foci will include ecology, agronomy, and social sciences. Students will be responsible for weekly readings, class participation and a short summary of a subset of the readings. Students will lead discussions and engage in group work.
Course Description: This 3 credit hour course provides a broad overview of Food-Energy-Water (FEW) nexus issues, an understanding of the science underpinning FEW issues, working knowledge about the tradeoffs amongst sectors, and experience analyzing the socio-economic constraints and policy limitations incumbent on solutions to FEWS challenges. The course will introduce tools to enhance systems level thinking and problem solving.
Course Objectives: At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:
Enrollment Information: This is an interdisciplinary course and graduate students across disciplines are encouraged to enroll. Students must be enrolled as a graduate (M.S. or Ph.D) to enroll in the course. Enrollment requires instructor approval via an override from Dr. Sybil Sharvelle. Enrollment will be on a first come, first serve basis with high consideration given to diversify disciplines represented in the course. The course instructors will review the wait list 1 week prior to the first day of classes and provide overrides to students based on time of registration and considerations for representing multiple disciplines (i.e., Economics, Engineering, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences).
This course will cover global and local food systems and their potential influence on nutrition and food security. Course content is designed to challenge students to apply a critical lens while examining food as it relates to self and society. Students can expect to engage with food systems under the umbrella of nutrition, food science, education, policy, agriculture, horticulture, community development, economics, and public health. Students will be introduced to systems thinking and will gain awareness of systematic oppression and inequalities within the existing food system as well. At the end of the course, participants will leave with a diverse toolkit of literature, case-studies, research methods, lessons, and networks to aid in effective work as food systems practitioners.