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Study Organic Agriculture Online This Summer

Posted by struscott | April 10, 2007

Ever wondered what the “organic” label at the grocery store really means? Or how hard it would be to cultivate your own organic produce? Anyone intrigued by organic and sustainable agriculture will enjoy SoilS 101, an online course offered by the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences this summer. Developed by Regents professor John Reganold, the course introduces students to the field of organic agriculture. You’ll become familiar with the literature on sustainability, reflect on some of the field’s controversies, and learn how to identify reliable literature on organic agriculture. You’ll also be introduced to the field’s approach to food quality and safety, soil quality and fertility, weed and pest management, and organic/sustainable farm planning and certification standards.

The course will be offered in the online environment, utilizing a variety of course materials and activities based on the most recent developments in the field. Multimedia course materials will allow students to participate in an interview of John Reganold, a field trip to Tukey Orchard (home of WSU’s experimental organic farm) and WSU greenhouses, a tour of a composting facility, and an illustration of soil sampling techniques. Students will also engage in hands-on activities such as designing their own farm or garden, conducting experiments on soil fertility and quality, and interviewing local organic farmers. Students will participate in weekly threaded discussions where they will share their thoughts and experiences with their peers and the instructor.

To register for the online Soils 101 course, enter SLN 32888 through your myWSU registration link. Students who have not taken a course through WSU Online should refer to Campus Student Information for specific details about general items unique to WSU Online, including obtaining course textbooks and materials. Since communication with WSU Online support staff is either by phone or online, you must forward and activate your WSU e-mail and update your mailing and shipping addresses through your myWSU. Online course spaces open on the first day of classes, May 7th, and regular “course space attendance” is expected. Call 800-222-4978 or 509-335-3557 or e-mail WSU Online if you have questions.