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Overview

An innovative, science-based curricular program, the Agroecology program provides students with an opportunity to focus on issues in agriculture at the farm, community, and regional landscape level. Students and participants are exposed to a stimulating intellectual learning environment and to agricultural agencies and research institutions, like the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service along with other research and educational organizations.

Focus

Agriculture-Natural Ecosystems-Urban Area interface diagram. Natural-Agriculture interface: water, land, soil, biodiversity; land conversion, pollution. Agriculture-Urban interface: food, jobs, aesthetics; urban sprawl. Urban-Natural interface: ecological services; urban sprawl, pollution.

 

The focus of these programs is on the triangular interface between agriculture, natural ecosystems, and urban areas. Students increase their understanding of not only the function and productivity of on-farm agricultural systems, but also increase their scientific knowledge of broad spatial agricultural issues including:

  • Regional water allocation conflicts
  • Urban-rural conflicts
  • Community foodshed
  • Geospatial analysis of agricultural resources and ecosystem impacts

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Why?

The fragile Everglades covers most of South Florida and is impacted by the pressure from the growing population of the nearby urban areas. Productive agricultural lands are necessary to provide for the increasing population, which in turn puts more pressure on the natural areas. Because Miami is so dependent on these areas, the program facilitates the study of the relationship between natural, agricultural and urban spaces.

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